Beach tourism in State to get a boost

Govt seeks relaxation of CRZ regulations to develop infrastructure along coastline

Beach tourism in State to get a boost

The State government will develop 23 beaches located in the districts of Uttara Kannada, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada at a cost of Rs 50 crore, in a bid to tap their tourism potential, said Tourism Minister R V Deshpande.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Deshpande said the project would be funded by the Centre and the grants would be utilised to improve the connectivity to the beaches, construction of toilets, drains, supply of drinking water, purchase of rescue boats and providing security among others.

Deshpande said the State had requested the Centre to relax the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) regulations for setting up resorts near the coastline. The present regulation stipulates that no structures should come up within 200 metres of the high-tide line. The State has sought this limit to be reduced between 50 metres and 80 metres at 41 beaches and 11 islands.

The move will improve tourism potential in these beaches and also generate revenue and employment. Deshpande said he had recently met Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar in this regard.

The minister said the Centre had given in-principle approval for 12 tourism-based projects in the State at a cost of Rs 116.21 crore. The projects can be implemented once the State prepares the Detailed Project Report (DPR). The projects include Rs 50-crore plan to develop ‘Mega Cauvery Tourism Circuit,’ covering tourism spots in the districts of Kodagu, Mandya, Mysore and Chamarajnagar.

Another major project, ‘Great Canara Trails,’ entails development of a tracking path through the scenic Western Ghats connecting Jog falls in Shimoga district with Castle Rock near Goa border, in Uttara Kannada district. In the first phase the path connecting Doodhsagar (on the border between Karnataka-Goa) and Castle Rock will be taken up. Jungle Lodges and Resorts will be the nodal agency in executing the project, he said.

The other projects include introduction of tourist train to Kukke Subramanya (at a cost of Rs 25 crore), development of tourism infrastructure along the Jog tourism circuit (Rs 8 crore), development of tourism infrastructure at Sirsi and Kittur, development of eco-tourism park and crocodile park at Dandeli, development of wayside amenities at Malkhed in Gulbarga, Sadashivagada and Kumta in Uttara Kannada and Basavakalyana in Bidar district.

Desphande said during a recent conference of tourism ministers from various states held in Delhi, Karnataka had sought sanction of another hotel management institute, a pilgrimage and cultural circuit and provision of skill training to tourist guides.

 Deshpande said the State government would promote Mysore Dasara in a big way in a bid to attract more international tourists. Hoardings will be placed outside national and international airports, advertisement will be placed in inflight magazines among others, he added.

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