Tourism plans for NK heritage spots scrapped

Tourism plans for NK heritage spots scrapped

KUIDFC abandons proposals in the face of ASI cold shoulder

The proposals, which sought to develop the heritage spots as tourist attractions were dropped after the firm refusal of ASI to allow any intervention in the heritage ambience of historical sites.

As part of its massive urban infrastructure development initiative in 24 north Karnataka cities and towns with the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), KUIDFC also embarked upon improving and developing places of tourist attraction including the heritage spots under ASI control.

Proposals of the KUIDFC vis-a-vis ASI heritage sites included landscaping of sites, provision of drinking water facility, construction of toilets of international standards, improvement of interior roads, and laying of approach roads.

Of its total outlay of Rs 1,236 crore, KUIDFC has earmarked Rs.37.06 crore for development of tourism in the 15 of the total 25 cities and towns of North Karnataka.

KUIDFC plans development of tourism in Gulbarga, Bidar and Basavakalyan, included landscaping, construction of toilets and provision of drinking water facility  in the historical fort of Gulbarga housing an architectural wonder 600 year old Jama Masjid, the only of its kind structure in India and only second in the world after Cordoba in Spain.

Proposals have also been made for improvement of Al Bareed Park in Bidar. However,
there is no problem in Basavakalyan as the works are planned to be taken up outside the heritage spots.

The ASI has, however refused to accord clearance to the proposals.

Fresh queries

``From the last one year we have been persuading the ASI to give its clearance. But on every occasion it has been placing fresh queries. We are tired of it. At the last meeting we decided to drop to all the proposals concerning ASI sites," remarked a senior KUIDFC officer.

KUIDFC proposals do not involve any financial implications for ASI. The corporation nursed aspirations of its proposals being cleared as long as K N Srivastava, a Karnataka cadre IAS officer was at the helm of ASI, but with his recent shunting from the ASI all hopes have been dashed.

Officers in the local administration, frustrated at ASI's immovability, lament that the central agency was not even ready to spare the services of its own experts to develop the heritage spots from the tourist point of view without harming the heritage and historical importance of sites.