Maharashtra's Directorate of Tourism announced the ‘Maharashtra Forts Scheme’, under which basic amenities around as many as 337 forts will be set up to boost heritage, adventure and nature tourism.
The state has over 400 forts, of which approximately 350 forts are on government records – the highest of any state in India. These include three varieties: sea forts, forts built on hills and forts built on land. They are further divided into two sections: classified and non-classified forts.
As many as 44 classified forts are protected under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) while 49 are under the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums. The 337 which will receive the amenities are non-classified forts, protected under the Revenue and Forest departments.
Basic tourist amenities include approach road, drinking water, restaurants, toilets, electricity, solid waste management, signages, tourist information centre, guides, caravan camping, parking and beautification of the vicinity.
“Through this scheme, all the facilities to be provided in and around the forts, experiential tourism, implementing agencies of the scheme, promotion of fort tourism, functions of the agency selected for the promotion, availability of funds, committees for selection of the forts to implement the scheme, terms of reference of the committees etc. has been made available on the website,” officials said.
The policy document is available on the Maharashtra tourism website (www.maharashtratourism.gov.in) and the Directorate of Tourism has sought suggestions and objections vis-à-vis the scheme.