Minister recommends to release restraints on four islands and 42 beaches

The State government has sought relaxation in the coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) that will help boost tourism along the 320 km long coastline, said the Higher Education and Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Mr. Deshpande said the proposal by the State government was based on the recommendations of the M.S. Swaminathan committee that looked into the aspect of relaxation of costal regulatory zone.

“We have placed our comments on the committee’s report and proposed for relaxation of CRZ. We have identified 42 beaches and four islands where we have sought relaxation of norms. The proposal is before the Environment Ministry. I have spoken to Union Environment Minister, who is positive about our proposal,” he said.

Mr. Deshpande said the government cannot seek relaxation of CRZ for the entire Karnataka coastline. So far he had not heard fishermen expressing opposition to tourism development activities from the places that have been proposed, he said.

Foreign languages

Mr. Deshpande said the State government was proposing to conduct skill development programmes in association with 13 universities for guides that would learn foreign languages. “I have asked the Vice Chancellors to come out with short term courses for those interested to become guides (at tourist destinations),” he said.

Mr. Deshpande said each of the 33 districts would have tourism consultants tasked with preparing project reports and conducting other activities for tourism development.

Earlier, inaugurating the Pilikula Resort of the Jungle Lodges and Resorts, Mr. Deshpande said the report of a vision group headed by T. Mohandas Pai had proposed, among others, spending Rs. 73,000 crore for tourism development in the next 10 years.

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