The tardy progress of projects undertaken to promote tourism in the district came to the fore at an official meeting here on Tuesday.

The case in point was the work of laying cable suspension bridge to Thannirbhavi beach – a dream project of former MLA N. Yogish Bhat – was allotted in January 2010. Nothing happened for three years. The work only started in January 2013 and so far only a few foundation pillars have been raised.

Local MLA J.R. Lobo and Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim criticised the failure of the Department to expedite the projects. The two were participating in the District level Tourism Development Committee meeting, which is being held after a gap of several years.

Intervening in a presentation being made by Assistant Director of Tourism Jitendranath on tourism, Mr. Ibrahim sought to know the progress made in each of the 14 ongoing projects, including the Rs. 12 crore cable suspension bridge. Neither Mr. Jitendranath nor Kalbhavi Rajendra Rao, the Director of Dakshina Kannada Nirmithi Kendra, which is implementing the cable suspension work, were in a position to explain the delay of three years in commencing the work. Mr. Rao said he had asked the construction agency to stop the work. Mr. Jitendranath and Mr. Rao shifted responsibility on each other for slow progress. “The department is not serious about the project,” quipped Mr. Ibrahim.

Then Mr. Jitendranath said few weeks ago the department decided to allot the work to the Public Works Department. An order would be issued following clearance from the cabinet, he said. To this, Mr. Lobo said the Public Works Department and the Tourism Department were not interested in going ahead with the project. “I have raised this before the Tourism Minister (R.V. Deshpande). He has assured of resolving the issue,” he said.

Mr. Ibrahim and Mr. Lobo were critical of tardy progress with regard to construction of tourist reception centre and other facilities at the Kadri Manjunatha Temple, Kukke Subramanya Temple and at the Kateel Durgaparameshwari Temple at an estimated cost of Rs. 1 crore at each of these temples. All these works started in 2009.

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Provisional clearance for Home Stays

Mangalore: Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim said Tourism Department can issue provisional certificate for operating Home Stays than make applicants wait for about two years for the necessary permission.

Mr. Ibrahim said this when Suresh Mathaias, the owner of Urban Retreat home stay, said it requires a minimum of two years to obtain permission for a home stay. The permission is given only after a survey by a Delhi-based firm. Until they get the permission, applicants have to bear with raids by agencies including MESCOM. Mr. Mathaias also expressed need of police help to prevent attacks by groups at home stays and beach houses.

Ibrahim directed Tourism Department Assistant Director Mr. Jitendranath to send a proposal for speeding up the process of issuance of certificate. Department can issue provisional certificate within a period of 15 days, he said.

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