Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi on Saturday said the Centre would consider relaxing norms prescribed under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification to promote investments in tourism sector in a big way.
He was speaking at a largely attended meeting after laying the foundation stone for Rs.45.89-crore beach corridor tourism circuit project between Visakhapatnam and 17th century Dutch township of Bheemunipatnam. The 30-km stretch will be developed with eight nodes at Ramakrishna beach, Kailasagiri, Rushikonda, Bavikonda, Mangamaripeta, Thotlakonda, Erramatti Dibbalu and Bheemunipatnam.
The project envisages landscaping, developing parks including pathways, view towers and seating arrangement, improving roads with median lighting and illumination at select stretches/nodes, signage and tourist reception and interpretation centres.
The project is funded by the Ministry of Tourism under Product/Infrastructure Development for Destinations and Circuits (PIDDC).
Mr. Chiranjeevi told a meeting held at Bheemunipatnam that he had received representations stating that because of the CRZ, many people were not able to invest in tourism sector. Earlier, Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao asked him to relax CRZ to pave the way for grounding of big projects all along the beach road after a technical study.
Mr. Chiranjeevi said Visakhapatnam region had the potential to become a world-class tourist hub and promised that he would try his best to sanction funds under various schemes to augment existing infrastructure.
He said the proposed tourist circuit would not only attract domestic tourists but also travellers from abroad. Such mega projects would also generate employment opportunities to the local people. He said after he assumed charge as Minister, tourism projects worth Rs.221 crore had been sanctioned to Andhra Pradesh.
PCC president and Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, Minister for Endowments C. Ramachandraiah, Rajya Sabha member T. Subbarami Reddy and others spoke. Bheemunipatnam MLA M. Srinivasa Rao presided.