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Chamarajanagar tourist spots draw attention

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HERITAGE SIGHT: Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple at B.R. Hills in a state of neglect.
HERITAGE SIGHT: Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple at B.R. Hills in a state of neglect.

Muralidhara Khajane

Tourism Department has drawn up a plan: MP

A Rs. 36-crore proposal approved for B.R. Hills

Rs. 10.74 crore has been allocated for the district

MYSORE: The Tourism Department will soon send a comprehensive proposal for the development of tourist potential spots in Chamarajanagar to make the most backward district in the State, a major tourism destination.

Chamarajanagar MP R. Dhruvanarayan told The Hindu that he had met Union Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja and apprised her on the tourism potential of the district. “Showing keen interest in promoting tourism in the district, she agreed to assist, if the State Government submitted a comprehensive proposal,” he said.

He said that he had discussed the matter with the Principal Secretary to the Government, Department of Tourism, K. Jothiramalingam, and Director of Tourism K. Vishwanath Reddy on December 23.

“They have agreed to send the comprehensive development plan at the earliest”, he added. It was said that the tourism potential of the district had not been tapped.

In case of developing places including, B.R. Hills, M.M. Hills, Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, Bharachukki falls, Bedaguli forest areas, Madhyaranga, Karivaradaraja hills and Hogenekkal falls and made them tourist-friendly by creating infrastructure, those who visit Mysore were sure to extend their travel plans to visit those places, he said. He regretted that despite repeated appeals to the State Government was not doing anything to develop tourist spots in the district. Although a Rs. 36-crore proposal was approved for the development of B.R. Hills, the Government had released Rs. 1 crore so far, he said.

B.R. Hills was a picturesque spot and people frequent here to savour the beauty of the 500-year-old Biligiri Rangaswamy temple. B.R.T. Wildlife Sanctuary is well known for its elephants and sambars and gaurs and a rich biodiversity. Creating infrastructure in the place was sure to attract more tourists, he said.

“However, a philanthropist donated Rs. 1-crore for the construction of Rajagopura of the temple. Work taken up with the government grant is also on, besides construction of Rajagopura”, he said.

Till the Centre approves the proposal of the State Government, B.R. Hills would be developed with the support of local legislators making use of the grants available in other government departments. “Work on developing the road connecting the hill, construction of guest house for tourists and improving the underground drainage system will be taken up shortly,” he said. Mr. Dhruvanarayan said that he had met Director-General, Department of Archaeology Srivastav and appealed to him to make attempts to include Talakkad — a historical place dating back to 247 AD to world heritage site. “He assured me to send a team of experts to conduct a survey,” he said.

Meanwhile, the district administration of Chamarajanagar is all set to make use of funds released for the development of tourism in the district following a direction from Mr. Jothiramalingam.

According to sources in the district administration, Deputy Commissioner had instructed the officials of the Karnataka Land Army Corporation, the Forest Department and the Public Works Department to utilise funds released so far.

Sources said that of the allocated Rs. 10.74 crore for the development of tourism, Rs. 4.50 crore had been released and Rs. 1.05 crore spent for development works, Rs. 4.31 crore had been allocated for the construction of watch towers, cafeteria and information centre at Bharachukki falls, Rs. 1 crore for the construction of tourism complex at M.M. Hills and Rs. 30 lakh and Rs. 1 crore for the construction of Yatrinivas at Madhyaranga and B.R. Hills respectively, Rs. 10 lakh had been allocated for providing drinking water to Karivaradaraja hill, Rs. 27 lakh had been spent for the construction of watch tower, Information centre and steps at Hogenakkal falls.

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