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Plans to give tourism a fillip

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The famous tourist destination Puducherry has at least 1 lakh persons passing through the town each day. The union territory has a variety of tourist attractions to amuse all genres of tourists. Not content with the existing attractions, the Puducherry government and the Tourism department are planning numerous additional projects like Water Park, Art & Craft Village, High Way Restaurants, Parks, etc. to increase the tourist inflow to the tiny coastal town.

The existing infrastructure facilities such as hotel accommodation, air, rail and road transport facilities, water supply, electronic communication, roads, hygienic environment, etc. are commensurate with the increasing inflow of tourists to all four regions of Puducherry viz. Mahe, Yanam, Karaikal and Puducherry.

The world famous Thirunallar Saneeswara temple at Karaikal receives about 20,000 pilgrims every Saturday, throughout the year, not adding the special Sani Peyarchi festival. The Puducherry government is taking all steps in developing Thirunallar as ‘Temple Town’ by planning outer and inner ring road, Bus Terminal, accommodation facilities, development of Nalankulam, rejuvenation of sacred ponds, queue complex, restaurants, shopping and other facilities required for the pilgrims.

The government has also proposed for a Special Tourism Zone at Manapet in Puducherry with 87 acres of private land and 20 acres of Government land.

Development of Lakes and Backwaters in all regions of Puducherry as leisure tourist spot is also in progress. The main areas of concentration are beautification, water sports, kids play zone, restaurants, eco friendly cottages, furnished walk ways and other revitalization works.

An Arts & Crafts Village at Murungapakkam in Puducherry has been planned and the land acquired as part of the Government efforts to augment the tourist attractions of Puducherry and its unique attractions of Indo-French Heritage.

The proposed Art & Craft Village will not only promote tourism but will also contribute towards the sustenance and growth of traditional arts and crafts of the region. The town’s own special handicrafts like terracotta crafts, hand made paper, antiques, studio pottery and other quality hand crafted goods could be sold in village market settings. The concept includes the facilities such as proper entrance zone, a compound wall surrounding the entire village, natural trail, kids play area, Art & Craft Zone, Village type streetscapes with mud roads, workshop, product display centre, Dormitory type accommodation, Mandapam, Water Body/Lotus pond, Heritage Model Houses – Tamil, French, Kerala, Chettinadu Houses, Heritage Houses for Accommodation, and semicircular Amphitheatre with audio visual provisions.

Apart from the Art & Craft village, the government is also planning a Water Park at Murungapakkam with minimum facilities including specific amusement rides covering different age groups (mainly teenagers) with a mix of children and family rides, waterfalls, lazy river with floats, water sports activities, change room and ticket counter and a restaurant and snacks counter to be provided as an external facility in a free landscaped area.

The Puducherry government is also taking steps in promoting historically important sites and Heritage monuments in the four regions as tourist spot. Improvements, Beautification, Flood lighting, Restoration and other amenities of important temples and churches and other monuments in Puducherry is under proposal. To provide a tourist friendly environment the Department of Tourism and the government of Puducherry together has recently deployed ‘Tourist Guards’ in Puducherry and Karaikal. The unemployed educated youths were trained and deployed through a private organization on contract basis. This scheme will be further developed as advised by the Ministry of Tourism as per the guidelines for Tourist Security Organization.

The tourism department and the government of Puducherry also have a wide number of future plans for the development of the union territory. These include expansion and working of Puducherry Airport, development of a new Airport at Karaikal, development of Yacht Marina at Puducherry, developing Cruise Tourism in Karaikal and privatisation of maintenance and operation of Government accommodation facilities.

Nanthini Dominique

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