OTHERS

Rs. 33 cr. action plan to develop Hampi

BELLARY Jan. 31. The Bellary District administration has prepared a Rs. 33-crore action plan for the development of tourism at Hampi and has forwarded the same to the Union Government for approval and funds.

Javed Akhthar, Deputy Commissioner, in an informal chat with presspersons here on Thursday said the action plan was very comprehensive covering all aspects needed to promote tourism development, and at the same time maintain the status of the historical area, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

The idea of preparing an action plan was to have a package of schemes for development of the World Heritage Site both in terms of archaeological conservation and to provide infrastructure for tourists visiting the site.

The action plan had been prepared item-wise, including conservation of monuments, and depending on the availability of funds, works would be taken up, he said, adding that Rs. three crore had been mobilised and the balance Rs. 30 crore sought from the Government.

The action plan would be implemented in phases. Besides the site infrastructure development, the development of the external site infrastructure would also be taken up, he said.

Mr. Akhthar said Vatsala Vatsa, Principal Secretary, Department of Information, Tourism, and Youth, would visit Hampi on Saturday for inspection in the wake of the action plan forwarded to the Union Government.

It was proposed to construct public toilets at nine places of which the work at four places had begun and the rest would be taken up next year. Similarly, a tourist facility centre had been planned at an estimated cost of Rs. six crore.

Kamalapaur, which was adjacent to Hampi, had been chosen tentatively for the construction of the facility centre, and a final decision would be taken in consultation with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), he said.

It was proposed to have cultural activities and light and sound programme on a regular basis. A building was proposed to be constructed to hold cultural activities under the aegis of the Department of Kannada and Culture, Mr. Akhthar said.

Illumination of the sites and the ancient monuments, revival of ancient roads, development of other roads, providing drinking water facilities at various points, erecting signboards at several places at the site and also on the main roads and highways to direct tourists to Hampi were among other programmes included in the package, he said.

Installing a telescope on top of Matanga Hill to enable the tourists get a bird's eye view of the historical site, and providing communication and transport network had also been proposed, he said.

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