The Centre has chalked out a plan for an image makeover of BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, which has been reeling under Naxalism, by focussing on tourism infrastructure, cleanliness and security in the state.
Centering its theme on “defeat terrorism with tourism”, the tourism and culture ministry, in a bid to attract tourists to the state, has asked the Raman Singh government to promote tourist attractions, especially those in the Left Wing Extremism-affected districts like Chitrakoot, Tirathgarh and Kutumsar caves. Besides, there is also a proposal to develop Buddhist circuit, and promote famous fairs and festivals held in the state.
“The Centre will support Chhattisgarh’s efforts to boost tourism and combat Left-wing extremism,” said Tourism and Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma. Admitting to the largescale security concerns for tourists in the state, Sharma, who recently visited the state, said: “A proposal has been taken up with the Union Home Ministry to enact a strong law so that nobody touches a foreign tourist or creates any problem (for them).”
A tourist security plan has was launched on Friday that includes setting up of a 24×7 tourist helpline and deployment of tourist police.
Chhattisgarh Tourism and Culture Minister Ajay Chandrakar said with the Centre’s help, they would focus on promoting the state’s tribal culture, unexplored tourism circuits and develop a local-tourism collaboration, which will help in creation of jobs. “We have also urged the Centre for cooperation in building hotels and lighting facilities at Chitrakoot, besides giving publicity to Bastar Dassehra, Kutumsar caves and Kanger valley,” he added.