New Delhi: Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday urged Union Tourism Minister G. Kishan Reddy for sanction of a special package for the development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in the Koraput district.
Writing a letter to his Cabinet colleague, Shri Pradhan said, tourism and hospitality were one of the hardest hit sectors during the breakout of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to nationwide lockdowns. As we resume normalcy, the time is ripe for unleashing massive growth in the tourism sector due to the strong domestic spending and unrestricted movement of air traffic.
Under the Dekho Apna Desh vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji, the Tourism and Culture Ministry has undertaken massive efforts towards increasing tourist footfalls through the development of tourist facilities and infrastructure. This has not only garnered appreciation from citizens but has also resulted in a massive increase in footfalls from both domestic and international tourists, he pointed out.
Highlighting the massive potential for tourism development in the historically ignored Koraput district of Odisha, the Education Minister said Koraput is situated in the picturesque Eastern Ghats in Southern Odisha, at a distance of about 200 KM from Vizag.
It is located close to the well-known tourist site Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh, with similar topography, natural beauty, and cultural wealth. Koraput also enjoys good rail connectivity and boasts of Vistadome coaches on the Koraput— Rayagada rail route.
“While the Araku Valley tourism circuit is well developed and now world-renowned for its coffee plantations, drawing lakhs of tourists from Vizag and nearby areas, Koraput has not been able to capitalize on the huge tourist catchment area,” Shri Pradhan said.
To briefly touch upon some of the exquisite attractions in Koraput, tourists can enjoy the historical sites at the city of Jeypore, marvel at the Duduma waterfalls, enjoy boating at the Kolab Dam, trek and camp at Deomali and pay their obeisance at the Shri Jagannath Temple.
In a nutshell, Koraput offers a fantastic opportunity for tourism development along the historic, environmental, ecological and spiritual circuits of the Swadesh Darshan scheme.
Stating that tourism in the Korput region suffered recently due to the impact of the cyclone Hudhud in Vizag, he said a special package would go a long way in resuscitating the tourist foot fills in Koraput, which will certainly translate into a huge economic multiplier for the people in the region and adjoining areas.
Keeping in mind the massive untapped potential of the tourism sector in Koraput, and the welfare of the people living there, Shri Pradhan sought personal intervention of Reddy for sanctioning a special package for the development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in the Koraput district.