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State Boosts Reservoir Tourism

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to boost tourism activities near water bodies, the State Government has floated a new scheme with a total outlay of Rs 50 crore for three years.

The Department of Water Resources has a large number of major, medium reservoirs and iconic dams under the Minor Irrigation sector. The adjacent area of the water bodies are always a place of attraction for the public due to its panoramic natural view and scope for recreation.

The big dams are larger engineering marvels, so they can be good spots for learning like scientific knowledge and the type of technology used in construction of the dam through pleasure trip activities.

Therefore, the scheme has been taken up with an objective for developmental and  recreational activities near the water bodies with an outlay of Rs 50 crore for a period of three years from 2021-22 to 2023-24, officials said here on Friday. 

While Rs 5 crore has been provisioned for the year 2021-22, Rs 27 crore allocated for the current financial year and Rs 18 crore given for next fiscal 2023-24. The fund will be meant from State’s own resources, they said.

The main objective of the scheme is to develop recreational activities and picnic spots for the public in the vicinity of water bodies.

Apart from recreation activities, museum-cum-activity centers and interpretation centers at the proposed site shall provide value addition to the project and shall be levied on the visitors by the project activity.

After basic development some important tourist spots can be handed over to the Tourism Department for further development, addition of extra amusement themes and maintenance.

A district level Periphery Development of Reservoirs & Water bodies Committee will be formed under the chairmanship of District Collector to which Chief Engineer (project) will be the Member Secretary.

Chief Engineer (Dam Safety), District Tourism Officer and District Education Officer will be the Members of the Committee.

The Committee will decide the dams to be undertaken first in the respective District. Those dams will be taken first where proper road connectivity exists and foot falls are more.

The panel will also decide the steps for sustainable maintenance and cleanliness of the area, entry fee/parking fee/ picnic spot fee and operation and maintenance (O&M) activities.

The O&M will be undertaken jointly by the Tourism Department, District Administration and Eco Development Committee.

After basic development some important spots will be handed over to the Tourism Department for further development, addition of extra amusement themes and maintenance.

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