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MoT sanctions Rs 100 cr financial package for Uttarakhand

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ETW STAFFNew Delhi

Union minister of tourism K Chiranjeevi has sanctioned a special financial package of Rs 100 crore for restoration and reconstruction of the affected government tourist facilities in Uttarakhand. This will be in addition to the Central Financial Assistance of about Rs 95 crore already sanctioned during the current financial year for developing tourism infrastructure in the state. Uttarakhand has recently witnessed an unprecedented natural calamity that has caused colossal damage to both life and infrastructure in the State.

The state government has been advised to assess the destroyed and damaged tourist amenities and conveniences and come back with the requirement of funds for rebuilding the infrastructure. On examination of the demand, Ministry of Tourism will sanction funds.

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has estimated that the state of Uttarakhand has lost revenue earnings of about Rs 12,000 crore from its tourism sector alone in the current fiscal on account of torrential rains that devastated the state.

IATO Appeal for helping Uttarakhand flood victims
Cloudbursts, floods and landslides brought on by incessant rain in Uttarakhand have left a trail of destruction across the state. Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has appealed for contribution to help the people who are affected by the natural calamity and to the families of the victims who have died.

“Kindly contribute graciously with whatever amount you can for this cause and help the government for rehabilitation work for the local people and also the pilgrims,” said Subhash Goyal, president, IATO.

Saurabh Sanyal, executive director, PHDCCI, said, “Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of Uttarakhand at factor cost at current prices stands at about Rs 1,07,548 crore in the year that came to an end on March 31, 2013, 11 per cent of the GSDP has been washed away in terms of prospective tourism earnings due to floods that engulfed the state, further points out the PHDCCI quick assessment on losses of its tourism sector.

It may be highlighted here that tourism was concentrated vastly along sides of rivers of Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini and Dhauliganga in both Garhwal and Kumaon regions.”

Around 60 per cent of the total tourism prospectus of the state has been severely damaged due to excessive rains, remains of which are even hardly seen as indicated in the pictures carried out by army, airforce, as well as government and privately owned helicopters. Massive damage has been resulted from infrastructure ruined including roads, buildings and houses.

The reconstruction of damaged tourist destinations is expected to burden the state government with huge amount in wake of rising input costs such as mounting prices of cement, iron, labour costs, etc.