BENGALURU: On Thursday, the Center blamed the state squarely for the non-inclusion of any of the pilgrimage destinations or tourist circuits as part of the Prasad and Swades Darshan programs initiated by the Center in 2014.
Karnataka was unable to provide the proper details, said Rupinder Brar, additional director general of the Union Ministry of Tourism. She said the proposal to include Chamundi Hills in Mysuru has been on hold with the Center for three years despite communication.
Government plans to extend visa on arrival to 169 countries
Although the state government has done a lot of work, some components of the programs have yet to be identified. “We are also waiting for what needs to be done. The work of government should be of use to ordinary people. The state government is not yet able to show it. They will do a presentation again and then the authorization will be given, ”she said.
Regarding the Swades Darshan program as well, Rupinder said problems had been discovered and the proposals had been returned to the state for consideration. Although he initially said the issues would be sorted out, visibly agitated Karnataka Tourism Minister Anand Singh said: “They should not have said that Karnataka failed. Instead, they should have said that there are some technical issues that need to be resolved, ”he insisted.
“Four days ago, we held a meeting to discuss the Prasad project and the issue of duplicates raised by the Center. We are also working to include the state’s coastline as part of the Swades program. Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and DoNER G Kishan Reddy said, “To revive tourism in India, we will grant five lakhs of free visas to tourists on a first-come basis.
The extension of the visa on arrival to 169 countries is also under consideration. He added that 20 mission officers are appointed in different countries from which the maximum number of tourists to India come. The decision was taken after talks with officials from the ministries of Tourism, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Culture, Interior and Defense. “In the first phase, 20 countries were listed. Senior officials are appointed in embassies who will work to promote tourist destinations and help attract bulk travelers, ”he said.
Reddy said the tourism policy was also being finalized and comments from all states were sought. In this context, financial assistance will also be granted to States and tourist guides. He also stressed the need for vaccination and said: “Without vaccination, tourism will not survive. Once Covid-19 falls, air connectivity will improve as well. “