Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Wednesday said all the ongoing tourism projects should be completed within a stipulated time period and directed officials for laying special focus on those projects which are nearing completion.

After 11th meeting of HP Tourism Development Board, Thakur said Himachal was blessed with immense tourism potential and the focus of the government was to provide best tourism infrastructure to the tourists visiting the state.

“The Culture Centre at Janjehli in Mandi District is almost complete by spending an amount of Rs 25.17 crore which would be an added attraction to the tourists visiting the virgin valley. The Centre would have an open air theatre, three new cottages, conventional hall, cafeteria and 12 modern rooms,” he added.

The Chief Minister further stated that Kangra Haat was being constructed at Kangra at a cost of Rs 17 crore.

Besides, beautification of Dal lake and Art and Craft project at Bhalai Mata temple at Chamba was being carried out which will not only help in showcasing the rich cultural traditions of the state but would also be a major attraction for the tourists. This project would be completed by September this year by spending an amount of Rs 4 crore, similarly, beautification of Dal Lake will also be completed by September with a cost of Rs 4 crore, he said.

He said a Convention Centre at Kyarighat was coming up at a cost of Rs 29.90 crore and would be completed by September this year and in addition, an Art and Craft village was being developed near Kandaghat village for which FCA approval was being sought. This would prove an attractive destination for the tourists visiting the state as both these projects were on the major national highway between Kalka-Shimla.

He directed the officers to ensure that Shiv Dham Phase- 1 in Mandi district must be completed in stipulated time period and said the approach road from Mandi to Shiv Dham should be widened in view of future demand to cater the heavy flow of traffic.

He said that efforts must also be made for effective fusion of landscape and avoid over construction of concrete structures. The Chief Minister said that work on renovation of Bantony Castle would be completed by September this year and the light and sound show at Town Hall and Bantony Castle would be an added attraction to the tourists visiting the capital town of Shimla. He also felt the need for optimum use of Bantony Castle by the State Language, Art and Culture department.

Thakur directed the officers for expediting the work on all the major ropeways viz Dharamshala-Mcleodganj, Palchan-Rohtang, Aadi Himani-Chamunda, Sri Anandpur Sahib-Shri Nainadevi etc. “This would not only provide alternative modes of transportation to the tourists visiting the State, but also give a big boost to tourism development in these areas,” he added.

He also directed the officers to effectively pursue FCA cases so that work on various tourism projects could be acquired soon and work must also be expedited on the North and South portal of Atal Tunnel Rohtang as it had emerged as the major tourist attraction. On its completion, the tourists would get better way-side amenities as well as boarding lodging facilities while visiting the Atal tunnel, he added.