Orissa govt to launch one-day conducted tour

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 19 (UNI) The Orissa government is considering to start a one-day conducted tour of Kenduli, Chausathi Yogini, Sishu Ananta Pitha, Khandagiri and Nandankanan through the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation, state Tourism Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told the Assembly today.

Replying to questions in the state Assembly, Mr Mishra said various developmental works were being undertaken for the all-round development of tourist spots of Chausathi Yogini in Balipatna block and the development of Kenduli, the birthplace of poet Jaydev.

Mr Mishra said while Rs 70 lakh had been spent for the development of Chausatahi Yogini under the Rural Tourism Development Scheme, Rs 154.49 lakh was allocated for Kenduli.

The government, he said, would also consider making a tourist circuit connecting the tourist sites located in these blocks.

The Minister said various projects were being taken up for the development of tourism in the state with the assistance of the Centre under Circuit, Destination Development and Rural Tourism schemes.

Efforts were on to get the assistance of the JBIC, UNWTO and World Bank, he said.

The Minister said the government had submitted 49 projects to the Centre for the development of tourism in the state from 2001-2008, adding that out of the 49 projects, the Centre had so far approved 34 projects.

The projects approved by the Centre during 2007-08 included development of Mahanadi river heritage, Harishankar-Nrusinghanath-Ranipurjjharial and Silk Route circuit in Ganjam as tourist destinations.

Mr Mishra said the government had made a provision of Rs 15 crore to develop the heritage tourism sites of the state to woo the domestic and foreign tourists.

He said Rs 2560.69 lakh was spent for the development of various tourism centres under Circuit Tourism, Destination Development and Rural Development schemes.

Many festivals like Ekamra, Rajarani musical festival, Mukteswar dance festival, Toshali craft mela at Bhubaneswar, Srikhetra Mahostav at Puri, Konark dance festival and Kalinga festival at Dhauli were being organised to promote tourism and attract tourists to the state.

Mr Mishra said during the past three years as many as 1,13,431 foreign tourists had visited the state and spent Rs 280.04 crore during their stay.

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