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Dehra Dun, Apr 30 (UNI) Maintaining that the safety of tourists is its foremost priority, the Uttarakhand Police has established its first state Tourism Police Force.

In its first phase, Tourist Police batches will be dispatched to 22 places from May 7, ahead of the Char Dham Yatra which will commence when the Kedarnath Yatra route opens on May 8.

Talking to UNI, DGP Subash Joshi said the purpose behind establishing the tourism police was to facilitate the safety of tourists undertaking pilgrimages to the state's holiest shrines.

'' The idea behind establishing the state tourist police is a new one and a part of our mission statement that it is the duty of the Uttarakhand police to facilitate tourism and the safety of passengers,'' DGP Subhash Joshi said while talking to UNI.

'' Considering the fact that the state receives more than three to four times the number of population as compared to other states, its establishment was necessary'', he added.

A total of 150 personnel (100 from Garhwal and 50 from Kumaon region) were imparted a three-week training in communication and behavioural skills and a crash course in English by the Frankfinn Institute and AHA. They were also provided literature and data on places of tourist interest besides training on how to use the internet, Mr Joshi informed.

The police has been handed a charter of duties which entail tasks such as acting as guides and responding to tourist enquiries.

The state, which is also referred to as 'Devbhoomi' or 'Land of the Gods' is famous for its pilgrimage and spiritual centres like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hemkund Sahib and so on.

This year, an estimated 2.21 crore tourists are expected to visit the state. Last year, 3.5 crore tourists (both foreign and domestic) had visited the Uttarakhand.


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