HP plans airport at Sundernagar

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New Delhi, May 4: To provide an impetus to the tourism sector, Himachal Pradesh plans to set up another airport at Sundernagar entailing an investment of about Rs 700 crore.

''We have submitted the relevant data for the project to the Airports Authority of India. We expect that the AAI will give its nod by the end of this year,'' Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Ltd (HPTDC) Commissioner-cum-Managing Director Ram Subhag Singh told UNI here. He said the project would require about Rs 700 crore, which would be funded by the State and the Central governments. He added that the project will boost the state tourism. About 8.8 million people arrived in the State during 2007-08, growing at 15 per cent over the last fiscal, beside directly employing about 52,000 people.

Himachal Pradesh has 1,890 hotels, with about 45,000 bed capacity. Tourism contributes about eight per cent to the state GDP, he said at the sideline of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) conference.

HPTDC owns about 56 hotels in the state, Mr Singh said adding that there are plans to revamp about 20-22 hotels that are running in losses.

''We are considering various options for these hotels. There could be some joint venture with private firms for running these loss-making hotels or other steps could be disinvestment,'' he said.

Mr Singh said HPTDC also plans to float tender for constructing malls, resorts, and other developmental projects in about 200 acre vacant land in the state through public private partnership model.

''Beside these, tender would also be floated for developing roadways and ropeways in the state which would help to generate Rs 100 crore revenue,'' he said.

UNI

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