TTDC to extend tourist-friendly autorickshaw scheme

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Tiruchirapalli, Aug 20 (UNI) The Tamil Nadu Tourism Department Corporation (TTDC) is planning to extend tourist-friendly autorickshaw scheme to major tourist centres in the state, Tourism secretary V Irai Anbu has said.

The scheme, already in vogue in Chennai, would be introduced shortly in Kanniyakumari, he told reporters here yesterday.

Under the tourist-friendly autorickshaw scheme, photo identity cards were issued to drivers after verifying their antecedents and they were asked to charge the fare as per the meter. The vehicles are painted with pictures of tourist attractions in the state, he added.

The scheme would be extended to Madurai and Tiruchirapalli, he said adding ''We are willing to extend the scheme to more centres in coordination with the district administrations.'' The Tourism department was taking steps to promote lesser-known tourist destinations such as Yelagiri, Yercaud, Hogenakkal, Pulicat and Kolli Hills. Tourist infrastructure like roads and parks were being strengthened at these places. A golf course was planned at Yelagiri while para-gliding would be introduced there soon, he added.

Earlier, speaking at the orientation programme at Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, Srirangam, he suggested that the temple administration could bring out a brochure/guide book containing overall details of the temple complex for the benefit of tourists to know about the historic importance of different sannidhis/structures and heritage.

Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation chairman Sanwant Ram said the state stood third in the country in respect of tourist arrivals.

Tourism Commissioner and TTDC managing director M Rajaram said the orientation/training programmes for target groups and close interface with tourists, such as autorickshaw/taxi drivers, airport/railway/temple employees and hoteliers had brought good results.

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