90 per cent of tourist spots in Uttarakhand safe: Minister

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Kedarnath
Dehradun, Sept 28: The Uttarakhand government has sought to dispel the perception that tourist spots in the state were in disarray following the mid-June natural calamity there, saying that 90 per cent of the destinations are in fact unaffected.

"From the tourism point of view, 90 per cent of the tourist spots in the state, including Mussoorie, Nainital, Rishikesh and Haridwar, are absolutely safe. "These places were almost unaffected by the calamity and there is no risk in visiting them," tourism minister Amrita Rawat said in Delhi yesterday at the launch of a campaign to provide a boost to tourism in Himalayan states.

The campaign was launched by the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Chiranjeevi, an official release here said. Rawat said that only 10 per cent of the tourist destinations, part of the 'Char Dham Yatra' circuit, suffered extensive damage in the June flash floods.

Efforts were on to gradually repair the damaged infrastructure in the Char Dham area, she added. The flash floods in Uttarakhand, which claimed the lives of hundreds of pilgrims and tourists, generated a sense of insecurity among potential visitors with hotels and resorts in places like Mussoorie and Nainital witnessing bulk cancellations.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Tourism Secretary Umakant Panwar, who also spoke on the occasion, said a 14-km long ropeway will be built between Gaurikund and the Kedarnath shrine. The 14-km trek route between Gaurikund and Kedarnath was badly damaged in the flash floods. Panwar said that the fee charged by the state government for people to visit high-altitude areas had been waived to give a boost to adventure tourism in Uttarakhand.

PTI

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