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K'taka: Govt apathy hindering tourism development

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

Mysore, Jan 14: The backward Chamarajanagara district, despitehaving enough tourism potential, continues to languish due to lack ofbasic infrastructure and ''apathy'' of the Karnataka Government.

The existence of several places of historical and tourist interestlike the Bandipur National park, the Biligiri Ranga temple, Cauverywildlife sanctuary, Male Mahadeshwara hills, Himavad Gopalaswamy hillsand B R hills, within a radius of 100 km from the district centre,provided immense scope to the tourism industry. But precious little hadbeen done by the tourism department to put in place requisitefacilities.

The consequent poor inflow of tourists had taken its toll on thetourism industry in the district, which had reported low profits,underlining the urgent need to promote the industry, experts felt.

Official sources told UNI that the NABARD, in its district ruralindustries project survey, had reported that there was tremendous scopefor development of tourism in the district. There was potential forsetting up 30 enterprises in various religious and entertainment spotsto provide employment opportunities to about 300 people with creditabsorption of Rs 405 lakhs.

According to the survey, the total sales revenue from tourismcould increase from the current level of Rs 809.65 lakhs to Rs 1,148.25lakhs, up by 40 per cent. The local people blame the State Governmentfor its failure to take steps for the promotion of tourism in the area.

The sources said tourism in the district had taken a beating followingthe presence of dreaded forest brigand Veerappan at M M Hills area.However, after his elimination in 2004, tourists have been visitingvarious tourist spots without any fear. They said Himavad Gopalaswamyhills near Gundlupet town, covered in mist throughout the year andnestled amidst Bandipur national tiger project, could emerge as apopular haunt for wildlife enthusiasts. It was an abode of wildelephants. Similarly, Karivardarajaswamy temple atop a small hill, alsoknown as Huligina Maradi Venkateshwaraswamy Betta, Madhyaragana templenear Shivasamudra, Chamarajeshwara temple and its annual festival inChamarajanagara town, Chandramouleshwara temple and Dewan Puraniah'shouse in Yelandur town and K.Gudi jungle resorts could all be exploitedfor their tourism potential, the officials felt.

Lack of proper connectivity in the absence of good roads and raillink to places of tourist interest had affected efforts to popularisethese spots in the district, bordering both Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The conversion of the existing metre gauge railway track betweenMysore and Chamarajanagara to broad gauge was one project that couldbenefit thousands of unemployed youth and propel the growth of thedistrict. Only two pairs of trains were run on the 61 km stretch andthe gauge conversion could reduce the running time by half from thepresent two hours.

While inaugurating the railway line on August 22, 1926, the thenMaharaja of Mysore Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV had dreamt about extension ofthe line to Mettupalayam in Tamil Nadu. Despite Karnataka contributingseveral Railway Ministers - S Gopalaswamy Iyengar, H C Dasappa, C MPoonacha, A Kengal Hanumanthaiya, T A Pai, C K Jaffer Sharief andGeorge Fernandes - it was unfortunate that the project did not getsufficient takers.


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