HP govt defends setting up of Ski Village project
Shimla, Jun 21 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh government today defended the Himalayan Ski Village being set up at Manali in Kullu district of the state, claiming that it would give boost to tourism and promote winter sports.
The estimated cost of the project had been cut down from 300 million US dollars to 135 million dollars.
The investment,. which now come to Rs 1,581 crore, would be made over a period of five years, an official spokesman said in a release here.
Dispelling apprehensions of the people regarding the ecological damage and environmental degradation due to the project, he said the government was concerned about the environment and had imposed blanket ban on green felling even at the cost of losing a revenue of Rs 1,000 crore every year.
Referring to the statements of noted environmentalist Sunder Lal Bahuguna, he said that ''the misconceptions spread in this regard were far from reality and the government is ensuring that environment is protected along with acceleration in pace of development''.
The spokesman claimed that the government would get a revenue of Rs 10 crore from the project during the very first year which would increase to Rs 100 crore by 2013-14.
Besides, 3,500 local people would get employment and training would be provided to youth in adventure sports activities, he said.
As many as 77 youth were being imparted training abroad and the process would continue for next two years, he said, adding that mandatory provision of employing 70 per cent Himachalis would be strictly implemented in the project.
He said that the Company had submitted the detailed project report (DPR) on March three and the implementation agreement was signed on June five last year.
Hydropower development, tourism and eco-friendly industrial projects were high on the agenda of the government for boosting development and Ski Village project was one such venture, he added.