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Floating huts on lake, submarine to see submerged Old Tihri to be tourist attractions in Uttarakhand

By Vinod

Tihri (Garhwal): Despite two Union ministers - Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Culture Minister Mahesh Chandra Sharma - failing to make it to National Cultural Festival and Tihri Lake Festival due to fourth anniversary celebrations of the Modi government at the Centre, the Uttarakhand government has been able to showcase Tihri Lake Festival which was unique and new not only to the state but to the country as well. The state also plans to create a Ganga Museum to tell people the importance of Ganga in their lives.

Image for representation only

As per the officials of the Central government, this is the ninth National Cultural Festival being organized in Uttarakhand along with Karnataka as its pair state that was decided by the Prime Minister's Office. It has already taken place in nine states including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and some other states before Uttarakhand.

The state government has plans to connect Gangotri and Hemkund Saheb with ropeway and all-weather road. Rural tourism and paragliding, parasailing, hot balloon, water skiing and many other water sports are some other things that have already been introduced in the Tihri Lake. The government has named rural tourism as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Paryatan Programme.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat told OneIndia, "From the next year Sea Plane will be introduced at Tihri Lake. A team of experts had already surveyed the area to give its feasibility and clearance has been given to the project. This was informed to me by honourable Union minister Nitin Gadkari."

The Chief Minister further said, "The idea of organizing Tihri Festival was conceived in 2010 by me as a minister in the state government and was started it with a low key affair. This is the 8th edition of this festival which we intend to gradually make this an international affair."

He said, "We had been demanding to give tourism a status of Industry but it did not happen. We did it by having our cabinet here only on May 16."

The state government has some very ambitious plans to attract tourists. Uttarakhand Culture Minister Satpal Mahraj said that chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat had already planned 13 districts and 13 tourist destination.

"We have floating huts in Tihri Lake which is only available in Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives. This is exclusively in Uttarakhand. Besides that all other water sports that included Scuba Dive, Motor Boat, and many other water sports in the Tihri Lake, the government plans submarine in the lake to show the people clock tower of the old Tihri that is now submerged in the Lake," he added.

The CM said that the state needs lots of investment so investors are welcomed in the state.

"My recent visit to Thailand was very encouraging where lots of investors from the hospitality industry have shown their interest to invest into Uttarakhand. Since this is a place where wellness tourism and Yoga tourism have the scope to flourish, people are getting attracted towards it. Film shooting is another area where the state has lots of scope," the CM said.

The CM had met two-time national award-winning actor Ajay Devgan, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar on May 25, 2018, to discuss its scope in the state and superstar of the Tamil cinema Mahesh Babu too has shown keen interest to shoot his films there when he had met the CM. The state has promised to give them all facilities that they need.

The state government has been wooing to develop it as a better tourist destination in the country than anyone and even better than Goa by providing all necessary amenities.

Officials said that with the four-lane road, the connectivity will be very good; rail connectivity is also being built because infrastructure is the big hurdle even today. They state with the help of the Centre is working on it. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre focused its attention to provide better infrastructure at least better connectivity which is helping the state in its endeavor to improve infrastructure.

However, on interacting with some visitors who have come to participate or see the festivals, they complained about the scarcity of hotels and lack of infrastructure. They also complained about government machinery's lackadaisical approach towards festivals and visitors. On being asked about these complaints, the officials said that Uttarakhand is a new state so these is teething trouble that the state will overcome very soon.

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