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Infrastructure boost in Central India

November 13, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Madhya Pradesh, literally, central region, has a lot to offer for those looking for less explored indigenous attractions of India. Heritage rich, naturally endowed state has been aggressively developing its infrastructure since a decade to connect to hidden treasures.

Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary to Chief Minister & Public Service Management, Government of Madhya Pradesh and Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation, said: “The state is rich in diversity, heritage, nature, wildlife and spiritual tourism. Our biggest advantage is the strong support of the Government leadership, with the only state so far to have a tourism cabinet, a subcommittee of the government.”

Aesthtic additions at tourist attractions make a pleasant sight

Wildlife tourism is the most popular attraction of MP, followed by heritage, found in its innumerable historic monuments that are endowed with fine architecture.

Mr Rao said: “Secondly, we have strengthened Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) and have given it a mandate to enter into new, unknown destinations and develop them further to their presence in popular places. It has been playing a vital role in building brand MP. With that, we are now focussing on bringing-in quality private players to set-up tourism infrastructure.”

MPSTDC runs 73 standard budget hotels that include jungle lodges and backwater properties at different tourist attractions, maintains 12 boat clubs at different water bodies and has a fleet of tourist vehicles.

Cable cars at Bedhaghat are an additional attraction

Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board is set-up by bringing-in the departments of finance, forest, urban development, environment and culture along with tourism to focus on bringing-in quality private investors and to promote tourism. The board is chaired by the Chief Minister and Mr Rao is the Managing Director.  Rao said: “Government has land. We have identified large parcels of land and offer it at nominal price to investors to develop tourism infrastructure. Even forts and palaces are on offer at a very low reserve price. Because we understand that renovating such a place is an expensive affair and the Government rather let the private party invest in that.” Everything is available on the website. He added that whoever offers best price and comes with experience in the field is chosen. Up to 30 such expressions have materialised in last two years.

MP has abundance of water bodies

Mr Rao said: “Thirdly, we are developing a network of quality wayside amenities for tourists’ utilisation while using the wide road network of our large state. 70 of the 300 are ready with standardised cuisine, cutlery and crockery. Clean washrooms are available. All 300 will be operational in 3 to 4 years’ time.”

Being the central region of India, MP is well connected by road and rail network to all other regions and wayside amenities at regular intervals are making road travel enjoyable.

Mr Rao said: “We have many water bodies like big rivers, waterfalls and dams and have been developing gardens, water sports and cruising at a dozen water bodies to fill the void of not having a coastline. Indra Sagar, the largest water body, is spread over 950 Sq kms. We have started an 80 day mega water festival event called Jal Mahotsav with a tent city set-up with Swiss air-conditioned tents. This new product will add the third dimension to already popular wildlife and heritage tourism of the state.

One of the modern eco-resorts by MPSTDC

12 of the 16 select water bodies are already catering to water enthusiasts. Infrastructure here is offered to private players for operating tourist activities. Annual Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) is helping showcase new developments in the tourism active state.

The fourth edition of MPTM held in capital Bhopal during last weekend of October had 100 sellers with 200 hosted buyers. Deepika Chowdhry, Founder CEO, Candid India said: “Majority international buyers were from the US and the UK and we also hosted buyers from France, Spain, Australia, Netherlands, Austria and Israel.”

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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