Utilise Government Grants for Tourism Projects – Lakshmi Hebbalkar
Udupi: Udupi district in-charge Minister Lakshmi Hebbalkar on Monday, August 14, directed the district administration to add 32 more locations to the list of already identified 48 tourist locations in the district. She told officials to properly utilise the government grants for tourism projects and complete them on time. If there is any shortage of funds, she would get the same released from the government.
Reviewing the progress of the Tourism Department at Rajatadri in Manipal, Hebbalkar said that tourism development besides helping tourists to savour natural beauty, would also economically empower the local community and make them self-reliant.
A majority of tourists limit their visits to Kaup, Malpe and Maravanthe beaches during their trips. However, there are many more beautiful beaches and tourist attractions in the district, she said, asking officials to popularise such places to attract more footfall.
The administration should provide basic infrastructure to tourists visiting places in the district, she said and asked the officials to provide drinking water, fresh water for bathing, toilets, parking and other facilities. Steps should be taken to display information/caution boards and deploy Pravasi Mithras to ensure the safety of tourists.
Though Karnataka has attractive beaches, beach tourism is yet to gain popularity like in Goa for lack of infrastructure and other facilities. Officials should get no-objection certificates for tourism projects from concerned departments on priority. Water sports and other adventure sports should be encouraged along beaches, she said.
During her visit to the district, Hebbalkar inaugurated the Sanjeevini Supermarket managed by women members of Samruddhi Sanjeevini Self-Help Group from Cherkadi at the Udupi Taluk Panchayat premises. The Minister congratulated the SHG members for their initiative and said such a measure would go a long way in the economic empowerment of women.
Later, Hebbalkar visited the material recovery facility (MRF) at Nitte in Karkala taluk managed by start-up M/s Mangala Resource Management Pvt., Ltd., Mangaluru, along with Karkala MLA V. Sunil Kumar. MRF collects and processes dry waste from 42-gram panchayats of Karkala, Udupi, Kaup and Hebri taluks.
She also inaugurated several projects, including a market complex built by the Coastal Development Authority at Mudar Gram Panchayat in Karkala taluk.
Later addressing the gathering, Lakshmi Hebbalkar said that the development of the district is her goal and there will be no politics when it comes to development. The panchayat is doing a good job, the Minister complimented. The district has seen all-round development within 25 years of its formation.”
Gram Panchayats did not command much respect earlier and they gained prominence after the UPA government introduced the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act Scheme, Ms Hebbalkar noted. If MGNREGA was not introduced, the panchayats had to work with a meagre allocation of Rs 3 lakh per year.
Through Rajeev Gandhi Seva Kendra, gram panchayats are provided with a Rs 25 lakh grant for their building. Panchayats have grown stronger after the MGNREGA implementation. The Minister advised the panchayat members to work hard, utilising the opportunity given to them by people.
Karkala MLA V. Sunil Kumar, Deputy Commissioner K. Vidya Kumari, Assistant Commissioner Rashmi and others were present.