Tourism players seek Rs 3,000 cr from Centre to develop sector in Odisha

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Stake holders in the travel and tourism industry have sought Rs 3,000 crore from the new Union government for development of the sector in Odisha.

“Prime Minister had declared tourism as a priority subject and we, therefore, appeal before the Prime Minister for giving a special package of Rs 3,000 crore to develop tourism of Odisha, which has the highest tourism potential in eastern India. The Ministry of Tourism has always focused on Kerala, Goa, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra and Rajasthan and eastern India particularly Odisha has always been neglected,” J K Mohanty, Chairman Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) and IATO (Indian Association of Tour Operators) eastern region wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The demand for grant includes building hotels in the state (Rs 1,000 crore), Rs 100 crore towards development of Buddhist circuit, Rs 500 crore for building an international standard convention centre in collaboration with the World Trade Centre.

HRAO has also sought Rs 500 crore before the Central government towards development of Biju Patnaik Park situated at Chilika lake, Rs 250 crore for infrastructure development at Puri-Konark Marine Drive, Rs 650 crore required for infrastructure development at Samuka Beach, among others.

The extremely sever cyclone Fani which made land fall in Odisha’s Puri had caused widespread damage to the tourism sector.

“The cyclone Fani although affected the tourism of Odisha, but we are quite confident with the support of the central and state government the tourism industry of Odisha will bounce back before Rath Yatra”, Mohanty added in the letter.