Tuesday, Apr 30, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
As part of this mega project, the Government has sought the huge area of vacant land on the East Coast Road on a 35-year lease, the Tourism Minister, A. Miller, said today. He was moving the Tourism Budgetary demand in the Assembly.
The Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Jagmohan, after visiting the proposed site, offered to provide both technical and financial assistance for the project.
Envisaged to be a mini India, the project would depict all prominent States in a miniature form, reflecting the cultural heritage of the country. The ethnic village would be equipped with a convention centre, a shopping arcade, a Disney land, handicrafts emporia, an art gallery, a yoga centre, a spiritual kendra, a food court, a golf course, a helipad and tourist information centres.
`Garden of Peace'
A ``Garden of Peace'' with a statue symbolising communal, religious and cultural harmony would be constructed on the outskirts of Chennai city, Mr. Miller said. The complex would house a huge convention hall, a large meditation hall with symbols of all religions, a library and a store with books on different religions. The statue design would be decided after models from leading architects and sculptors were invited.
The Minister said Kanyakumari and Mamallapuram would be developed into world class tourist attractions and Rs. 50 lakhs was earmarked for this project.
Ooty cable car
Steps would be initiated to put up cable cars at Udhagamandalam and Kodaikanal with private sector participation. The globally popular ``Bread and Breakfast'' concept would be launched by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation on an experimental basis, to woo overseas tourists. The department had sought the help of individuals who desired to let out their homes for this project.
Efforts were on to convert mouth of the Adyar river here into a boating attraction, on the lines of Muttukadu, with private sector support. Two new luxury airconditioned Volvo Buses would be acquired soon by the TTDC.
Tourist information offices would be opened in Agra and Jaipur, besides Vishakapatnam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
With an outlay of Rs. 32.64 crores, from Rs. 17.50 crores last year, the Government planned to spend Rs. 12 crores for providing basic infrastructure, besides Rs. 14.50 crores towards publicity.
Earlier, cutting across party affiliations, MLAs urged the Government to bring Pitchavaram, mangrove forest, on the global tourist map by upgrading infrastructure. Permanent steps should be taken to curb the growth of water hyacinth in the Udhagamandalam lake and improve the facilities in the TTDC hotels, they said.
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