The State government has, as part of its efforts to develop tourism in the State, decided to build heliports in major tourist destinations, including Kalaburagi, Tourism Minister C.P. Yogeshwar has said.
“We have decided to build heliports in major tourist destinations across the State to boost tourism. Kalyana Karnataka has good potential for development of tourism as it has many historical monuments. We have, therefore, included Kalaburagi in the list of places where we are going to build heliports,” Mr. Yogeshwar said during his interaction with mediapersons at the district administrative complex in Kalaburagi on Tuesday.
When asked for details, the Minister said that Bengaluru, Mysuru, Hubballi, Hampi and Mangaluru were the other places where heliports would be developed.
“Just as an airport is for larger flights, a heliport is a permanent place for helicopter operations. It would be larger than a helipad and can accommodate four-five helicopters. We need a minimum of five acres to build a heliport. Each heliport would cost about ₹10 crore,” Mr. Yogeshwar said.
Earlier in the day, the Minister held a meeting of senior officers in the city and discussed the possibility of tourism expansion in the city. With the inputs provided by people’s representatives and the officials, a few places, including Chandrampalli Dam, Amarja Dam, Bhosga Lake and Sonna Barrage, were identified for the development of tourism.
“We have asked the local administration to prepare a detailed project report to develop tourism in these identified places. Infrastructure development is a prerequisite for the development of tourism in any place. We are, therefore, offering 15% of the project cost or ₹5 crore, whichever is lower, for those who come forward to build hotels in tourist destinations. There is a demand from people’s representatives from Kalyana Karnataka to increase the incentive to 25% and we will consider it,” he said.
When asked about the government’s apathy to the development of Sannati, one of the major Buddhist sites in India, which was excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India, Tourism Department Secretary Pankaj Kumar Pandey said that his department would take up the issue with the Union government and try to add the ASI site in the country’s Buddhist Circuit.
Kalaburagi Lok Sabha member Umesh Jadhav, legislators M.Y. Patil, Dattatreya Patil Revoor, Basavaraj Mattimud, B.G. Patil, Rajkumar Patil Telkur, Deputy Commissioner Vijaya Jyothsna, Chief Executive Officer Dileesh Sasi and Kalaburagi City Municipal Corporation Commissioner Snehal Lokhande were present.
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