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Documentation
Update

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2005-06

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Our Note

| J)o('uI1H'Il/ulin)) ('pc/ulc |
• HOW CREDIBLE IS "INCREDIBLE INDIA!"? •
Making a mark on the international tourism map
The final report published in Feb, 06 of the Tourism Satellite Account (SA) for India prepared by the National
Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) for the Ministry of Tourism provides insights into the role of
tourism in Indian economy. The report emphasizes that Indian tourism has come of ag and is internationally
comparable and credible. Global recognition to Indian tourism has been accorded by the 73rd session of
Executive Council of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWO) where Secretary General, Francesco Frangialli,
praising the country's tourism policy and the "Incredible India" campaign, said that he hoped the country
would record the highest growth rate in tourist arrivals by the end of this year. I ndia's tourist arrival growh
rate in 04·05 of 13%, matching that of China's, has upgraded India's position as a preferred tourism
destination in Asia. India's status in the world tourism scenario was further enhanced when it was unanimously
elected as a membr of the Executiv Council of the UNWO. Financially too, tourism has become a priority
sector at the central and state levels. The plan allocation for tourism sector at the central govrnment level
has increased from Rs. 786 crores in 2005·06 to Rs.830 crores in 2006-07, out of which 422.5 crores is for
the development of tourism infrastructure alone.
The 'Incredible India' campaign and extensiv promotional initiatives of the Irdian Goernment in tourism has
been attributed as a key reason for India's positioning as an important tourism player. There has been a
significant expansion of the Incredible India campaign and it has come to include several more states and
regions under its focus. The campaign has also resulted in states competing with each other for central
budgetary alocations and hiring national and international consultants to promote tourist destinations more
aggressively, incorporating new rhetoric and concepts such as ecotourism, farm tourism, rural tourism and
other such forms. In the light of the growing success of Indian tourism internationally, even greater emphasis
has been laid on "high value, low volume" tourism in some of the states· the rationale of such assumption
being that high value tourism will induce development of high end infrastructure with added financial gains
through tourism revenues.
In its bid to continuously improvise and take new
'
shapes and forms to attract all kinds of clientele - the
latest buzzword is medical tourism. The trend is of promoting different cities such as Hyderabad, Bangalore
and Delhi as hubs for medical tourism to attract international patients into large private·run hospitals that �
offer specialized medical services at prices much lower than international standards. The 'greet and treat'
concept is integral to this new idea. The central Tourism Ministry is participating at the Medical Tourism Expo
in the UK in June 2006 to showcase the medical facilities available in India. Although foreigners and NRls
coming to India for treatment is not a recent trend, the last few years have seen the Tourism Department
leveraging this trend to package it as a new tourism product of "Medical Tourism" with simplified visa
procedures for international patients being outlined prominently inthe national tourism website.
Flying high - tourism and the aviation sector boom in India
The tremendous boom in the aviation industry 2005·06 has resulted in better connectivity between tourism
destinations all over the country. There has been a growing trend of low cost private airlines aggressively
entering the market. The sectors, which were considered economically non viable earlier (like North Eastcand
Andaman) are now well connected even by private airlines. Our section C24 - Civil aviation highlights this
trend. It is expected that domestic tourism sector will witness an upward growth with air travel no longer a
privileged mode of transport for the .soCial and economic ele. Entry of new players has not only Jed to
aggressive p'rice wars but the adoption of novel marketing strategies by airlines to attract customers. One
such strategy in particular chooses to highlight its female staff on board as "models in the air". The boming
aviation sector has also brought in additional proposals of the modernization and privatization of airport. at
major I ndia cities -a mov which saw vehement callenge by workers unions but which the central government
is determined to see through ..
Business as usual
For the l ast 50 years, mini ng, dam projects and industries conti nue to feed voraciousl y on natural res' ource
rich areas and be maj or threats to i ndi genous and l ocal communities, and the envi ronment. The threats from
these devel opments have been visibl e enough and have generated i mmense resi st ance from adivasi
com mu n ities across states. Tou rism too, i s gradua I ly a nd subtl y penetrati ng t r i ba I areas usi ng forests, water
and tribal cul ture as potenti al products. I n 2005 the Government of I ndia introduced the Forest Rights Bil l ,
which f or the first t i me recogni zed the rights of forest dwe l l i ng communities over their resources. However
since its introduction in Parl iament, 9 months a nd three parl iamentary sessions l ater, no decision has been
taken yet on its status. Significa nt opposition to its tabl ing has been from a section of 'conservati onists and
wil dl ife experts' who have contested the bil l on the grounds that granting more rights to i ndi genous and l ocal
communi ties over forest l ands woul d resul t in biodiversity l oss and habi tat change. Simul taneously the very
same Government has, in a rather sneaky manner, brought back Schedul e V and VI areas wi thin the ambit of
the country's commitments under WTO agreements l ike the GATS wi th 10 stakehol der consul tation. With the
al ready rampant privatization of common property resources in these a reas, exp
o
sure to the GATS and the
foil o i ng investment in service sectors wil l increase the threat being faced by indigenous communities. Tourism
being a n i mportant service sector wil l have a free reign, without being accountabl e for its adverse i mpacts.
No l onger a col l uder but a key faci l itator in the process of non- pa rti cipatory devel opment- is the centra l
gover nment with the star rol e being pl ayed by the Ministry of Environment a nd Forests-MoEF The Ministry
is on a d rive to do away wi th even the meager protection that current environmental l aws offer to suit the
needs and demands of i ndust ry giants_ As part of I ndia's commi tments to i mpl ement the Convention on
Biol ogi cal Diversi ty (CBD), a National Biodiversity Strategy a nd Action Pl an ( NBSAP) was prepared in 2002
through a consul tative process but has not been a pproved to date. The reason quoted is that it i s 'unscientific. '
The Envi ronment al I mpact Assessment (EI A) Not i fication f i rst i ssued in 1 994 was withdrawn a nd EI A for
tourism has been removed i n the new draft Notification. The Coastal Regul ationZone (CRZ) Notification issued
in 1 991 , first dil uted by touri sm l obby that wanted a free entry into coastal stretches has been amended 20
times to date - with each a mendment f ur ther di l uti ng i ts provisions. But now the MoEF has deci ded to
repl ace the CRZ Notification with a management pl an. These wel l orchestrated changes at the pol i cy a nd
l egal spaces has effectivel y given t ouri sm a hol i day f rom accountabil ity a nd i s business a s usual with no
pretensi ons of a tint of green.
As we go i nto press wi th this issue of the DocUpdate, pol i cy batl el i nes a re bei ng drawn on SEZ, on Rehabil itation
and Resel l ement pol ici es, and tryi ng to ensure that the hard fought Right to I nformation i s not dil uted.
As people continue to fight and struggle ...
With a devel opment model that is cl earl y not i n favour of the maj ority of its peopl e but oriented to suit the
needs of the country's soci al a nd economic el ite, communi ti es and affected peopl e have come together in
their fight to recl ai m democracy and the right to determi ne thei r form and pace of devel opment. The past
yea r has seen many a struggl e - by the adivasis of Kal inga Nagar against the mini ng pl ans of i ndust ry giant
Tata on their lands; by the peopl e of Chattisgarh to recl ai m the right over their river water which was cal l ously
sol d away, by the peopl e of the Northeast against state oppression, mi l i tari zation and a n i mposed model of
devel opment fuel l ed by money and support from international instituti ons l ike the Wor l d Bank and ADB; by
farmers from across the country protesting in Hong Kong against the WTO-induced trade regi me in agricul ture
that threatens the livel ihoods of mil l i ons i n I ndia and other farming countries; by the vi l lagers of Pl achimada
agai nst Coca Col a to stop the col a gi ant f rom using and contami nating the water of the vil l age; by the sl um
dwel l ers of I ndia's burgeoni ng metropol ises to fight for space and the righ't to l ive wi th dignity; by the bar girl s
of Mumba i to retain their right to work a nd feed their fami l ies. As the poor, u nder- pri vil eged and social l y
ma rginal ized continue to fight, the gover nment has not only conti nued to endorse such a n a nti - peopl e
devel opment model but has used i ts state and mil itary power to suppress voi ces of opposition a nd rebel l i on.
The current for m of tourism devel opment i s a component of this paradi gm that continues to support the
privi l eged without tendi ng to the needs and aspirations of communities which has a nd wil l continue to inspi re
campai gns towards a more j ust and democratic model .
This issue of the DocUpdate covers the peri od April 2005 to March 2006. The information i ncl uded i s indicative,
tracing tourism, devel opment and other broader issues, with the focus being l argely on I ndia. The i nformati on
is organised and presented based according to the sections and sub-sections of EQUAT I ONS documentation
centres cl assification code. T he data at the end of each item indicates the source. Pl ease refer to the source
index for a bbreviations used.
We wou l d l i ke to acknowl edge the contribl6 bv
'
N
f
n a Rao{Oel hi), Bai l ancho Saad (Goa) and Citizen,
Consumer a nd Civic Action Group (Chennai) for providing us with cl i ppings a nd reports.
Notwithstanding the del ay in bringing this issue to you, we hope you find it useful and informative. We woul d
a ppreciate receiving feedback a bo

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EQUATIQNS Team
Novemb!r 2006
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.CONTENTS.
A -TOURISM AND TOURISM ALTERNATIVES
B - TOURISM POLICY AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
C -TOURISM ECONOMY, INDIAN ECONOMY
o -TOURISM PROMOTION AND TYPES OF TOURISM
E -TOURISM, SOCIETY AND IMPACTS
G - COASTAL REGIONS
H -HILL AND MOUNTAIN REGIONS
K - KARNATAKA
L -KERALA
M -TAMIL NADU
N -ANDHRA PRADESH
P-GOA
Q -NORTH EAST
S -OTHER STATES
T - FOREIGN COUNTRIES
U - INTERNATIONAL ECONMY
x - CULTURE AND SOCIETY
Z - MISCELLANEOUS
TSR - TSUNAMI
Source Index
5
8
14
45
61
75
77
79
93
105
109
113
120
121
145
150
156
162
163
167
• A - TOURISM AND TOURISM ALTERNATIVES .
AOO Tourism, Travel
Destination tourism is a crashing bore. To the gl obetrotter, Paris, New York, Dubai, Si ngapore, even the Al ps,
i s so ' common' . For the domestic tourist, travel hotspots a re where you bump into the very peopl e you a re
taking a break from: Pesky col l eagues and neighbou rs. Trekking, snorkeiling, even bird watching a re victims
of mass tourism and brochure promotions.
For the bored vacationer, the Lonel y Pl anet Guide to Experiment al Travel offers refreshing departures. "Forget
package hol idays a nd cl assic routes", it says. Rewri te travel rul es.
Experience. Rel ate. Look at travel through a l ateral fil ter. There a re al ternative ways to be a touri st, Vi si t the
wor l d in creative, exciting a nd unusual ways. The trick is to "discover pl aces that have no rea son to exist".
Earl ier, hol i day-travel was for pl easure i t was escape from rea l ity today it is escape from comfort- induced
boredom.
Disaster tourism or travel l ing to a scene of di saster -to tSunami-ravaged beach desti nations l i ke Phuket
and the Andaman I sl ands; terrorist-ta rgets l i ke Egypt's Luxor and Shei k- al -Sharif, New York's Ground Zero
and the Bal i I sl ands a nd vi si ts to battl e- sites l ike Kargil -a re being described more as voyeur's choice, a
hindrance to rel i ef a nd rehabil itation work. Promoters say it sensitises peopl e to the pl i ght of the a ffected
and hel ps kick-start the l ocal economy.
Surreal ists and psycho-geographers, modern a lternati ve thi nkers, espouse a phi l osophy that seems to say:
Let chance be you r gui de. A para l l el i s d rawn between experimental t ravel and sur real i st phi l osophy: ' I t
thrives on the tensi on between premeditation and spontaneity. The real isation that reason a nd a nt i - reason,
sense and nonsense, design and chance, consciousness and u nconsciousness, bel ong to each other as
necessary parts of the whol e".
Experimental travel invol ves constant reinventi on and c reati vi ty expenments incl ude Bl i nd Man' s Bug, Sl ow­
return and Era-tourism_ Ero·touri sm is an experiment for coupl es, to a rrive separatel y in an unknown foreign
city and then find one another without havi ng recourse to a ny means of communicati on, a nd wi thout havi ng
decided on a meeting pl ace. Bl ind Man's Buff, as the name suggests, is one partner bl indfol ding himsel f and
' seei ng' and experiencing the j ourney a nd desti nati on through the eyes of his companion. Sl ow-retu rn travel
means j ust that: Get to a destination via the fastest mode of trav�1 and then cha l k out you r ret urn through the
sl owest possi bl e way
Anachronist i c adventure entai l s t ravel l ing back in time by usi ng, for i nstance, a Penny Farthing or hot- ai r
bal l oon, navigating a town or vil l age i n peri od costume, to experience the pace and style of travel of a bygone
age with greater authenticity Past-travel woul d incl ude usi ng an out- of- date gui debook to expl ore a city whil e
not i ng the changes that have occurred over time. The Lonel y Pl anet cal l s this compa rative anachronistic
tourism.
Counter·tourism a critique of cl assical tou rism -doing the opposite of what you thi nk a travel l er shoul d
do, l i ke taking pict ures with you r back t o key tourist sites, The resul ts coul d be exciting and revel atory_
Experimental travel is a pl ayful way of travel l i ng, where the j ourney's methodol ogy a cl ear but the destination
i s unknown . Get adventurous. Hasn' t it been said that it is the jou rney not the desti nation that matters?
(Death of the Desti nati on, TOLB, 05. 09. 05, AOO)
Year 2005 can perhaps a ptl y be described as the ' Year of the Travel l er' . After a l l , when el se has there been
a time in the I ndi an t ravel i ndustry when air travel was cheaper than rail , ai r-tickets were commonl y sol d for
Rs 1 and you bought you r rail ticket on the mobil e phone en route to the rail way stati on!
Much has changed on the travel l andscape an
d
then agai n so much remai ns to be done. Whi l e domesti c
avi ati on has cl earl y l ed the march, novel di st ri buti on i deas have made a dramati c i mpact on the l andscape.
El ectroni c di stri buti on vi a the I nternet attai ned popul ar i ty i n a rel at i vel y short ti me· span as customers
embraced e· commerce for all the advantages i t brought to thei r fi ngertips.
Power to the consumer ( read travel l er) was the domi nant theme across most changes. Customers demanded
more c hoi ce i n a l l aspect s modes of t ravel , choi ce of carri ers, hotel s and desti nat i ons. And suppl i ers
readi l y pl ayed bal l i n a desperate race for the ephemeral market l eader status. The i rony remai ned that
suppl y rarel y met demand and yet most ai rl i nes were prepared to bend over backwards to secure a lead i n
the ephemeral market share game.
Admi ttedl y, the hospi tal i ty sector presented qui te a d i fferent story. Demand outstri pped suppl y at most
ti mes of the year and t hi s resul ted i n hotel s pri ci ng thei r rooms at ast ronomi cal pri ces and actual l y getti ng
away wi th i t. Ci ti es l i ke Bangal ore, Pune and Del hi went i nto a chroni c 'sol d· out' si tuati on, fuel l ed l argel y by
busi ness travel that emanated from a boomi ng corporate cl i me. It is a pi ti ful fact that the sum total of hotel
rooms i n I ndi a i s l ess than that I d the ci ty of Las Vegas or as I recentl y l earnt l ess than one sub· brand of the
Marri ott chai n of hotel s!
Whi l e we often tend t o l ump travel and touri sm i n one compartment, t he truth i s t hat whi l e compl ementary,
they are qui te di fferent i n nature. I ndi a i s gal l opi ng away to new hei ghts i n the travel category (ai r, hotel , taxi s,
etc. , fuel l ed by a robust economy); much remai ns to be achi eved on the touri sm si de. The onl y form boomi ng
i s outbound touri sm and as t he name suggests, i ts benefi ts accrue to forei gn countri es that are cl ever
enough to attract I ndi ans to thei r modest but wel l · packaged attracti ons. I nbound touri sm i s actual l y growi ng
at a medi ocre rate. And i t's due to the i nherent i nfrastructural bottl enecks i n the travel ecosystem. (Advantage
travel l er, Deep Kal ra , FE. B, 25. 1 2. 05, AOO)
The Acropol i s i n Athens made i t , as di d Angkor Wat templ e i n Cambodi a, Chi na' s Great Wal l , the Col osseum
i n Rome, the I nca templ e of Machu Pi cchu i n Peru, Stonehenge i n Engl and and the Moai -the Easter I sl and
statues. Less i mmedi atel y obvi ous choi ces i n a fi nal short l i st of 21 contenders for the New Seven Wonders
of t he Worl d, announced i n Swi tzerl and, i ncl uded the Kreml i n i n Moscow, the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of
Uberty.
More than 1 9 mi l l i on voters have so far taken part i n what i ts organi sers cal l the "worl d's fi rst gl obal voti ng
campai gn" , nomi nat i ng hundreds of si tes they consi der worthy ri val s to the seven wonders of the anci ent
worl d named by Anti pater of Si don and Phi l on of Byzanti um i n 200 BC. (Gl obal vote for new seven wonders,
Jon Henl ey, BL. B, 03. 01 . 06, AOO)
AlO Tourism and Development
Gi vi ng a further boost to the aggressi ve ' I ncredi bl e I ndi a' campai gn of I ndi a tou ri sm, the presti gi ous UK
magazi ne Conde Nast Travel l er has rated the country 5th among the top 1 0 travel dest i nati ons i n the worl d.
"Conde Nast's recogni ti on confi rms I ndi a's growi ng stature as a fastest growi ng touri sm desti nati on, " Mi ni ster
of State for Tou ri sm Renukha Chowdhury sai d. The ranki ngs are an i ndex of sati sfacti on wi th travel faci l i ti es
a nd servi ces, scored out of a maxi mum of 1 00. I n the readers' travel awa rds questi onnai re, readers were
asked to choose the best that the travel worl d has to offer· everyt hi ng from hotel s and spas to ai r l i nes and
ai rports. ( i ndi a among t op 10 touri st desti nati ons, I E. C, 1 1 . 1 0. 05, A1 0)
ABO Tourism Research / Education
Fl ustered by the growi ng poachi ng of i ts ai r crew i ncl udi ng co· pi l ots and engi neers by the competi tors, Ai r
Deccan , has deci ded t o meet the probl em head on by setti ng up an i nternati onal standard school for trai ni ng
pi l ots, engi neers and ai r crew. The worl d cl ass i nsti tuti on woul d not only meet t he capt ive requi rements of Ai r
Deccan but even provi de trai ni ng faci l i ti es to other ai rl i nes i n I ndi a and abroad. The overal l i nvestment on the
new project, schedu l ed to start soon, woul d be over around $25 mn. (Ai r Deccan to start trai ni ng school ,
TS. D, 1 3. 05. 05, A80)
The Federati on of Hotel & Restaura nt Associ ati ons of I ndi a ( FHRAI ) has si gned an agreement wi th Ecol e
Hotel i er de Lausanne ( EHL) of Swi tzerl and for consul tancy and i ts academi c affi l i ati on for the new FHRAI
I nsti tute of Hospi tal i ty Management bei ng establ i shed i n Greater Noi da. The i nst i tute wi l l begi n operati on
from August 05. The federati on's Vi ce· Presi dent, Mr S. K. Khul l ar, sai d that t hi s was fi rst t i me i n the country
that a management i nsti tute of i nternati onal standards for t he hospi tality i ndustry was bei ng set up by the
apex body, whi ch has about 2, 700 members i n 300 ci ti es. ( Hotel s federati on i n pact wi th Swi ss co to set u p
i nsti tute, Badal Sanyal , BL. B, 20. 05. 05, A80)
The travel i ndustry i s faci ng a manpower cri si s wi th agenci es not attracti ng the ri ght ki nd of tal ent any more.
The opportuni ty to travel and have a good soci al l i fe, once the perks of the travel busi ness, are no l onger the
preserve of t hose who work i n t hi s fi el d.
Ms Shobana Lazari us, Managi ng Di rector, Sky Routes I ndi a Pvt Ltd, sai d that agenci es are unabl e to attract
tal ent mai nl y because of t hei r i nabi l i ty to match the sal ari es pai d by t he busi ness process outsourc i ng
(BPO) compan i es.
I n t he smal l er agenci es, the entry- l evel sal ary for a fresh graduate i n Chennai wi l l be Rs 2, 500 to Rs 3, 000,
whi l e sal ari es at the l arger ones may go up to Rs 4, 000 to Rs 6, 000. A fresher wi th a si mi l ar qual i fi cati on wi l l
get about Rs 1 0, 000 i n a BPO_
Untrai ned manpower i s the bi ggest drawback for t he i ndust ry. Travel compani es do not want to spend on
trai ni ng thei r manpower and moreover, there i s no such i nfrastruct ure avai l abl e wi th them, sai d Mr Kani al
Hi ngorani , Head & Vi ce Presi dent, Kuoni Academy of Travel .
Accordi ng to the Worl d Travel and Touri sm Counci l report, the demand for trai ned manpower i n the travel
i ndustry i s 1 0 l akh persons a year. Mr Ki ngaran i sai d t hat only a fracti on of t hi s demand i s met. There are a
few i nsti tutes and col l eges, whi ch now offer travel and touri sm courses.
Travel agenci es are addi ng a cal l centre model to the tradi ti onal busi ness model . The best part of i t i s that a
young recrui t can al so l ook at run n i ng hi s own busi ness aft er gai ni ng the rel evant experi ence i n a t ravel
agency, he sai d. (Travel agenci es face shortage of manpower, Ni na Varghese, BL. B, 06. 09. 05, A80)
The Kol kata- based I nter nati onal Group, whi ch runs t hree hofel management i nsti tutes i n I ndi a under the
I nternati onal I nst i tute of Hotel Management banner, has fi r med up pl ans to set up a hotel management
i nsti tute i n Dubai . The proposed i nst i tute, fi rst of i ts ki nd i n t he Emi rates, i s set to become operati onal by
Apri l t hi s year.
It wi l l offer a three·year, ful l ·ti me undergraduate degree course i n I nternati onal Hospi tal i ty Management. I t wi l l
be l ocated i n Dubai 's Knowl edge Vi l l age.
The Dubai venture wi l l entai l an i nvestment of Rs 20· 25 crore that wi l l be generated from i nternal accrual s
and other sources of f i nance. Whi l e t he hospi tal i ty i ndust ry there generates a huge demand f or trai ned
professi onal s, the avai l abi l ity of those trai ned l ocal ly i s scarce. ( I nternati onal Group pl ans hotel mgmt i nsti tute
i n Dubai , Ambar Si ngh Roy, BL. B, 09. 01 . 06, A80)
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• B TOURI SM POLICY AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT .
BOO Tourism Policy and Plans
Gi ving a maj or push to t he Ati thi Devo Bhava campai gn, Uni on Mi ni stry of Tour i sm i s conveni ng a national
meet of nodal offi cers f rom di fferent U ni on Mi ni stri es and State Gover nments. "The basi c i dea i s to assi gn
def i ni tive rol es to al l mi ni stri es, departments and State Governments and gear them up for the campai gn."
The Del hi meeting was ai med at achi evi ng coordi nati on between vari ous Goernment departments that di rectl y
deal t wi th i ssues rel ated to tour i sm. (Centre cal l s meet to rev up touri sm dr i ve, K V Kurmanath, Blo B;
1 2.5. 05, BOO)
To attract more touri sts, the home mi ni st ry i s consi deri ng two cruci al proposal s. Fi r st, is the vi sa on ar ri val
scheme for touri sts from 1 6 countri es, i ncl udi ng Austral i a, New Zeal and. Swi tzer l and, Norway and some
Lat i n Ameri can countri es. Second, the Mi ni stry i s consi deri ng eas i ng the Restricted Area Prmit and Protected
Area Per mi t for forei gners goi ng to the Northeast. Thi s wi l l hel p boost tour i sm in t he regi on . (Govt. pl ans to
repackage Desti nati on I ndi a, Raj ni sh Sharma, HTD, 3 1 . 05. 05, BOO)
A reu ni fi cati on of t he mi ni stri es of cul ture and tour i sm i s l i kel y to come about when t he U ni on Cabi net i s
reshuff l ed i n J uly. Both the cul ture and tour i sm mi n i stries have been i n the eye of a stor m ever since t he
formati on of t he UPA goernment l ast year. The Touri sm Mi ni ster, Mrs Renuka Chaudhary, has been a l ittl e too
outspoken, much to t he d i scomfort of her sen i ors. A seni or cul tu re mi n i st ry offici al sai d there had been
practi cal di ffi cul ti es i n executi ng projects as touri sm and cul ture coul d not real ly be l ooked upon as separate
enti ti es. ( Mi ni stry mel di ng l i kel y for cul ture, tourism, Sanjay Si ngh, TS. D, 03. 06. 05, BOO)
The Mi ni stry of Touri sm recentl y announced plans to restart the touri st gui de exam after nine years. Last hel d
i n 1 996, the exam wi l l now be conducted on December 29, 2005.
Language experts had approached the court wi th a peti ti on to hol d the exam so that they too coul d qual ify
as t our i st gui des. The exam wi l l be hel d every two years i n a bi d to streaml i ne t he need for professi onal
gui des i n the country. Two t rai ni ng programmes wi l l al so start from August 29, a four month freshers course
and a one- month refreshers course. These programmes wi l l i ncul cate i n the takers knowl edge about I ndi an
cul t ure and p repare as pi rants for t he exam. The mi n i st ry al so pl ans to have a s peci al quota for wi ves of
defence personnel . (Touri st gui de exam to be started agai n after 9 years, Shveta Bhagat, TOI . D, 06. 09. 05,
BOO)
Among the new projects of the Uni on Mi ni st ry of Tour i sm i ncl ude:
+ Ai r Indi a to di spl ay ' I ncredi bl e I ndi a' on tai l of sel ected ai rcraft
+Touri sm themes musi c to be made avai l abl e at Mi crosoft Wi ndow
+ Touri st taxi s to run wi th ' I ncredi bl e I ndi a' graffi ti
+ Si ght seei ng package for underpri vi l eged chi l dren from orphanages
+ Excl usi ve websi te on rural desti nati ons
( New i ni ti ati ves l aunched on Worl d Touri sm Day, I E. C. 28. 09. 05, BOO)
U ni on Touri sm Mi ni ster Renuka Chowdhury sai d t hat the Mi ni stry has earmarked Rs. 488 crore for touri sm
projects i n vari ous states for the current f i nanci al year wi thout any pre-condi ti on of matchi ng grant.
At a meet i ng to revi ew tourism projects i n the states, she sai d that states have to ensure only t i mel y
compl eti on of these projects and regul ar submi ssi on of reports t o t he Centre for future pl anni ng. Expressi ng
cor.cern over sl ow i mpl ementati on i n some of the cases, she sai d that the condi ti on of matchi ng grant from
the state has been wai ved- off and now the states have to ensure onl y t he avail abi l i ty of l and for gett i ng
. hundred percent f i nanci al s upports from the Cent re. She asked the states to acti vel y consi der redef i ni ng
l and use norms to faci l i tate constructi on of budget accommodati on, rati onal i sati on of vari ous taxes i n touri sm
i ndustry and si ngl e· wi ndow cl eara nce f or touri sm projects. The Mi ni ster suggested t he states to adopt eco-
2005 0 6 | Documentation Update |
fri endl y practi ces at touri sm desti nati ons and to keep its role l i mi ted up to i nfrastructure devel opments. (Rs
488 cr to reva mp touri sm i n states, I E. B, 28. 1 0. 05, BOO)
Even as tour operators and agenci es pl ead wi th the Central Government for easi er vi sa regul ati ons for touri sts,
the Touri sm Mi ni stry has recommended outsourci ng vi sas to pri vate compani es, to loosen the strangl ehol d
of t he "vi sa bureaucracy" regi me.
Mi ni stry off i ci al s bel i eve the onl y way to cash i n on the growi ng I ndi a· boom worl dwi de is to make vi sas
accessi ble to maxi mum peopl e, i n maxi mum ci ti es, i n maxi mum countri es.
The outsourci ng of vi sas hel p hel p reckon offi ci al s i n two ways. "Fi rst, i t i s cheaper to outsource rather than
set up 20 consul ates to process vi sas. Two, i t makes i t safer and easi er to process a vi sa t hrough a pri vate
fir m than ri sk the l oss of passport through a travel agent.
The US has outsourced i ts vi sas through TI Servi ces, a subsi di ary of TTK I ndustri es, whi ch servi ces requests
from norther n and southern regi ons. (Touri sm Mi ni stry pushes to outsource vi sas, Vri nda Gopi nath, I E. D,
28. 1 0. 05, BOO)
I n a n i ni t i ati ve a i med at gi vi ng a boost to the touri sm sector, the Mi nistry of Touri sm has a pproached the
Pl anni ng Commi ssi on to mandate every Mi ni stry to make touri sm a sub-pl a n under whi ch, at l east 5- 1 0%
funds shoul d be al located towards touri sm i nfrastructure devel opment. The proposal was made by the Mi nister
of Touri sm Renuka Chowdhury.
The government i n i ts Budget 2005- 06 had al l ocated Rs 786 crore for touri sm as agai nst Rs 500 crore i n
2004-05. It has al so proposed Rs 41 5 crore for touri sm i nfrastructure.
Tal ki ng about the other new i ni ti ati ves taken by MOT, Ms Chowdhury sai d the mi nistry was a l so l ooki ng at the
vi abi l ity of si gni ng MoUs wi th 'smal l er a i rl i nes'. (,Make touri sm a sub-pl a n i n a l l mi ni stri es', FE. C, 20. 1 2. 05,
BOO)
After long bei ng at sea over crui se tourism's huge potenti al evident through its fast-growi ng gl obal popul arity
-the gover nment is f i nal l y formul ati ng a n el a borate pol i cy to make Indi a a n attracti ve crui se touri sm
desti nati on. Thi s i ncl udes devel opment of i nfrastructure and other faci l i ti es at vari ous ports, i n a bi d to dri ft
the fl ow of such forei gn touri sts i nto I ndi an shores.
A si ngl e crui se shi p, usual l y havi ng 1 0 decks, can easi l y accommodate 8, 000- 9, 000 touri sts, who need to
book themsel ves for such package tours to vi si t pre·speci f i ed desti nati ons.
Whi l e a hi gh· power steeri ng group has been constituted to formul ate pol i cy i n the matter, a worki ng group has
i denti fi ed Mumbai , Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochi n ports on the west coast and Chennai , Tuti cori n ports
on the east coast for i nfrastructural devel opment. Speci al theme ci r9uits a re bei ng prepared by the Touri sm
Mi nistry keepi ng i n vi ew l ocal cul tural and geographi cal detai l s.
Pol i cy components:
• I mmi grati on: Avai l abi l i ty of proper vi sa . In the a bsence of proper vi sa, each port may have temporary
l andi ng permi t for one month for crui se passengers a nd crew. Crui se t ravel agents a re regi stered.
Nomi nati on and trai ni ng of i mmi grati on offi cers at each port.
• Custom Cl ea rance: Custom off i cers a re a l ready ava i l a bl e at each port. They may ensure hassl e free
movement of passengers and goods.
• Quaranti ne Restri cti ons: The Mi nistry of Heal th may nomi nate an offi cer for each sel ected port to tackl e
quaranti ne issue rel ated wi th yel l ow fever.
• I nfrastructure: Necessary i nf rastructure l i ke dedi cated termi nals, rest rooms, lounges, publ i c conveni ences,
bui l t up space for duty restaurants, proper gangway for easy embarkati on and di sembarkati on,
baggage handl i ng thrc,,,c
.
' conveyor bel ts, baggage storage cl oak rooms to be created.
• Con necti vi ty: Besires creating i nfrastructure for smooth a nd hassl e free cal l i ng of crui se shi ps i n Indi an
ports, connectl v t y ':1 rough rai l, road and a i r have been sought.
| Documcnt at ion Update |
• Taxati on I ssues: A favourabl e taxation regi me to be put i n pl ace i n consul tation wi th the RBI a nd CBO:
under the f i na nce mi ni stry, besi des consul tati on wi th state governments with regard to l ocal taxes l i ke
servi ce tax, l uxury tax, octroi on suppl y of servi ces, entertai nment tax.
(Centre to fra me pol icy to attract touri sts, Abhigyan Hans, AA. B, 15. 01 . 06, BOO)
The CAG has pul l ed up the Touri sm Mi nistry for i ncurri ng i rregul ar expenditure of over RS. 80 l akh on engagement
of staff i n I ndi a tourism offi ces abroad. Noting that engagement of staff was 'in di sregard' of i nstructi ons,
CAG, i n i ts report tabl ed i n Parl i ament sai d "the I ndi a touri sm offi ces i n London, Mi l an a nd Pari s had been
engagi ng conti ngency·paid staff from Jul y 2001 to March 2005 for work of regul ar nature or against vacant
posts a nd i ncurred i rregul ar.expendi ture of Rs 83. 1 7 I akh. " CAG al so descri bed the response of the mi ni stry
as "not tenabl e". I t sai d whi l e Mi l an was appoi nti ng the temporary staff onl y duri ng peak season to cope wi th
heavy workl oad, the Pari s office was f i nding i t di ffi cul t to appoi nt a candi date to the post of secretary as the
benefits offered were not attracti ve enough. (CAG pul l s up touri sm mi ni stry for i rregul ar expendi ture,
22. 03. 06, BOO)
820 Touri sm Legi sl ati on
A Nati ona l Touri sm Advi sory Council , chai red by the Mi ni ster of State for Tourism, has been consti tuted wi th
members from mi nistri es, experts i n travel a nd touri sm management a nd presi dents of travel and trade
associ ations. The secretary touri sm woul d be the member secreta ry. (Touri sm Counci l Consti tuted, TS.O,
04. 05.05, B20)
The Maharashtra cabi net a pproved the controversi al ordi nance ba nni ng over 1 ,300 dance bars in the face of
oppositi on from sections wi thin the government a wel l as f rom outside. Titl ed the Bombay Pol i ce (Amendment)
Ordi na nce 2005, i t bans dance performances i nside bars and eateries. I t i ncl udes a stri ngent provi si on to
provi de for puni shment upto t hree years a nd penal ty upto Rs. 2 l akh for vi ol ati ons, and ma kes the offence
non· ba i l abl e. Cl ubs, f i ve· star hotel s a nd touri sm·rel ated performances have been exempted from the ban.
(Ordi nance ba ns dance ba rs but keeps 5·stars out of it, ILO, 19. 05. 05, B20)
830 I TDC
I n what i s bei ng seen by the Touri sm Mi ni stry as a vi ndi cati on of thei r stand, l i quor major UOV Oi ageo has
offered addi ti ona l 1 ,700 cases·20,400 bottl es worth Rs 2. 6 crore, free to I TOC f or i ts 2004 suppl y. The
company's most wel l ·known product Bl ack Label i s the best·sel l i ng brand at I TOC' s duty·free shops, accounti ng
for nearl y hal f the turnover.
This effecti vel y mea ns that the company has pushed down the purchase pri ce of the best-sel l i ng bra nd and
al so has set a benchmark for future purchases and may now be i n a posi tion to compete wi th a new pri vate
pl ayer i n New Del hi 's duty·free busi ness.
The rights and wrongs of how I TOC procures i ts l iquor have been the subject of a war between bureaucrats
a nd pol i ti ci ans for over si x months. (Li quor gi a nt's bounty for I TOC, TOLD, 20. 04.05, B30)
The Leel a Group is acqui ri ng the erstwhi l e [TOC five-star resort i n Koval a m, i ts mai den operating hotel , for
a bout Rs 120 crore f rom a Gul f·based non-resi dent busi nessma n who currentl y runs it under the Meri di en
brand name. Another Rs 15·20 cr is l i kely to be i nvested i n upgrading the 192·room property. The acqui si ti on
process, whi ch i s expected to be compl eted wi thi n the next 8·9 weeks, wi l l expand the si ze of the Leel a's i n
the south to four hotel s by 2008. I n the past, the chai n has al ways buil t the hotel from a scratch. The Koval am
resort was acqui red by the Muscat NRI during the I TOC di si nvestment progra mme. A 5th hotel , a 65 a l l ·sui te
bouti que property in Udai pur, wil l be ready by October 2006. Leel a's expansi on pl an i ncl udes l and acqui red
i n Chennai near the beachfront to bui l d a 360·room lUXUry hotel compl i mented by commerci al devel opment
for a tech park To support i ts recent dri ve to aggressi vel y expand its footpri nt, i t i s rai si ng a round Rs 350
crore (through a mi x of options i ncl udi ng forei gn currency converti bl e bonds, AOR, equity). (Leel a in Rs 1 20·
cr deal for former I TOC resort; Al so Pl ans Rs 15·20 Cr Upgradati on of the Koval a m Property, Gi rish Rao,
ET.B, 24. 05. 05, B30)
�005-06 | DO('Wnc12talioll Updale |
B32 Touri sm Faci li ti es
I n a major di rective whi ch has far-reachi ng i mpl i cati ons, Pri me Mi ni ster Manmohan Si ngh has asked vari ous
mi ni stri es to treat I ndi an and forei gn national s al i ke, doi ng away wi th the present "di scri mi natory" f�es for
vari ous servi ces and faci l i ti es, i ncl udi ng hotel tari ffs, domestic ai r fare and entry fee at hi stori ca l monuments
and other touri st si tes.
Pri me Mi ni ster Manmohan Si ngh has asked Cabi net Secretary B K Chaturvedi to revi ew wi th the mi ni stri es
concerned the di scri mi natory charges bei ng l evi ed for servi ces to forei gn passport hol ders, i ncludi ng NRl s.
He has suggested that the mi nistri es concerned shoul d exa mi ne the feasi bi l i ty of endi ng thi s a nomal y and
treati ng al l consumers of such servi ces equal ly i rrespective of thei r national i ti es. (,Treat forei gners, I ndians
a l i ke' , DH. B, 1 1 .02.06, B32)
B4 Bilateral and Mul tilateral Agreements of I ndi an Government i n Touri sm
Whi l e movi ng towards a Regional Trade Arrangement (RTA), I ndi a and Chi na entered i nto formal understandi ng
to engage i n a wi de·rangi ng di al ogue over the f i nanci al sector and to substa nti a l l y l i bera l i se ci vi l avi ati on
l i nkages that woul d resul t i n a major i ncrease i n f l i ght frequenci es between the two countri es. The ci vi l avi ation
agreement seeks to i ncrease the f l i ght frequenci es of desi gnated a i rl i nes of each si de to 14 per week on the
l ATA summer season of 2005 that woul d go up to 28 f l i ghts duri ng the wi nter season and to 42 f l i ghts duri ng
the summer season of 2006. At present, each si de operates seven f l i ghts a week. The two si des woul d a l so
adopt 'open Ski es' pol i cy for cargo wi th unl i mited capacity enti tl ement for dedi cated cargo services. Agreement
has al so been reached to si mpl i fy visa procedures for operati ng and cabi n crew a nd empl oyment of forei gn
pi lots by the desi gnated a i rl i nes of ei ther si de. The ai rl i nes woul d a l so be a l l owed to dry l ease ai rcraft for both
combi nati on servi ces and cargo shari ng servi ces. (I ndi a, Chi na si gn pact to rel ax avi ati on l i nkages; Joi nt
group moots regi onal trade a rrangement, BL. B, 1 2. 04.05, B40)
I ndi a and Aust ra l i a have agreed to j oi ntl y promote the Commonweal th Games i n Mel bourne i n 2006 and i n
Del hi i n 201 0 to si gni fi cantl y i ncrease the touri st f l ow. Thi s was agreed a t t h e fi rst Joi nt Worki ng Group
meeti ng on touri sm between the two countri es.
Agreei ng to adopt an acti on pl an to have efecti ve bi l ateral cooperati on i n vari ous a reas of touri sm and travel ,
both the Mi nisters a l so agreed to establ i sh a bi l ateral eco·touri sm worki ng group to i denti fy j oi nt research
and trai ni ng projects, a n offi ci al rel ease sai d. The Austral i an si de agreed t o host an Austra l i a- I ndi a Touri sm
Busi ness Forum to coi nci de wi th the Mel bourne Commonweal th Games. (I ndi a, Austral i a to j oi ntl y promote
Commonweal th Games, BL. B, 20. 09. 05, B40)
As a fol low-up to the i ni ti ati ves taken at the revived j oi nt commi ssi on meeti ng here, I ndi a a nd Paki stan have
for med a joi nt worki ng group (JWG) to explore opportuni ti es for promoti ng touri sm between them. The JWG
woul d workout modal i ti es for promoti ng touri sm i n a bi g way between the two countri es, Joi nt Secretary,
Touri sm Mi ni stry Ami ta bh Ka nt, who accompani ed Exter nal Affai rs Mi ni ster K Natwa r Si ngh to hi s vi si t to
Paki stan .
Mr Kantand other offi ci als made vi deo presentati ons to Paki stan's group tour operators and touri sm offi ci al s
to i mpress upon them that through l i beral i sati on of vi sa regi me and promoti ng group touri sm the two countri es
coul d tap a huge market i nvol vi ng over a mi l l ion touri sts.
I n a n effort to promote touri sm, I ndi a has proposed to Paki stan to a mend the exi sti ng agreement on vi sa to
i ncrease group tours to rel i gious shri nes and cul tural exchange programme. The two si des agreed to pursue
these proposal s under the next round of composite di alogue process begi nni ng i n January. ( I ndi a, Pak form
JWG to expl ore ways to promote touri sm, FE. C, 06. 1 0.05, B40)
"There i s tremendous potenti a l for I ndi an i nvestors i n Mauri ti us, especi al ly i n touri sm, pha r maceuti cal s,
manufacturi ng, BPOs, i nformati on technol ogy and the energy sector and i nvestors coul d make the best use
of them to the benefi t of both the countri es," sai d Mauri ti us Deputy Pr i me Mi ni ster Rama Si thanen. The
Mauri ti us government offered to i nvestors speci al l y desi gned i ncenti ves, whi ch coul d be i n the form of l ower
corporate tax, exempti on from custom duty on equi pment and raw materi al s, preferenti a l l oan rates and
| Document ation Update | 0 6
.
reduced tari ff for power and water. Di vi dend was exempted f rom tax and f ree repatri ati on of profits, di vi dends
and capi ta l was al lowed.
Mr. Rama Si thanen sai d hi s country's economy was no more based l argel y on sugarcane and touri sm and had
over the years shi fted to other sectors l i ke manufacturi ng, f i nanci al servi ces, i nformati on technol ogy, seafood
i ndustry, heal th, energy a nd BPOs.
The government wanted to convert the i sl and i nto a duty·free port l i ke Dubai , Hong Kong and Si ngapore and
a pl ace for host i ng i nternati onal conventi ons a nd conferences. I t wanted to attract f l agshi p hotel chai ns of
i nternati onal repute through a comprehensi ve hotel management scheme. Si mi l ar l y i t wanted to devel op
heal th tourism through heal th resorts coupl ed wi th gol f courses. (Mauri ti us i nvi tes I ndi an i nvestment; Pl enty
of scope i n both manufacturi ng and servi ces, says Deputy Pri me Mi ni ster, TH. B, 30. 10. 05, B40)
Pri me Mi nister Manmohan Si ngh's a ppreci ati on of I ndonesi a's adopti on of a vi sa·on· arri val pol i cy for I ndi an
nati onal s dur i ng the visi t of Presi dent Susi l o Bambang
Yudhoyono set the tone for a whol e range of MoUs to be si gned between the two countri es. Both countri es
agreed to wor k together to i mprove con necti vi ty a nd peopl e·to·peopl e contacts between thei r countri es
through enhanced touri sm, ci vi l avi ati on and shi ppi ng l i nks. (Vi sa·on· arri val i n I ndonesi a harbi nger of cl oser
cooperati on, FE. B, 24. 1 1 . 05, B40)
I ndi a and Mauri tius are l ooki ng at whether the I ndi an rupee can be used by I ndi an tourists vi si ti ng the i sl and,
the Deputy Pri me Mi nister and Mi nister of Touri sm, Leisure and External Communi cati ons, Mr Charl es Gaetan
Xavi er Luc Duval , sai d.
The proposal i s one of the several measures that a re bei ng exami ned to f aci l i tate travel of more I ndi ans to
Mauri ti us. There has been a steady i ncrease i n the number of I ndi ans vi si ti ng Mauri tius. Duri ng 2005, more
than 29, 000 I ndi ans vi si ted the country and the number of vi si tors f rom Indi a is l i kel y to cross 55,000 by
next year, seni or off i ci al s sai d. The two countri es have al so deci ded to further strengthen cooperati on i n the
a rea of touri sm and cul ture and have agreed to exchange experti se i n the a rea of i sl a nd touri sm, huma n
resource devel opment and joi nt ma rket i ng of touri sm de,st i nati ons. (Touri sts may be abl e to use rupee i n
Mauri ti us, BL. B, 1 5.02. 06, B40)
Indi a and France si gned several agreements to boost trade and push nucl ear energy co·operati on between
the two countri es. Indi a and France a lso si gned an agreement on defence co-operati on, to bui l d and expand
ti es i n vari ous a reas, i ncl udi ng procurement, production and research and devel opment of defence materi al .
Seven other pacts i n the fi el d of space, commerce, education, touri sm, environment, cul ture and ci vi l avi ati on
were a l so si gned. ( I ndi a, France si gn pacts to boost trade, nucl ear energy cooperati on, BL. B, 21 . 02.06,
B40)
Looki ng beyond oi l , I ndi a and the si x nati on Gulf Cooperati on Counci l (GCC) have deci ded to work together i n
new areas i ncl udi ng i nformation technology, manufacturi ng and touri sm. After two days of del i berations duri ng
the second GCC·I ndi a busi ness conference, both si des deci ded to forge a n economi c partnershi p that woul d
focus on joi nt ventures dri ven by pri vate i ni ti ati ve. I n the Muscat Decl arati on, that was unvei l ed at the end of
the conference, i t was deci ded that i nformati on technol ogy, bi otechnol ogy, touri sm, i ndustry, energy and
petrochemi cal s would become the core a reas of col l aborati on. ( Muscat Decl arati on l ooks beyond oi l , Atul
Aneja, TH. B, 27. 03. 06, B40)
B611nternati onal Touri sm Legi sl ati on
I ndi a has urged Saarc countri es t o i ssue more busi ness vi sas t o partner countri es and reci proca l ly provi de
each other transi t faci l i ti es to thi rd countri es.
Pri me Mi ni ster Manmohan Si ngh sai d that these woul d not onl y l i n k the Saarc nati ons, but more i mportantl y,
woul d con nect the regi on to the ongoi ng economi c mi racl e i n South East a nd East Asi a . Tal ki ng a bout the
potenti a l of the South Asi a Free Trade Agreement (Safta), whi ch he sai d woul d hopeful l y be i mpl emented on
January 1 2006, the PM poi nted out that the current l evel of i ntra· regi onal trade i s expected to ri se from $6
2005 0 6 | Document ation Update |
bil l ion to $1 4 bil l ion within two years of Satta's existence. Dr Singh said there was a need to expand the ambit
of Satta to i ncl ude trade i n services i n addition to widening the scope of trade i n goods. ( I ndi a as Saarc
nations to issue more visas, FE.8, 1 8. 1 1 .05, 861 )
B62 UN Worl d Touri sm Organisati on· OMT (UNWTO)
The United Nations Worl d Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), an apex body of tourism, having been more than
200 countries as its member has unanimousl y el ected I ndia as the member of its Executive Council . I n view
of its emerging status i n worl d tourism, I ndi a was el ected i n the Counci l to represent South Asia in the
UNWTO meeting at Senegal , Ministry of Tourism said. I ndian official representative at the conference, Amitabh
Kant, has been el ected member of core working group of the organisation to chal k out programmes and al l ot
specific projects to a particul ar country for the promotion of tourism. I n 2005, its membership is comprised
of 1 45 countries, seven territories and more t han 300 Affil iate Members representing the private sector,
educational i nstitutions, tourism associations and l ocal tourism authorities. ( I ndia el ected executive member
of U N wor l d t our i s m or ga ni s a t i on, 05. 1 2 . 05, h tt p://n ews. webi n d i a 1 23 . co m/ne ws/
showdetail s. asp?id=182040&cat=8usiness, 862)
| Documentat ion Updat e | 0 05 -06
• C - TOURI SM ECONOMY, INDI AN ECONOMY .
COO Touri sm Economy and Touri sm I nfrastructure
Should i nfrastructure be accorded pri ori ty sector status for credit del ivery? The Reserve Bank of I ndia Governor,
Dr Y. V Reddy, raised the question i n the Annual (Monetary) Pol icy Statement presented on April 28. He sai d
the issue was debatabl e for the fol lowi ng reasons:
• Enl argi ng the scope of priori ty sectors may resul t i n l oss of focus;
• Credi t growth has been sl uggish i n agri culture a nd smal l·scal e i ndustri es, but that in i nfrastructure
has been strong;
• Onl y sectors that i mpact l arge popul ation, weaker sections and are employment-intensive are el igi bl e
for pri ori ty status.
This sta nce of the central bank si gn a l l i ng tentati veness on fi nanci ng i nfrastructure is surprisi ng, gi ven the
cri ti ca l rol e that the sector pl ays i n t he economy.
The Pri me Mi ni ster, in hi s Independence Day address (2004) to the nati on, identi f i ed Sa at Sutras seven
priority sectors as "pi l l ars of the devel opment bridge to ensure hi gher economic growth and more equi tabl e
socia l and economi c devel opment". These are agri cul ture, water, education, healthcare, employment, urban
renewal a nd i nfrastructure.
The Pl anning Commi ssi on has reiterated the need for worl d-cl ass, cost-effective infrastructure in the context
of a global i si ng economy. (Monetary Pol i cy 2005·06 · Lendi ng pri ori ty to i nfrastructure, Padmal atha Suresh,
BL. B, 1 2.05.05, COO)
To give a big push to the tourism sector, the Government is for mul at i ng a new scheme that coul d see a
quantum j ump i n the funds bei ng made avai l abl e for i nfrastructure devel opment at tourism sites. T he new
scheme bei ng drawn up by the Mi ni stry of Tourism and Pl anni ng Commi ssion proposes providing up to Rs 50
crore to every touri st project i denti fi ed. The Mi nistry hopes to fund between 1 0·15 such projects annua l l y.
The scheme wi l l be i n the form of 1 00 % central assistance. The states wi l l set up a nodal body for disbursi ng
the funds. The Mini stry has already hel d one round of di scussi ons with the Archaeological Survey of I ndi a to
i denti fy the si tes that shoul d be covered under the scheme. (Each tourism project to get Rs 50 cr for
devel opment, BL. C, 06.08.05, COO)
I ndi a pl ans to doubl e i ts forei gn excha nge earnings from touri sm i n the next three years and make i t the
number one forei gn exchange earner, touri sm mi nister Renuka Chowdhury has sai d. "We earned $4. 8 bil l ion
i n forei gn exchange from tourism i n 2004 a nd we expect it to cross $1 0 bi l l ion in the next three years. "
The unprecedented growth and a successful campai gn have resul ted i n the nati onal geographical travel l er
call i ng Indi a "the land of mystery a nd majesty," she sai d. The Lonel y Pl anet i n a survey of 1 67 countries
sel ected I ndi a as one of the top 5 destinati ons of the worl d. "It is also a matter of great pride for us that our
efforts are getti ng i nternat i ona l acknowl edgement," she sa i d, adding Indi a has won the 2005 PATA grand
award i n the heritage category for the 'Aja nta El l ora conservation and tourism devel opment project' and the
PATA Gol d Award i n the pri nt medi a category for I ndia 's i ncredi bl e· Taj campai gn. ( I ndia to doubl e forex
earni ngs from touri sm, FE. B. 17. 1 1 . 05, COO)
The Tourism Mini stry said it favoured all owi ng 1 00 % FDI in devel oping touri st i nfrastructure i n the country to
give a major boost to the sector. ' Peopl e and corporates must come forward and work for the development of
touri sm sector. When they share their vi ews and opi ni ons with the government and work towards a common
goal , the sector would get a major boost," Renuka Chaudhary said. (Renuka for ful l FDI i n tourism i nfrastructure.
I E. B. 30. 1 1 .05, COO)
20 0 5- 06 | Document atio/l Update |
A recent Fi nance Mi ni stry paper seeki ng Asi an Devel opment Bank (ADB) f unds for touri sm i nfrast ructure
projects has proposed al i gni ng i nvestment pol i cy of the country touri sm pol i cy. It also mooted rati onal isati on
of tax structure for the tou ri sm i ndustry at par wi th gl obal benchmarks.
Hi ghl i ght i ng the ' posi ti ve rol e' of FDI i n the touri sm devel opment, the paper sai d FDI coul d resul t i n a n
' i ncome· mul ti pl yi ng effect' i n the sector. Concessi ons and i ncenti ves avai l abl e to i nvestors i n other sectors
must be extended to the touri sm sector as wel l . The paper sai d touri sm i ndustry shoul d be accorded national
treatment. Accordi ng to the paper, touri sm acti vi ti es must be i nc l uded i n the provi si ons of the bi l ateral
i nvestment treati es and doubl e taxati on avoi dance agreements t hat I ndi a enters into.
On touri sm i nfrastructure, the paper sai d government funds coul d fl ow to projects such as highways, ai rports,
urban i nf rastructure and power. Pr i vate f unds coul d be used for hotel s, travel agenci es. tou r operators,
deal ers and handi craft stores. Publ i c· pri vate partnershi ps can occur i n BOT projects for roads, a i rports,
reports, heri tages etc.
Every Rs 10 l akh i nvestment i n touri sm creates 47.5 jobs di rectl y and 89 jobs i ndi rectl y. Forex i nf lows from
tou ri sm surpass FDI i nfl ows i n recent years. (Fi nmi n paper for rati onal i sati on of tax structure i n tou ri sm
i ndustry, FE. B, 22. 12. 05, COO)
Touri sm has emerged as a major source of empl oyment i n I ndi a, wi th a share of 8.27 % i n total number of
jobs in the country. Accordi ng to the f i ndi ngs of a study commi ssi oned by the Touri sm department, for every
1 00 jobs created di rectl y i n the touri sm sector i n I ndi a, 80 i ndi rect jobs a re created. It sai d the total di rect
empl oyment i n the tour i sm sector for the year 2002·03 i n the country was 21 .54 mi l l i on j obs and when
i ndi rect jobs were a l so added, the empl oyment fi gure came to 38. 6 mi l l i on. Di rect contri buti on of touri sm to
the GDP for the year 2002·03 was 2.78 per cent and when i ndi rect effects were consi dered, the sha re of this
sector contri butes to the GDP goes up to 5. 83 per cent.
Compari ng the di rect contri buti on of touri sm to the GDP of maj or touri st receivi ng countri es i n the worl d,
I ndi a's f i gure of 2. 8 per cent i s fai rl y wel l wi th developed nati ons l i ke Canada (2. 4 per cent), the US (2.2 per
cent) and Japan (2.2 per cent) however, i t i s l ess when compared to cou ntri es l i ke Spai n ( 1 1 . 2 per cent),
Austr al i a (4.5 per cent), Swi tzerl a nd (3. 4 per cent) a nd Sweden (3.2 per cent.
The study was conducted under the Touri sm Satel l i te Account (TSA), a new framework recentl y adopted by
the Uni ted Nati ons Statisti cal Commi ssi on that provi de an i mportant pl atform for better understanding of the
role of touri sm i n the economy. ( Touri sm a major source of jobs in Indi a: Study, Uni Shankar, 01 . 03. 06, http:/
/news. webi ndi a 123.com/news/showdetai ls. asp?i d=265151&cat=l ndi a, COO)
Al ready on a hi gh, the travel and tourism i ndustry got a f i l l i p wi th the Fi nance Mi ni ster a n nounci ng several
sops i ncl udi ng i ncrease i n tou ri sm budget f rom Rs 786 crore to Rs 830 crore; devel opment of 1 5 new
l ocati ons and reducti on i n fri nge benefi t tax (FBT) on tour and travel a nd hotel s f rom 20 to 5%.
I nternational ai r travel wi l l a lso become expensive as the government deci ded to bri ng upper cl ass i nternati onal
a i r travel under the net of servi ce tax though economy cl ass travel h as been exempted.
At the same ti me, however, the Budget di sappointed the sector by not grant i ng the i ndustry the much
demanded i nf rastruct ure status. Al so, i ncrease i n servi ce tax f rom 1 0 to 12% came as a bi g l et down
parti cul arl y when the i ndustry had sought 90% a batement on servi ce tax i mposed on i t si nce l ast yea r.
The Budget proposal a l so i ncl udes travel on crui se ships i n the ambi t of servi ce tax. I t has al so not offered
a ny i ncent i ves or speci al sops to set up new hotel projects a t a ti me when there's acute shortage of hotel
rooms and tari ffs are skyrocketi ng.
Besides taki ng up 15 touri st desti nati ons a nd ci rcuits for devel opment, the government wi l l al so i denti fy 50
vi l l ages with core competency i n handi crafts, handlooms, and cul ture, cl ose to exi sti ng dest i nati ons and
circuits, and devel op them for enhanci ng touri sts' experi ence. The gover nment a l so proposes to establ ish
four new i nstitutes of hotel management i n Chattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand a nd Uttar anchal . (A mi xed bag
for travel a nd tou ri sm, FE. D, 01 . 03. 06, COO)
| Docllment ation Updat e | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
The domest i c segment i s raki ng i n 71 . 1 % of the mool ah i n touri sm, endi ng up encouragi ng the growth of
sectors whi ch woul d otherwi se face threat of exti ncti on.
A maze of sectors -hotel s, transport, food and beverage, have vi rtual ly become touri sm·speci f i c i ndustries,
thri vi ng on domest i c and outbound touri sts a l i ke. T he hotel i ndustry essenti a l l y depends on touri sm. I t
accounts for 91 . 7 % of total revenue. The generated by ' accommodati on servi ces' . As much a s 1 8.4% of
'food and beverage servi ng servi ces' f l ows out of touri sm.
The transport sector, too, i s cel ebrati ng bi g on men and women movi ng wi thi n I ndi an boundaries and fl yi ng i n
from a broad. Ai r travel has 93.8% money comi ng from tou ri sm, whi l e its contri buti on to Rai l way revenue i s
294%. The money raked i n by ' buses' because of touri sts i s 62. 6%. The char m of sma l l pl aces and the
ori ental attracti on -ri ckshaw ri des i s bui l t on touri st movement. As much as 89. 8% money generated by
' non· mechanised road transport' comes from touri sm.
Entertai nment busi ness is drawi ng 49% of i ts revenue from touri sm. Al l these fi gures have emerged from a
study done by Nati onal Counci l of Appl i ed Economi c Research (NCAER) on the turnover·trends of tourism i n
2002·03.
The f i rst·of·i ts· ki nd study, commissi oned by Mi nistry of Touri sm, surveyed ei ght l akh domesti c househol ds
and used other studi es to bri ng out the sta rt l i ng fi gures.
The touri sm turnover i n 2002·03 was esti mated at Rs. 62, 436 crore. Of t his f i gure, the domesti c segment
contri buted Rs 44,403 crore whi l e forei gners tot al l ed for Rs 1 1 , 683 crore or 1 8. 7%. ( Home t ruths: Desi
hol i dayers key to touri sm survi val , Subodh Ghi l di ya l , TOI . D, 04. 03. 06, COO)
The Economi c Survey reports ear ni ngs f rom tou ri sm, once cri ti cal to the BOP and sti l l growi ng at 25 %,
before touchi ng on software exports, whi ch were admi ttedl y near zero t i l l j ust the other day. We di d earn $5
bi l l i on from the 3.6 mi l l i on touri sts who vi si ted I ndi a l ast yea r. But software exports, whi ch grew 35 %,
brought i n four t i mes as much.
-(i n Rs crore)
Touri sm 1911 19 1 20/1 203/4 204/5
orei gn travel recei pts 964 2, 61 3 16,064 23,054 29, 105
orei gn travel payments 90 703 1 2, 741 1 6,534 24,744
Besides, the bi rd' s eye vi ew provi ded i n the Survey by the Mi ni stry of Tou ri sm onl y gi ves data on touri sts
comi ng i n; l eavi ng i t to the RBI to f urni sh a tabl e, qui etl y rel egated to the a ppendi ces, a bout touri sts who a re
on thei r way out. (Touri sm: on i ts way out? Sudha nshu Ranade, BL. B, 1 0. 03. 06, COO)
C02 Foreign I nvestment i n Tou rism Sector
Anci ent monuments and hi stori cal objects of I ndi a have caught the attenti on of worl d communi ty and many
foreign countri es have proposed contri buti ng to thei r conservati on.
Uni on Cul ture Mi nister S Jai pal Reddy i nformed the Lok Sabha that t he government had received proposal s
from Japan, I tal y and Bel gi um and Worl d Monument Fund for Conservation for the mai ntenance of hi stori cal
monuments. The government is a lso pl anni ng to l aunch a nati onal mission to provi de a comprehensive l isti ng
of bui l t heri tage, monuments, si tes a nd a nt i qui ti es. Mr Reddy added that Japan was provi di ng f i nanci al
assistance through UNESCOfor the conservati on of B�ddhist sites at Sanchi and Satdhara i n Madhya Pradesh
whi l e a MoU has been si gned wi th I t al y for the conservati on of pai nti ngs at Aj anta and El l ora. ( Forei gn
countri es propose to conserve I ndi an monuments, TS. D, 22.04.05, C02 / D20d)
2 a 05 - 06 | Document at ion 1 Tpdatc |
New York hotel i er Sant Si ngh Chatwal , founder-presi dent of the $750 mi l l i on Manhattan- based Hampshi re
Hotel s and Resorts, is setti ng up a seri es of hi gh-end boutique hotel s i n I ndi a. The hotels, fi rst i n Mumbai , wi l l
be opened under t he brand "Dream".
"We are negoti ati ng to acqui re l a nd and necessary per mi ssi ons for the project i n Mumbai . Si mi l ar super­
l uxury hotel s wi l l be opened i n Bangal ore, Jai pur and Del hi , " Sant Si ngh Chatwal sai d. (Chatwal 's bouti que
hotel s to open soon in Indi a, Arvi nd Padmanabhan, AA. D, 24. 05. 05, C02)
Ai tken Spence & Co, Sri Lanka's bi ggest hotel operator, sa i d i t i s l ooki ng to expand i ts operati ons to I ndi a,
taki ng advantage of ri si ng busi ness and l ei sure travel t o the
.
country_
Ai tken Spence, whi ch runs 1 0 hotel s i n the i sl and- nati on, three resorts i n the Mal di ves and owns Sri Lanka's
bi ggest travel agency, is l ooki ng to expand after the December 26 tsunami damaged its beachfront properti es.
( Lanka hotel major to foray i nto I ndi a, BL.B, 24.05.05, C02)
Even as the gover nment has deci ded to l aunch medi cal vi sas for forei gners vi si ti ng I ndi a n for heal thcare
servi ces, Wor l d Heal thcare Network a n US- based faci l i tator has stepped i n to tap the I ndi an market. With
the ai m of bri ngi ng pati ents from the US to I ndi a for comprehensi ve medi cal servi ces combi ned wi th a bi t of
touri sm, of course -the Ameri can organi sati on has ti ed up wi th STI C Care, a new i ni ti ati ve of ST I C Travel
group_ The moe assumes si gni fi cance si nce the medi cal touri sm segment i s wi tnessi ng bri sk growth. Nearl y
1 , 1 80,000 pati ents f rom var i ous parts of the worl d ar ri ved i n I ndi a for treatment i n 2004. (US f i r m to tap
heal th touri sm i n Indi a, ETC, 31 . 07. 05, C02)
Turner I nternati onal I ndi a Pvt Ltd, the company i n charge of sal es and marketi ng of entertai nment channel s
Cartoon Network and Pogo i n the country announced that i t woul d soon l aunch two theme parks. Desi gned
a round its ki ds' channel s - Cartoon Network and Pogo - the parks woul d requi re an i nvestment of a round Rs
550 crore.
To be cal l ed Pl anet Pogo and Cartoon Network Townsvi l l e, the parks wi l l be si tuated i n Del hi - NCR, i n Rohi n i
a n d Noi da respectivel y. Both the theme parks wi l l have 1 00 % i mported theme ri des and wi l l sati sfy gl obal
safety standards. (Turner I nter nati onal to l aunch two theme parks, BL. B, 22. 02. 06, C02 / D20a)
C03 Touri sm Fi nance
State Bank of Travancore (SBT) has l aunched a 'touri sm speci al ' l oan scheme for the benefi t of hotels, tour
operators, pi l gri mage conductors, and eco-tourism operators.
The l oan i s avai l abl e for constructi on and moderni sati on of yatri ni vas, hotels, motel s, and cottages, and to
travel agents for setti ng up offi ces and purchase of computers a nd equi pment. accordi ng to a bank rel ease.
The l oan can al so be uti l i sed for purchase of vehi cl es and houseboats by tour operators and for those who
i ntend to set up restaura nts, i ce- cream parl ours, a musement parks, heal th cl ubs and massage parl ours i n
touri sm zones. (SBT 'touri sm speci al ' l oan scheme, BL.C, 21 . 04. 05, C03)
Tourist i nf l ows to I ndi a have registered a 1 5% growth i n' ar ri val s -forex earni ngs from touri sm have a l ready
crossed the $4· bi l l i on mar k i n the f i rst ni ne months of 2005. About 2. 64 mi l l i on, forei gn touri sts have
vi si ted the country i n January·September, raki ng i n over Rs 1 8, 000 crore i n forei gn exchange.
The fi gure stands tal l as agai nst the 2. 29 mi l l i on vi si tors duri ng the correspondi ng peri od l ast year, a growth
of 15. 2%. Thi s a l so marks 20. 6% j ump i n forei gn exchange ear ni ngs i n rupee terms, at Rs 1 8,379 crore,
compared to Rs 15, 243 crore earned l ast yea r i n the same peri od, as per l atest est i mates by Mi ni stry of
Touri sm. I n dol l a r terms, ear ni ngs crossed the $4. 1 bi l l i on mark i n the f i rst ni ne months, as agai nst $3.4
bi l l i on regi stered l ast year duri ng the sa me peri od. (Touri sts bri ng forex, a rri val s i ncrease 1 5%, ear ni ngs
cross the $4-bn mark, Sudi pto Dey, ET. C, 08. 1 0. 05, C03)
Travel i nsurance i s growi ng i n terms of vol ume though i nsurance compa ni es say thei r profi ts a re under
pressure due to severe competi ti on.
| Documentation Update | 2 0 05 0 6
¯
Leading i nsurers say the business has been growi ng at an average rate of 25 % per annum, t hough they do
not have a ny act ual fi gures to back it up.
Mr Sudhi r Menon, National Sal es Manager of I CI CI Lombard, attri buted the 25% growth mai nl ytothe increasing
number of peopl e travel l i ng a broad a nd the fact that they rea l i se the need for travel i nsurance, especi al l y i n
the l i ght of natural di sasters such a s tsunami and fl oods.
I n fact, I CI CI Lombard has witnessed a growth of 70% i n travel i nsura nce i n the ha [ f·yea r peri od over the
same peri od l ast fi scal .
However, t he premi um has dropped si gni fi cantl y i n some sectors. For i nsta nce, t he travel cover t hat used to
cost Rs 700 for a six·day tri p to Europe a few years ago, now costs onl y Rs 400. The premi um for the US,
Europe and South· East Asi a, excl udi ng Japan, now has di fferent rates.
But travel i nsura nce to the US now attracts hi gher premi um t han countri es i n Asi a as compared to a few
years ago when there was a fl at rate for a fi xed t i me peri od.
With busi ness travel l ers consti tuti ng the bul k of the annual seven mi l l ion outbound travel l ers from the country,
i nsurance compani es are i ncreasi ngl y l ooki ng at corporate travel i nsurance. "Corporate travel i nsurance i s a
phenomenon that has occurred post pri vati sati on of t he i ndustry. We have cl i ents such as Infosys, Wi pro,
Oracl e and i - Fl ex for whom we devel op customised travel insurance, " (Travel i nsurance going pl a'ces, Radhi ka
Menon, BL. C, 19, 1 2. 05, C03)
A 1 0-year tax hol iday for new hotel projects, si ngl e-wi ndow cl earances, infrastruct ure devel opment a nd of
taxes a re among the budget expectations of the hotel i ndust ry whi ch has been on the growth path for the
past two yea rs. The i ndustry also i s seeki ng permi ssi on to set up rea l estate i nvestment t rusts ( REITs). Mr
R. Venkatachal am, Chi ef Fi nancial Offi cer, The Leel a Group, sai d a tax hol iday wou l d encourage more pl ayers
to set up hotels, to bri dge the shortage of rooms whi ch accordi ng to government esti mates stood at one l akh
rooms. Wi th a vi ew to getti ng thi s benefi t, the Federati on of Hotel s a nd Restau rants Associ ati on of I ndia
(FHRAI ), has i n its pre-budget memorandum to the Government, sought i nfrastruct ure status for the hotel
i ndustry under Secti on 801 of the I T Act. ( lO·year tax hol iday sought for new hotel projects, BL. B, 1 7. 02.06,
C03)
ell Li berali sati on Poli ci es
The Lok Sabha passed the Speci al Economi c Zones Bil l , 2005 after adopti ng an offici al amendment to drop
the Bi l l 's provi si on i n granti ng fl exi bi l i ty in l abour l aws by the States i n the proposed Central Act. The ori gi nal
Act i n any case had no di rect Central rol e i n l ayi ng down l abour pol i cy i n the SEZs. The Left parti es had been
demanding scrappi ng of the Cl ause !O of t he Bi l l . The Central l egi sl ati on proposed that the States may take
sui ta bl e steps to grant exempti on from l abour l aws appl i cabl e i n t he speci a l economi c zones. Hence, the
Government moved an amendment to the SEZ Act, 2005 by droppi ng this cl ause. Now wi th the apprehensions'
voi ced by the Left parti es that the cl ause woul d be mi sused by States wil l i ng to attract forei gn i nvestment,
the lovernment assuaged their apprehensi ons by movi ng a n a mendment to drop thi s cl ause. ( Lok Sabha
passes SEZ Bil l , BL. B, 1 l . 05. 05, Cl l )
The Federation of I ndi an Chambers of Commerce and I ndustry cal l ed forf[exi bl e l abour l aws i n speci al economi c
zones (SEZs) and export units as part of a three·phase strategy for ti me· bound i mpl ementati on of reforms.
Under the phase-I of FI CCI proposal , i t was suggested that a self-certifi cati on system by corporates shoul d
be i ntroduced for envi ronmental clearances a nd el ectroni c ti l i ng of records be a l l owed. [ t was al so suggested
that a common format be devel oped for computeri sation of detai l s a nd i ssuance of cl eara nces for new
i nvestment proposal s_ As per the phase-I I of FI CCI 's proposal , whi ch coul d he i mpl emented wi thi n 1 2- 1 8
months peri od, contract l abour shoul d be a l lowed i n smal l and medi um enterpri ses. Further, val ue-added tax
(VAT) rates should be har mon i sed, wi thdrawi ng a l l state and l oca [ l evi es l i ke a CST, entry tax, Octroi etc.
Under the phase- I I [ , FI Cel suggested the i mpl ementati on of contract l abour i n a ll industri es and t his phase
t argeted refor ms where l arger pol i tical consensus was required. (FI CCI for fl exi b[ e l abour l aws i n exporti ng
u ni ts, VlB, 30. 08. 05, C1 1 )
2 0 05 0 6 j Document ation Update j
C20 Transport
Wi th the government accepti ng i n pri nci pl e a proposa l to a l l ow gl obal l uxury taxi compani es to operate i n
Del hi , thi s coul d wel l be the scene i n ci ty cabs. Hertz and Super Cab, two i nternationa l taxi compani es, have
asked the gover nment to a l low operati ons i n Del h i . However, both the compani es won' t pl unge head·on .
Accordi ng to the proposal , Hertz wi l l i n it i a l l y start wi th 100 taxi s. I f the concept works, they may i ncrease
the fl eet to 750. Super Cab wi l l start wi l l 50 taxi s and may go up to 500. Del hi hasn' t had much success wi th
another experi ment i n cabs - radi o taxi s. There a re onl y a bout 200 radi o taxi s i n Del hi , of whi ch 135 a re
owned by one company and a bout 60 by another. ( MNCs step i n wi th l uxury cabs, Cheta n Chauhan, HTD,
18. 05. 05, C20)
C2l Road Transport
Enthused by the success of publ i c- pri va te partnershi p ( PPP) model i n the devel opment of h i ghways, the
government i s pl anni ng to develop an additi onal 30,000 km of hi ghways under NHDP I I I at a cost of a bout Rs
1 ,72,000 crore duri ng the next seven years.
Under thi s scheme, i t i s proposed to cover an addi ti onal 30,000 km besi des four- I ani ng of 10, 000 km under
NHDP I I I . The commi ttee of I nfrastructure headed by the Pri me Mi ni ster was consi deri ng si x·l ani ng of 5,000
km of nati onal hi ghways and constructi on of 1,000 km of expressways under N HDP V a nd N HDP VI
respecti vel y. A l ength of 6, 000 km has al ready been devel oped to four· l ane standards i n t he earl i er phases.
PPP woul d be the major pl ank of the hi ghways devel opment progra mme i n whi ch pri vate enterprises woul d
i nvest money for devel opi ng these hi ghways and woul d get returns through fees col l ected from the users.
Devel opi ng hi ghways through PPP enta i l ed certai n benefi ts l i ke generati ng awareness a mong the users to
pay for the benefi ts ensured to them. (Govt pl ans to devel op 30,000km of hi ghways: Baal u, VTB, 22.07.05,
C21)
A super Hi mal ayan Hi ghway connect i ng al l the touri st desti nati ons i n Uttaranchal and l i nki ng the State with
Hi macha l Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh i s reportedl y on the anvi l .
The proposed 660-km l ong Hi mal ayan Hi ghway wi l l span two far fl ung outposts i n the State. I t wi l l start from
Tiyuni i n the outer reaches of Garhwal in the Dehra .un di stri ct, abutti ng the nei ghbouri ng state of Hi machal
a nd stretch across al l the major touri st desti nati ons i n Garhwal and provi de con necti vi ty i nto Kumaon ri ght
up to Lohaghat. Here i t wi l l connect the State to the foothi l l s of Uttar Pradesh.
Addi ti onal Chi ef Secretary M Ramachandran sai d the i dea had been deri ved from the Asi an Hi ghway concept
whi ch proposed to l i nk I ndi a wi th Bangl adesh and Paki stan . He sai d there was a proposal to eventual ly l i nk a l l
the Hi mal ayan states vi a a tranS-Hi mal ayan Hi ghway that woul d stretch from Ja mmu and Kashmi r to the
North east.
I n the context of the Hi mal ayan Hi ghway i n the state, a detai l ed Project report has al ready been sent to the
Central govern ment. A feasi bi l ity report has a l ready been commi ssi oned by the Central Mi ni stry of Surface
Transport for a sum of a round Rs 6 crore. The proposed Hi ghway wi l l sta rt from Ti yun i and run across
Deoban, Chakrata, Nagnath, Lakhwad, Musoori e i n the Dehradun di stri ct and cut across Dhanol ti , Chamba
and Mal etha i n Tehri di stri ct before reachi ng Sri Nagar (Pauri di stri ct), Rudraprayag ( Rudraprayag di stri ct)
and then goi ng on i nto the Chamol i di stri ct vi a Karnprayag and Garsai n. From Garsai n the proposed highway
wi l l run i nto Kumaon vi a Dwarahat and Al mora, al l the way to Lohaghat i n the Pi thoragarh di stri ct. ( Hi mal ayan
Hi ghway t o connect touri st hot spots, Nami ta Kal a, TPD, 03.09.05, C21)
The government has fi nal l y a pproved the constructi on of an al ter nati ve route to Leh, vi a Manal i. Si x yea rs
after the tradi ti onal Sri nagar, Leh route IA was hi t by Paki stan i shel l i ng duri ng the Kargi l conf l i ct, the Centre
sancti oned Rs 943.32 crore for the project, to be compl eted in n i ne years. "The a l l·weather 292 km route vi a
Darchu, Pada m and Ni mu wi l l be constructed at a total cost of Rs 1, 355 crore, i ncl udi ng an 8. 8 km l ong
tun nel under the Rohtang Pass," Defence Mi ni ster Pra nab Mukherjee sai d. (Centre paves way for new Leh
route, via Manal i , I E. D, 07. 09. 05, C21)
¸ Documentation Updat e | . 6
C22 Water Transport
Only 40,000 touri sts from I ndi a opt for cruise hol i days every year as agai nst over 10 mi l l i on gl obal ly, accordi ng
to i ndustry esti mates. But, consideri ng the 5- mi l l ion outbound touri sts from I ndi a, there's room for growth i n
the crui se l i ner segment. Wi.th i nternati onal ai rfare from I ndi a gett i ng sl ashed, crui se touri sm i s l i kel y to gai n
i n popul ari ty. Besides, i nternati onal cruise l i ners are l ooki ng at I ndi a too - Star Cruise, for i nstance, i s pl anni ng
a servi ce i n the country. Al so, t he fi rst I ndi an l i ner, Ocean Crui ses I ndi a, is set to begi n operati on between
Goa and Lakshwadeep by the end of thi s year.
Al t hough i t' s the economi cal ' Sta r Crui se' t hat's much more attracti ve t han the hi gh-end l uxury l i ners for
touri sts from Indi a, the total numbers have al ready grown. From 8,000- 10,000 I ndi an touri sts taki ng hol i day
crui ses f i ve years ago, the numbers have gone up to 40, 000 now, accordi ng to Mr Chaddha. Maxi mum
number of I ndi an touri sts opts for crui se i n the South-East Asi a regi on. On the Far-East and South-East. Asi a
routes, a two-n i ght crui se comes for around $300. Longer crui ses cater to the hi gh- end ma rket, and are not
typi cal l y meant for touri sts from I ndi a, argues Pr i me Travel Managi ng Di rector Arun Verma. (Short l ei sure
crui ses are catchi ng on wi th I ndi ans, N ivedi ta Mookerji , T PD, 19_ 05.05, C22)
Crui si ng the ri verways is now catchi ng on wi th the new age touri st who wants to do thi ngs whi ch a re sl i ghtl y
di fferent. The trend started wi th Keral a , wi th i ts backwaters touri sm. However, other states have qui ckl y
i ntroduced di fferent versi ons of thei r own . Goa's crui ses on t he Mandovi a nd other ri vers a re very popul ar
whi l e t he Bra hmaputra ri ver crui se i s a favouri te wi th eco-tourists si nce i t offers a spectacul ar vi ew of the
Kazi ranga.
And wi th demand a lso comes supply. The l atest to joi n the bandwagon i s Andhra Pradesh Touri sm Development
Corporati on (APTDC) whi ch has i ntroduced overni ght crui ses on Godavari , wi th a si ngl e boat. I n other ci ti es,
var i ati ons a re bei ng tri ed out. I n Mumbai a fl oati ng restaurant docks out at sea whi l e a si mi l ar restaurant
fl oats on the ri ver Hooghl y i n Kol kata. I n Karnata ka, Jungl e l odges and Resorts (J LR) has started crui ses off
the Karwar coast, though overni ght stays a re sti l l some way off.
Accordi ngto the i ndustry ri ver crui ses i s a fast growi ng segment. Though it i s a n i nsi gni fi cant number i n other
states, i n Keral a, over 1 1 akh touri sts patroni sed backwaters touri sm l ast year. (They l ove to go up and down
t he ri ver, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 01 . 07. 05, C22)
I n a major boost to crui se shi ppi ng i n the country, the Uni on Government al lowed operati on of crui se servi ces
by a Mal aysi a n crui se l i ner on two sectors · Mumbai to La kshadweep ( Kadmat i sl and) a nd Mumbai to Goa,
expected to start operati ons by October thi s yea r. The Shi ppi ng, Road Transport- and Hi ghways Mi ni stry
conveyed i ts ' no objecti on' for crui se operati on, setti ng i nto moti on the l aunch of the servi ce. Out of a total
of n i ne subgroups consti tuted by the steeri ng group to make speci fi c recommendati ons, four sub·groups
have submi tted thei r reports on identification of ports, i mmigration i ssues, taxati on issues and issues pertai ni ng
to customs cl earances for sui tabl e i ncorporati on i n the draft cruise shi ppi ng pol i cy of the country. (Govt nod
for crui se servi ces i n 2 sectors, I E. C, 05. 08. 05, C22)
A comprehensi ve nati onal mari ti me devel opment programme envi sagi ng a publ i c private i nvestment of over
Rs 1 00,000 crore i s on the anvi l . Of t hi s Rs 6 1 , 000 crore wi l l be i nvested i n the port sector. I nvestments i n
the shi ppi ng a n d i nl and water transport i s expected to be Rs 40,000 core. Al l these i nvestments, proposed
to be made i n the nex� 1 0 years, woul d be part of the Nati onal Mar it i me Pol i cy to be presented before the
Uni on Cabi net shortl y for a pproval , the Uni on Mi ni ster for Shi ppi ng and Road Transport, Mr T R Baal u sai d.
"The pol i cy envi sages a comprehensi ve strategy for the country's mari ti me sector i ncl udi ng ports, shi ppi ng,
i nl and waterways and shi p bui l di ng. It has been fi nal ised after i ts draft was discussed at the i nter- mi ni steri al
coordi nati on committee meeti ngs.
I n the port sector the projects pl anned are constructi on of berths ( Rs 33,000 crore), deepeni ng of a pproach
channel s (25 projects - Rs 831 0 crore), Port equi pment (32 projec�s - Rs 1 700 crore), rai l and road
connecti vi ty to ports (36 projects. Rs 12,950 crore) and devel opmenfof speci al economi c zones (47 projects
.
Rs 51 00 crore). (Rs 1 00,000 cr i nvestment i n mari ti me sector on cards, FE. B, 22. 08. 05, C22)
2005 06 | Documentat ion Update |
Travel l ers weary of Kol kata 's congested roads now have a faster opti on for vi si ti ng pl aces l i ke Budge Budge
to the south or t he templ e town of Bel ur i n the north wi th the l aunch of a water taxi servi ce by Vi vada I nl and
Water Transport.
Beati ng the state's government to i ts pl a ns of l aunchi ng publ i c transport on two canal s i n north a nd south
Kol kata, Vi vada has taken on the r i ver Hooghl y wi th sma l l motorboats that can carry 10 passengers.
A crude oi l transportati on company, Vi vada has joi ned hands wi th the West Bengal Surface Transport Corp
(WBSTC) to l aunch two water taxi s i n the fi rst phase of a Rs 12.5 crore project . I t expects to have ten of
t hese 'on cal l ' taxi s runni ng by the end of thi s year.
By January 2006, Vi vada wi l l also start a fi ve·star fl oati ng hotel l i nki ng Kol kata wi th the Sunderbans mangrove
forest regi on. I t expects the fi ve·star vessel wi th 34 doubl e cabi ns to be a cash cow that wi l l keep t he water
taxi servi ce afl oat t i ll i t gai ns momentum. I t wi l l also offer the water taxi s for touri sm or fun crui ses. ( Kol kata
gets water taxi s canal transport by Jan, FE. D, 04. 1 0.05, C22/SlO)
The government may open up the crui se shi ppi ng sector for forei gn di rect i nvestment, as par t of its efforts to
promote touri sm. It may a lso amend the Merchant Shi ppi ng Act to si mpl ify regi strati on procedures for forei gn
cruise compani es.
An excl usi ve pol i cy for crui se touri sm i s bei ng evolved, whi ch i s l i kel y to prepare detai l s of t he FDI regi me
and spel l out measures to u pgrade ports and other rel ated i nfrastructure. A hi gh·power steeri ng group under
the chai r manshi p of the Mi nister of Shi ppi ng �nd the Mi ni ster of State for Touri sm as its co· chai r man had
a l ready been set up to f i na l i se a crui se pol i cy. The shi ppi ng mi ni stry has a l ready rel axed cabotage to a l l ow
foreign fl ag cruise vessels to coastal a reas wi thout hassl e i n the absence of Indi a n fl ag vessel s i n thi s segment.
The government is al so contempl ati ng to devel op seven ports as crui se shi ppi ng stati ons. These a re Cochi n
i n Keral a, New Mangal ore i n Karnataka, Marmugao i n Goa, Mumba i i n Maha rashtra, Kol kata i n West Bengal ,
Port Bl ai r i n the Andaman & Ni cobar I sl and Tuti cori n i n Tami l Nadu, the statement has sai d.
Besides thi s, smal l berthi ng pl aces wi l l al so be devel oped at vari ous si tes for sma l l vessel s. Speci al touri sm
ci rcui ts for each port woul d al so be prepared keepi ng i n vi ew the l ocal cul tural heri tage, i t sai d.
Si mi l arl y, New Mangal ore coul d be l i nked wi th the touri sm ci rcui t of Bangal ore, Bel ur, Hal ebi d a nd Hampi .
(Govt may open up crui se shi ppi ng for FDI to boost touri sm, FE. C, 13. 1 0. 05, C22)
I ndi a and the Bahamas have decided to enter i nto a Memorandum of Understandi ng (MoU) for expl ori ng the
possi bi l i ti es of cooperati on i n the a rea of crui se shi ppi ng.
Thi s was deci ded at a meet i ng between Bahamas Mi n i ster of Forei gn Affai rs and Publ i c Servi ce Frederi ck
Mi tchel l and Shi ppi ng, Road Transport and Hi ghways Mi ni ster TR Baal u.
Baha mas i s a favoured cruise shi ppi ng desti nati on i n the worl d a nd i ts experti se coul d be used as val ua bl e
si gn- post i n the devel opment of the I ndi a n crui se shi ppi ng i ndustry. (I ndi a to joi n Bahamas, explore crui se
shi ppi ng, FE. B, 24.0l .06, C22)
e23 Rai lways
The I ndi an Rai l ways coul d fi nal l y be openi ng i ts doors for i ncreased pri vate parti ci pati on_
The Pr i me Mi ni ster's Commi ttee on I nfrastructure has asked the Mi n i stry of Rai l ways to submi t a pol i cy
paper on publ i c- pri vate partnershi p (PPP) i n various areas, i ncl udi ng runni ng goods trai ns between speci fi c
poi nts such as coal mi nes and power stati ons and runn i ng passenger trai ns between touri st dest i nati ons.
PPP i n run n i ng passenger tra i ns between touri st dest i nati ons coul d be a further extensi on of Rai l ways'
Pal ace on Wheel s servi ce that cater to premi um touri st segment, whi ch a re run i n partnershi p wi th the
| Docl/ ment atio1 l Tpdate | 2 c o: � 0 6
respecti ve State tour i sm departments. ( Rl y Mi ni stry to submi t pol i cy paper to Cabi net by Sept, Publ i c·
pri vate partnershi p, Mamuni Das, BL. B, 1 9. 05. 05, C23)
500 workers a re compl eti ng the Lhasa River Bri dge, part of a 1 , 1 42·km project that wi l l l i nk Ti bet by rai l to
the outsi de worl d for the fi rst -ti me. Forei gn observers have l ong cri ti ci sed the rai l project, begun i n 2001 , for
favouri ng members of Chi na's Han maj ori ty over Ti beta ns. But they a l so fear that once the rai l road has
connected Ti bet wi th nei ghbou ri ng Qi nghai provi nce i n two years' ti me, i t wi l l conti nue to benefi t the Han
Chi nese fi rst and l ocal Ti betans l ast.
Offi ci al s i n Lhasa, by contrast, emphasi se the advantages they say the rai l l i ne wi l l bri ng to the Ti betans,
such as greatl y reduced transportati on costs for Ti betan products.
But what worries pro-Tibet advocates overseas is that when the rai l l i nk is compl eted, a trai n ri de from Bei ji ng
to Lhasa wi l l ta ke just 48 hours, and Ti bet wi l l sudden l y be wi th i n much easi er reach for mi l l i ons of job
hunters.
The Ti betans, who are al ready under pressure from massive Han i mmi grati on, coul d end up becomi ng even
more margi nal i sed, sai d Kate Saunders, the Washi ngton· based spokeswoman for the I nternati onal Campai gn
for Ti bet. Local offi ci al s acknowl edge that the rai l wi l l make i t easi er for Han Chi nese to go to Ti bet, but deny
that Ti betans have so far l ost jobs to mi grant workers. (A rai l l i n k to ' Roof of the Worl d', BL.C, 07. 08. 05,
C23)
I n a n attempt to counter di ppi ng a i r fa res, the Ra i l ways have deci ded to go SOFT-Scheme of Frequent
Travel l ers_ Rai l passengers can soon earn poi nts for frequent travel , whi ch they can use to avai l a free ti cket
or concessi on of the sa me amount. Rai l travel duri ng l ean peri ods wi l l get passengers poi nts equi val ent to
10% of the ti cket cost-4% dur i ng peak season. The scheme wi l l be handl ed by the I RCTC, whi ch is ready
wi th the software. The scheme wi l l be i n pl ace by next month. The Rai l ways had earl i er i ntroduced an a utomati c
upgradati on scheme to ensure that coaches-especi a l l y AC I a nd II-do not remai n empty. As per thi s
scheme, i f there i s heavy rush i n the Sl eeper category, wai t- l i sted passengers can be upgraded to AC I I I , I I
or even I . (Rl ys to go SOFT on frequent travel , Bhavnavi j Aurora I E_ D, 03. 1 0.05, C23)
The Rai l ways has i denti fi ed five possi bl e routes to Bhutan. Rai l I ndi a Techni cal and Economi c Servi ces, entrusted
wi th conducti ng a feasi bi l i ty study of the routes, is expected to submi t a report by October. Whi l e two of the
routes l i n k north Bengal wi th Bhut an, the rest ori gi nate from Assam. The l ocati ons have been proposed
consi deri ng thei r proxi mity to the Nati ona l Hi ghway and the road connecti vi ty between the towns on ei ther
si de of the border. (Ra i l routes to Bhutan i denti fi ed, TH. B, 06_ 01 . 06, C23)
The I ndi an Rai l ways are now gi vi ng f i nal touches to a proposal to set op a rai l l i nk wi th Burma crossi ng through
the north·eastern states to boost bi l ateral trade and peopl e-to· peopl e contact between the two cou ntri es.
The Mi ni stry of Exter nal Affai rs was i n touch wi th i ts counterparts i n Burma to faci l i tate thi s project. Thi s
i n i ti ati ve has been taken i n the l i ght of the resol uti ons of Bay of Bengal Ini ti ati ve for Techn i cal a nd Mul ti ·
Sectoral I ni ti ati ve ( BI MSTEC). The Ra i l ways have a l ready started work to construct a 60 km l ong track
connecti ng J i ri bam, hi therto the l ast rai l -head i n the east, to Toupl e i n Mani pur. (Trai n to Burma vi a N·E soon,
Manoj Anand, AA. B, 08. 01 . 06, C23)
The Uni on Mi ni ster of State for Ra i l ways, Mr R. Vel u, sai d as many as 290 projects were pendi ng wi th the
Ra i l way Board a nd Rs 47, 000 crore was requi red for taki ng up these projects. He sai d these projects had
a l ready been sa ncti oned after conducti ng necessary surveys, but coul d not be taken up due to wa nt of
funds. To a questi on, Mr Vel u sai d the requi red funds woul d be rai sed through Budget support, i nterna l
borrowi ng, assistance from Worl d Bank and Asi an Devel opment Bank, by creati ng a ' Speci al Purpose Vehi cl e'
( SPV) i n whi ch stake-hol ders, state governments and pri vate sector woul d be i nvol ved. I t was proposed to
t ake up a l l pendi ng"projects i n backward a reas through SPV. ( '290 Rai l way projects pendi ng due l ack of
funds' , BL. B, 08. 02. 06, C23)
The much· ta l ked about budget hotel concept of the Rai l ways may f i nal l y take off wi th the Mi nistry reworki ng
terms of bui l d, operate, transfer (BOT) a rrangement that cou l d resul t i n easi er revenue share regi me for
hotel i ers.
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
The terms bei ng reworked i ncl ude provi si on of a "l etter of comfort" from the Rai l ways for the l and on whi ch
the hotel woul d be bui l t and a l i kel y i ncrease i n the peri od for which compan i es woul d be al l owed to operate
the hotel . There woul d be a revenue shari ng arrangement between Rai l ways, I ndi an Rai l ways Cater i ng and
Touri sm Corporati on (I RCTC) and the hotel operator, which woul d be deci ded through a bi ddi ng process.
Letter of comfort: One of the reasons why the project wasn' t taki ng off was whi l e I RCTC was the executi ng
body, the l a nd was bei ng provi ded by the I ndi an Rai l ways and the i nterested parti es wanted a guara ntee
from the l and provi der to ensure that the ter ms of l and use do not change mi dway.
Tari ff f i xi ng: The operator woul d be free to f i x tar i ffs though some accommodati on shoul d be reserved for
economy segments. Earl ier proposal made it mandatory for operators to provi de 50% of rooms for bel ow Rs
1 , 000 per day. Thi s conditi on, which compani es found stri ngent, may be rel axed to some extent .
Si tes i denti fi ed: Meanwhi l e, the Rai l ways has i denti fi ed 34 si tes to set up budget hotel s. The bi ds for these
si tes woul d be i nvi ted and there woul d be a two· ti er tender.
Pl ayers wi th pri or experi ence i n hospi tal i ty woul d be chosen, after techn i cal qua l i f i cati ons. Fi nanci al bi ds
woul d then be i nvi ted from these pl ayers. ( Rai l ways' budget hotel concept on track, Mamuni Das, BL. B,
1 3.02.06, C23)
Wi th l ow· cost ai rl i nes eat i ng i nto its premi um category, the rai l ways has f i nal l y announced steep cuts i n i ts
fi rst AC a nd second AC fares for the fi rst ti me i n many years. The sl eeper cl ass has, however, been spared
from any hi ke. The fare of 200 mai l ·express trai ns that woul d now run as super fast trai ns may, however, go up
margi nal l y as i t woul d attract addi ti onal 'superfast l evy: Presenti ng the Rai l Budget i n Par l i ament, Rai l way
Mi nister Lal u Prasad pared AC fi rst cl ass fares by 1 8% and cut the fares for AC second by 1 0%. ( La l u cuts
AC fares to check onsl aught by a i r l i nes, FE. D, 25. 02. 06, C23)
A 13· member del egati on of c i t i zens from Paki stan who came to I ndi a by the rai l l i n k vi a the Muna bao·
Khokhrapar route revived recentl y cal l ed for easi ng the restri cti ons on travel between the two countri es and
evol vi ng a l eni ent vi sa regi me to make the hi stori c "unl ocki ng" of the western border a success. The del egati on,
compri si ng trade uni on acti vists, l abour l eaders, soci al workers and peace acti vi sts, travel l ed by the Thar
Express. The group i nteracted wi th a cross·secti on of soci ety to f i nd that the peopl e i n Raj asthan are j ubi l ant
a bout the tra i n from Paki stan restarted after four l ong decades.
The l eader of the del egation, Abdul Lateef Mughal , poi nted out that the "reluctant" governments of Indi a and
Paki sta n had been compel l ed to restore the rai l l i nk by the popul ar demand of peopl e at l arge. (Ca l l to ease
restri cti ons on travel between I ndi a, Paki stan, TH. D, 01 . 03.06, C23)
C23a Luxury Trai ns
I n a bi d to foster stronger rel ati onshi p, the southern states are worki ng together through the touri sm sector
to posi ti on South I ndi a as one l arge bl ock to attract both domest i c a nd i nternati ona l touri sts. As a step
towards thi s, the f i rst l uxury trai n chuggi ng across the southern states is l i kel y to be i ntroduced i n the next
18 months. Announci ng thi s at the South I ndi a Touri sm Mi n isters' conference' hel d i n Hyderabad, Andhra
Pradesh Chi ef Mi nister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy sai d that a feasi bi l i ty report has been prepared for the Rs 40·
crore Southern Spl endour South I ndi a touri sm trai n by the state touri sm department. The report has recei ved
an i n·pri nci pl e approval from the Uni on government and a speci al purpose vehi cl e wi l l soon be regi stered.
Andhra Pradesh government sai d besi des a commi ttee wi l l al so be formed i nvol vi ng other state governments
to look i nto the soci al and other security issues for the benefi t of touri sts. (Luxury trai n for South l i kel y, FE. B,
29. 04. 05, C23a)
Setti ng asi de strong protests, the Vasundhara Raje Gover n ment has deci ded to pri vat i se the country's
premi um tourist trai n, Pal ace on Wheel s.
Whi l e the opposi ti on Congress and the empl oyees of the Rajasthan Touri sm Development Corporati on ( RTDC)
the Government agency whi ch runs the trai n -are opposi ng the deci si on, the Government has deci ded to
hand over the trai n to a fi ve·star chai n before the start of the touri st season i n September.
| Documentation Update | 2005 -06
The Government i nvi ted appl i cati ons from l eadi ng fi ve-star chai ns for the mai ntenance and management of
the trai n. The hotel i ers have been given a fortnight to make thei r presentati ons, fol l owl ngwhi ch the Government
woul d sel ect the successful bi dder.
Al though many agree that the trai n, consi dered among the top 1 0 l uxury trai ns i n the wor l d, woul d benefi t
from pri vati sati on, the haste wi th whi ch the Government has deci ded to go ahead wi th the process has drawn
f l ak. ( Pa l ace on Wheel s open to pri vate pl ayers, I E. C, 28. 07. 05, C23a)
The Pal ace on Wheel s i s maki ng news even before i t begi ns i ts fi rst Journey of the new season on September
7. Reason: the ongoi ng controversy over the outsourci ng of servi ces on board the l uxury tour i st tra i n . A
seemi ngl y desperate Raj asthan government swung i nto acti on to open the fi nanci al bi ds for the contract for
the outsourci ng. The bi ds were opened i n the presence of representati ves of the Taj Group of Hotel s - the
only bi dder. The Raj asthan HC asked the govern ment to conti nue wi th the current management of the trai n
and not get i ts acti vi ti es outsourced. (Who' l l get Pal ace on Wheel s? Si ddhartha Bose, HTD, 03. 09. 05, C23a)
The Rai l ways wi l l i ntroduce l uxury tou ri st trai ns for forei gn as wel l as domesti c tou ri sts. The Rai l ways i s
pl anni ng t o r un stea m engi ne- haul ed toy t ra i ns on hi l l stati ons. I t i s a l so gea ri ng u p t o woo touri sts by
i ntroduci ng touri st cars whi ch woul d be attached to the regul ar passenger tra i ns. Al l these touri st packages
wi l l be done on the basi s of publ i c- pri vate partnershi p ( PPP). The ti ckets for these touri st packages can be
made ava i l abl e through I ndi an Rai l way Cateri ng and Touri sm Corporati on' s (I RCTC) websi te or through tour
operators.
Fi rst on the anvi l i s the l uxury segment t ra i n a i med at i nternati onal tour i sts. For thi s, a second Pal ace on
Wheel s trai n has been gi ven t he pri nci pal approval by t he government t o t he rai l ways, whi ch wi l l entai l a cost
of Rs 24 crore. The tra i n wi l l be made operati onal by 2007. Thi s second royal t ra i n wi l l beckon you to step
aboa rd for a week of spl endour as i t offers faci l i ti es l i ke spa, gym, conference room, beauty sa l oon, fax and
i nternet.
For domesti c touri sts, rai l ways are i ntroduci ng a l uxury tra i n on the l i nes of Pal ace on Wheel s but wi th l ess
fri l l s and cost. Hotel Oberoi has approached rai l ways to i nvest on t hi s trai n.
Al so i n l i ne i s a proposal t o i ntroduce touri st cars i n passenger trai ns whi ch woul d be hi red by a group of
touri sts wi shi ng to travel to a parti cul ar l ocati on. These touri st cars woul d be attached to regul a r passenger
trai ns to be haul ed to desti nati ons booked. Taj Group of Hotel s i s i n tal ks wi th the ra i l ways for i nvest i ng on
these toy trai ns.
I n a bi d t o focus more on touri sm, t he rai l ways are pl anni ng t o earmark some seats for the touri sts i n every
segment of travel . Ca l l i ng it a Val ue Added Tour Package (VAT), t hi s wi l l enabl e rai l ways to f i l l up the vacant
seats duri ng the l ean season and a l so to retai n thei r market share. Speci al food coul d be part of the val ue
added package. I t i s pl anni ng to keep a round 1 5- 20 seats i n thi s category i n every cl ass. For these touri sm
packages, the rai lways i s pl anni ng to rope i n pri vate travel agents l i ke Thomas Cook and Si ta Travel s. (Rai l ways
pl ans l uxury touri st trai ns, Corporates to chi p in with funds and i deas on tappi ngtouri s, Ema Vasudev, ETB,
27. 02. 06, C23a)
C24 Ci vi l Avi ati on
Pl ans and Pol i ci es
The new a greement to be si gned between I ndi a and the US wi l l provi de for unrestri cted a i rl i ne servi ces
between the countri es a nd from there to t hi rd countri es. There wi l l a l so be no restri cti on on t ari ff, fl i ght
frequency or type of a i rcraft depl oyed. I ndi a and the US a re expected to draw up a new, more l i beral open
ski es agreement.
At present, approxi mately two mi l l i on passengers travel a year between the two countri es. The broad contours
of the new agreement were fi nal i sed duri ng the vi si t of Mr Patel (Ci vi l Avi ati on Mi ni ster) to the US early 2005.
The new agreement wi l l reRl ace the exi sti ng I ndi a- US avi ati on agreement, whi ch was negoti ated i n 1 956 and
l i mi ts the number of a i rl i nes that ca n fl y between the two countri es, the ci ti es they can serve, the frequency
of thei r fl i ghts and thei r fares. ( I ndo- US open ski es to a l l ow t hi rd country f l i ghts, Sudhi r Chowdhary, FE. B,
1 4. 04. 05, C24)
: 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentat iol l Updat e |
The Pri me Mi ni ster, Dr Manmohan Si ngh, proposed a South Asi an open ski es agreement that woul d remove
restri cti ons on fl i ghts operated by State owned and pri vate a i rl i nes from seven countri es. I ndi a was ready to
offer the open ski es faci l i ty on a reci procal basi s. I ndi a , whi ch now has such an a rra ngement onl y wi t h Sri
La nka. ( I ndi a offers S. Asi a open ski es pact, TH. B, 1 3 .05. 05, C24)
The Government has no i mmedi ate pl ans to review the foreign di rect i nvestment l i mi t i n the domesti c avi ati on
sector, the Mi ni ster for Ci vi l Avi ati on, Mr Praful Patel . "The present 49 % cap on forei gn di rect i nvestment i n
the avi ati on sector i s suffi ci ent. The Government recentl y hi ked the cap i n the domesti c avi ati on sector t o 49
% f rom the ear l i er l evel of 40 %. However, forei gn a i rl i nes a re not a l l owed to pi ck u p a stake i n domesti c
a i r l i nes. ( No i mmedi ate pl ans to review FDI cap i n civi l avi ati on: Mi ni ster, BL. B, 25. 05. 05, C24)
Fl i ghts between I ndi a and Germany are set to more than doubl e i n a phased manner i n the near future wi th
t he two countri es agreei ng to a l l ow thei r desi gnated carri ers up to 50 f l i ghts a week ei ther way. These ai rl i nes
have a l so been al l owed t o fl y onwa rds t o a t hi rd country. Moreover, ai rl i nes from Germany have been al l owed
to operate to Kochi , Hyderabad and Goa, whi l e specifi ed ai r l i nes from I ndi a wi l l be al l owed to operate to three
more ci ti es i n Germany. I ndi a i s, however, yet to s peci fy the t hree German ci ti es to whi ch i ts a i rl i nes woul d
l i ke t o start f l yi ng. Thi s was agreed to at the concl usi on of bi l ateral ai r servi ces ta l ks between I ndi a a nd
Germany. ( I ndi a, Germany agree to i ncrease ai r connecti vi ty, BL. B, 26. 05. 05, C24)
I n its spree to expand f l i ghts to and from I ndi a, the government has updated the bi l atera l agreements wi th
Bel gi um and the Netherl ands, al l owi ng a total of 42 frequenci es per week to and from the two countri es. Wi th
t he si gni ng of ai r· servi ces agreements wi th t hese countri es, the tot al number of n ati ons wi th whom such
accords have been entered i nto by I ndi a thi s year has ri sen to 9. The other countri es a re France, UK, US,
Qatar, Germany, Chi na and Oman. Both Bel gi um and the Netherl an
d
s have agreed to al l ow mul ti pl e carri er
desi gnati ons, t hrough whi ch more tha n one I ndi an ai rl i ne can operate to these two nati ons and vi ce· versa.
(42 new fl i ghts to a nd from Bel gi um, Netherl a nds, FE. B, 28. 05. 05, C24)
The Central Government is not keen on al l owi ng State Governments to fl oat thei r own ai rl i nes for operati ons on
i nternati ona l routes. The Centre' s l atest t hi nki ng coul d put a spoke i n the proposed pl ans of the Keral a
government to fl oat a n ai rl i ne t o operate fl i ghts t o the Gul f regi on. The Central Government woul d not change
t he exi st i ng rul es to a l l ow Keral a or a ny other State Gover nment to f l oat a n a i r l i ne purel y for operat i ng
i nternat i onal f l i ghts. The current r ul es al l ow onl y those a i rl i nes that have compl eted at l ea st fi ve yea rs of
domesti c operati ons and have a fl eet of 20 ai rcraft to operate i nternati onal fl i ghts. The Keral a Government
recentl y sent a proposal to the Centre seeki ng rel axati on i n rul es and a l l ow i t to start an a i rl i ne t hat coul d
operate between t he State a nd the Gul f regi on. The State has been keen t o start t he ai r l i ne, as passengers
travel l i ng from there to the Gul f have been faci ng probl ems.
Central Government offi ci al s poi nt out that accedi ng·to the request of the Keral a Government at the moment
wi l l go agai nst the deci si on of the Uni on Cabi net, whi ch has barred even the two pri vate sector ai rl i nes Jet
Ai rways and Ai r Sahara - from operat i ng to the Gul f regi on for t hree years. Thi s, the offi ci al s sai d, was a
consci ous deci si on of the Government to protect Ai r I ndi a a nd I ndi an Ai rl i nes.
To ensure that i nternati onal ai r travel l ers do not face a ny probl ems, the Government has fol l owed a l i beral ai r
servi ces bi l ateral regi me that has seen a huge i ncrease i n t he ai r seats al l otted t o ai rl i nes of vari ous countri es
i ncl udi ng the Gul f regi on. (Centre not to al l ow States to fl oat ai rl i nes for i nternati onal routes, BL. B, 09. 1 1 . 05,
C24)
I n its bid to step up efforts to attract more I ndi an touri sts, a tour operator i n I ta ly i s mul l i ng over a chartered
fl i ght from Punj ab to cash i n on the recent i ncrease i n vi si tors from I ndi a. Thi s i s part of the concerted effort
made by bot h Government a nd private a genci es to sustai n the 20 % growth of touri st fl ow from I ndi a. The
I t al i a n State Tou ri st Boa rd ( l STB) i s a l so expl ori ng the possi bi l i ty of a t i e- up wi t h a l eadi ng I ndi an tour
operator for ta ppi ng the potenti al of operati ng chartered f l i ghts to I tal y. ( I tal y for strategi c ti e- ups to attract
I ndi an touri st s, BL. B, 24. 1 1 . 05, C24)
Government i s acti vel y consi deri ng a l l owi ng 1 00 % forei gn di rect i nvestment ( FDI ) i n ai r ports t hrough the
a utomati c route, doi ng away wi th the FI PB cl earances. The Commerce Mi ni stry has suggested a sl ew of FDI
pol i cy changes a nd the Group of Mi ni sters headed by Agri cul ture Mi ni ster Sharad Pawar i s eval uat i ng the
pros and cons before al l owi ng 1 00 % foreign parti ci pati on i n the devel opment of ai rports through the automati c
| Documentation Update ¸ . - 0 6
route. Currentl y 1 00 pc forei gn parti ci pati on i n sector is al l owed but there i s a sectoral cap of 74 %. If the
forei gn company wa nts to i nvest more t han 74 pc i t has to a ppl y to FI PB a pprova l . The move woul d gi ve a
boost to the proposed u p gradati on and moderni sati on programme announced by the avi ati on mi ni stry for 35
non- metro a i rports and the greenfi el d a i rports to be set up i n consul tati on wi th the states. ( 1 00 pc FDI i n
a i rports through automati c route, VT_ B, 1 1 . 01 . 06, C24)
The I ndi an avi ati on i ndustry has been rapi dl y expandi ng i n the l ast few years wi th the entry of several new
a i rl i nes especi al l y l ow- cost operators, the openi ng up of i nternati onal routes for pri vate domesti c carri ers,
the i ntroduction of open ski es regi mes: the substanti al i ncrease i n-fl i ght enti tl ements under bi lateral agreements
and i ni ti ati on of private sector parti ci pati on in the devel opment and management of ai rports. However, as
the i ndustry moves away from the state- centri c model where the government was the onl y si gni fi cant pl ayer
i n the ent i re i ndustry to the mul t i - pl ayer model of the post- l i beral i sati on era where there i s l arge scal e
parti ci pati on from pri vate pl ayers, there i s an urgent need t o establ i sh a n i ndependent regul ator who has the
mandate to regul ate techni cal and economi cal aspects i n the sector.
At present, the Mi ni stry of Ci vi l Avi ati on i s the a pex ci vi l avi ati on regul ator i nsti tuti on i n I ndi a. I t i s responsi bl e
for formul ati ng and i mpl ementi ng the nati onal avi ati on pol i cy. Taki ng key deci si ons on al l i ssues rel ated to
avi ati on , i ni ti ati ng maj or i ni ti ati ves i n avi ati on. Other regul atory bodi es l i ke the di rectorate - General of Ci vi l
Avi ati on (DGCA) and the Bureau of Ci vi l Avi ati on Securi ty (BCAS) a re under i ts purview.
The need for a regul ator authority to deal with the i mportant economi c i ssues in the sector is acutel y, i . e. the
Mi ni stry of Ci vi l Avi ati on, and substa nti al i nterest i n maj or i ndustry pl ayers l i ke I ndi an Ai rl i nes, Ai r- I ndi a ,
Pawan Hans Corporati on and the Ai rport Authori ty of I ndi a. There is a cl ear potenti a l for confl i ct of i nterest i n
thi s case a nd therefore the regul atory functi ons of the mi ni st ry need to be tra nsferred to an i ndependent
regul ator.
Secondly, an i ndependent regul ator wi th i ntegrated regul atory functi ons can address al l techni cal , economi c,
management, operati onal , envi ronmental , l i censi ng, l i abi l i ty, safety a nd securi ty- rel ated i ssues i n a hol i sti c
manner and create sta ndards i n l i ne wi th gl obal best practi ces. The current pi ecemea l a pproach where a
regul ator' s mandate i s restri cted to j ust one aspect l eads to a n overal l i neffective regul atory framework and
several key i ssues are not properl y addressed at a l l .
I ndependent ' super' regul ators have been created for other sectors l i ke tel ecom (the Trai ) a n d i nsura nce
(the I rda), whi ch a l so underwent a si mi l ar transi ti on from a state- monopol y model . The Naresh Chandra
Committee has recommended creati on of a regul atory mechani sm consi sti ng of a n i ndependent regul atory
authori ty wi th a mandate to deal onl y wi th economi c functi ons whi l e the DGCA woul d retai n i ts techni cal
regul atory functi ons. However, regul atory experi ence i n the ci vi l avi ati on sector from other countri es i ndi cate
that di vorci ng economi c and techni cal i ssues in modern avi ati on l eads to several regul atory probl ems and
hi nder t he growth of t he sector. Therefore, t he proposed ci vi l avi ati on regul atory authori ty needs t o cover
both economi c and techni cal i ssues so that i t can effecti vel y deal wi th the compl exi ti es of modern ci vi l
avi ati on i n I ndi a. ( For an i ndependent avi ati on regul ator, Sudi p Mahapatra . EIB, 23. 01 . 06, C24)
The Del hi and Mumbai a i rport moderni sati on process was di srupted. once agai n, when the Ai rports Authori ty
of I ndi a (AAI ) employees di d not al l ow the government to open fi nanci al bi ds.
The fi nanci al bi ds of pre· qual i fi ed bi dders woul d not be opened a nd the Ci vi l Avi ati on Mi ni stry woul d hol d
di scussi ons wi th the empl oyees on the ' al ternate pl an' they have submi tted on the matter.
Thi s assurance was given to the agitati ng empl oyees by the AAI management, fol l owi ng whi ch the AM Employees
Joi nt Forum suspended thei r agi tati on to protest the proposed pri vati sati on move. (AAI workers suspend sti r
agai nst pri vati sati on, FE- B, 28. 01 . 06. C24)
The Uni on Budget 2006-07 has provi ded some rel i ef to the domesti c avi ati on sector whi l e i nter nati onal ai r
travel a nd travel by crui se shi ps i s set t o become sl i ghtl y more expensi ve. The Budget, however, has a l so
proposed l evyi ng a 1 2 % cess on a i r passengers fl yi ng a broad i n busi ness or fi rst cl ass and on travel on
crui se shi ps.
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
However, the Fri nge Benefi t Tax woul d be l evi ed at 5 % i nstead of 20 % for a i rl i ne compani es and shi ppi ng
i ndustry to val ue the benefi ts i n the form of ' hospi tal i ty' and ' use of hotel and l odgi ng faci l i ti es. (Domesti c
a i rl i nes get tax exempti on for 1 more yea r, BL. B, 01 . 03. 06, C24)
The boom i n ai r travel a ppears to have encouraged the Fi nance Mi ni ster to tap the sector for more revenues
i n the next fi scal . Mr PChi damba ra m has deci ded to tax the predomi nantl y corporate and hi gh net· worth
i ndi vi dual s who patroni se the u pper deck (fi rst and busi ness cl a ss) of i nternati onal fl i ghts from I ndi a wi th a
servi ce tax, a nd t hat too, a n enhanced one ( 1 2% now).
I n fact, avi ati on thi nk tank CAPA country head Kapi l Kaul says there i s not much i n the budget to cheer the
avi ati on sector. For an i ndustry whi ch i s t i pped to attract $50 bi l l i on i nvestment ( ai rcraft acqui si t i on, new
ai rports i n 10 yea rs), there i s l i ttl e to show-on the part of the government -on how to make the i ndustry
more vi abl e by a ddressi ng i ts cost structure. ( Hi gh f l i ers face a downer, ET. B, 01 . 03. 06, C24)
Asserti ng that passenger ri ghts shoul d be c l earl y defi ned, Ai r Passengers Associ at i on of I ndi a (APAI ) sai d
draft gui del i nes, on the l i nes of a n Act i n the European Uni on, was expected to be ready by Apri l . APAI
presi dent D Sudhaka ra Reddy sai d such ri ghts were vi tal because there were many i nstances when ai rl i nes
servi ces had been defi ci ent and t he passengers had not been compensated appropri atel y.
Ci t i ng one i nstance a passenger recentl y had confi rmed booki ng from Bangkok to Chennai and when he
reached t he a i rport he was tol d that t he f l i ght had l eft two· hours i n advance as i t had been reschedul ed.
When t he passenger i nsi sted that he wanted t o f l y t o Chennai , despi te hol di ng a f i rst cl ass reservati on, he
was booked t o f l y by a nother a i rl i ne i n t he economy cl ass.
Mr Reddy sai d APAT had received many compl ai nts that a l ow cost a i rl i ne di d not al l ot seat numbers and
there was a mad rush t o occupy vantage seats causi ng great i nconveni ence t o el derl y peopl e, women a nd
chi l dren.
Even some of the ai rl i nes were demandi ng payment for provi di ng wheel chai r to physi cal ly chal l enged persons
a nd some of them were chargi ng exorbi tantl y for mi neral water.
Rei terati ng the demand for an i ndependent fl i ght safety body l i ke the Nati onal Transportati on Safety Board i n
the US, he sai d safety audi ts had to be carri ed out on al l the ai rl i nes, especi al ly those recrui ti ng foreign pi l ots.
(Draft gui del i nes for passenger ri ghts gett i ng ready, FE. B, 1 6. 03. 06, C24)
Government-owned a i rl i nes
Wi th an eye on t he Rs 1 , 000- crore ground ha nd l i ng servi ces ma rket, I ndi an Ai rl i nes has deci ded to ask
pri vate a i rl i nes l i ke Jet Ai rways to contract such servi ces to the state- owned carri er i f they wanted i t to fl y
the mandatory u nvi abl e routes for them.
Accordi ng t o the Ci vi l Avi at i on Mi ni stry' s route di spersal gui del i nes (RDG). a l l desi gnated a i rl i nes have to
depl oy par t of thei r capaci ty to connect ci ti es i n the northeast, Jammu & Kashmi r, Andama n & Ni cobar.
Lakshwadeep, a nd some state capi tal s to ful fi l thei r soci al obl i gati ons_ I ndi an Ai rl i nes had recentl y entered
i nto a comprehensi ve agreement wi th Vi jay Mal lya' s Ki ngfi sher Ai rl i nes. As part of the Rs 1 20- crore deal , the
state·owned carri er wi l l fl y for Ki ngfi sher on the mandatory l oss· maki ng sectors and undertake ground handl i ng
and mai ntenance for the l atter. Soon. after thi s, Jet Ai rways Naresh Goyal a pproached I ndi an Ai rl i nes to take
over Jet' s obl i gati ons. l A, whi ch i s t ryi ng to di versi fy i ts revenue streams, cl earl y l i nked f l yi ng uneconomi c
routes to contracti ng ground handl i ng operat i ons. ( I ndi an Ai r l i nes eyes Jet Ai rways' mandatory u nvi a bl e
routes, Sudhi r Chowdhary, FE. B, 1 9. 05. 05, C24)
The Maharaj a wi l l now befl yi ng wi th the Touri sm Mi ni stry's much·touted ' I ncredi bl e I ndi a' l ogo. The Mi ni ster of
State for Touri sm, Ms Renuka Chowdhury, and the Ci vi l Avi ati on Mi ni ster, Mr Praful Patel , fl agged off the fi rst
Ai r· l ndi a pl ane wi th t he l ogo, symbol i zi ng the synergy between the two mi ni stri es to attract more touri sts,
domest i c and forei gn . (A· I adopts I ncredi bl e I ndi a l ogo, TS. D, 28. 09. 05, C24)
| [o(' umcni ut iol l Updat e |
Pri vate ai rl i nes
Pri vate a i rl i nes may agree on enforci ng a mandatory t hree month noti ce to be served by pi l ot s before they
qui t to j oi n a competi tor. The Ci vi l Avi ati on Mi ni ster convened a meeti ng of a l l a i rl i nes · pri vate and state­
owned to faci l i tate a ' code of conduct' and a ' sel f· i mposed di sc i pl i ne' to counter the menace of poachi ng.
Wi th the entry of atl east four new ai rl i nes Ki ngfi sher, Spi ce Jet, Go Ai r and Magi c Ai r l i nes · a scrambl e i s
expected for tra i ned pi l ots. At present, I ndi a has onl y 1 , 500 pi l ots and accordi ng t o esti mates, the country
woul d need three-ti mes more pi l ots i n the next fi ve years. Whi l e the mi ni str i s not l egal l y bound to i ntervene
i n the process of free movement of pi l ots, i t i s i n favour of ai rl i ne compan i es formal i si ng some ground rul es
l i ke a three·month noti ce peri od that pi l ots are requi red to serve before swi tchi ng j obs.
Whi l e hi ri ng forei gn pi l ots i s a l ways a n opti on, i t can prove very expensi ve. Accordi ng to i ndustry sources,
forei gn pi l ots are at l east thri ce as expensi ve as I ndi a ns . Low·cost as wel l as regul ar a i rl i nes are poachi ng
staff wi th attracti ve pay packages. They are a l so empl oyi ng forei gn pi l ots wi th pay packets of a bout Rs f ive
l akh per month vi s· a- vi s Rs 1 . 5- 2 l akh pa i d to I ndi an pi l ot s. ( Pi l ots may get to hop j obs, but wi th 3- month
noti ce, Sudhi r Chowdhary, FE. B, 1 6. 04. 05, C24)
The government may revi ew the fi ve· year experi ence condi ti on i n the open· sky pol i cy, for fl yi ng overseas.
Speaki ng on the i ssue of ' di scri mi natory' open·ai r pol i cy, UB group chai rman and MP Vi jay Mal lya sai d, i t' s a
fundamental i ssue, but the Ci vi l Avi ati on Mi ni ster Praful Patel has assured me that the government pol i cy i s
not cast i n stone, i t' s a l ways subject t o revi ew. When I ' m ready, I ' m goi ng t o apply agai n. I have the confi dence
that the gover nment wi l l take a rati onal vi ew. ( Ki ngfi sher to revi ve bi d to fl y overseas, open to stake sa l e,
Ni vedi ta Mookerj i , FE. B, 26. 04. 05, C24)
After a l most a decade of l angui shi ng i n the hangar, East West Ai rl i nes hopes to take wi ngs agai n by the end
of t hi s year. After bei ng grounded i n the mi d-90s, the ai r l i nes expecti ng a renewal of i ts l i cence soon. I t i s i n
tal ks wi th Boei ng and Ai rbus for buyi ng ai rcraft, a nd wi th two i nvestors t o rai se $50-60 mi l l i on i n the next two
years . Seni or company sources decl i ned to name the forei gn i nvestors, who, they sai d, had a track record of
i nvest i ng i n the avi ati on i ndustry. A domesti c i nvestor was a l so i n the pi pel i ne, they sa i d. The money rai sed
from these i nvestors wi l l compri se hal f debt and hal f equi ty.
If East West takes to the ski es agai n, i t wi l l be the second ai rl i ne whi ch cl osed shop i n the '90s to recommence
operati ons. The f i rst i s Modi l uft, whi ch i s now rebor n as Spi ceJet . ( East West to f l y agai n by yea r· end,
Neel asri Barman , FE. B, 1 6. 05. 05, C24)
Jet Ai rways pl ans to expand i ts fl eet a nd ta p new desti nati ons a broad, reveal ed Mr Naresh Goyal . "Over the
next 3- 4 years, we a re poi sed to ta ke advantage of promi si ng opportun i t i es both domest i ca l l y a nd
i nternati onal ly. Esti mates suggest that the domesti c I ndi an avi ati on market wi l l conti nue to grow at above 20
% each year over the comi ng 3- 5 yea rs. Ai r travel i s bei ng propel l ed by ri si ng di sposabl e i ncomes, i ncreasi ng
propensi ty to travel a nd avai l abi l i ty of l ower fares. As I ndi a's l eadi ng domesti c a i rl i ne, we are wel l pl aced to
achi eve growth rates that are broadl y i n l i ne wi th the market ".
Wel comi ng recent i ni ti at i ves al l owi ng pri vate ca rri ers t o fl y overseas, he sai d t hat thi s wi l l al l ow Jet Ai rways
to capture substa nti al growth i n i nternati ona l traffi c to and from I ndi a, a market whi ch i s a l so expected to
grow i n t he regi on of 20 % per annum over the comi ng years. (Jet pl ans to expand, a l l set to tap new
desti nati ons, AA. D, 28. 09. 05, C24)
Owner of Ki ngfi sher Ai rl i nes Vi j ay Mal l ya sai d he was one of those studyi ng the prospect of pi cki ng up equi ty
stake i n Ai r Sahara . The i nformati on memorandum, Mr Mal l ya sai d, had defi ned an amount of $1 00 mi l l i on,
whi ch Ai r Sahara proposed to ra i se f or i t s expansi on pl ans. He was, however, not sure what percentage of
total equi ty i t amounted to. He sai d non- bi ndi ng offers woul d have to be made aga i nst the memorandum by
October 30. Mr Mal l ya sai d whi l e he was "cert ai n ly i nterested" i n l ooki ng at the proposal , he had not made
any offer to Ai r Sahara as yet. ( Mal l ya wa nts to board Ai r Sa hara , FE. D, 1 9. 1 0. 05, C24)
The pri ce war i n the I ndi an avi ati on i ndustry i s l i kel y to i ntensi fy i n the comi ng days wi th new entrant GoAi r
unvei l i ng a s,:heme t o offer 1 0, 000 free t i ckets per month on a fi rst- come-fi rst· serve basi s, on al l i ts routes.
: 0 0 5 0 6 | Document at ion l Tpclat e |
GoAi r wi l l i n i t i al l y operate on the Mumba i , Goa , Ahmedabad and Coi mba tore routes. Under the scheme,
whi ch wi l l be val i d for si x months starti ng October, passengers who book earl y woul d get a zero fare. They
woul d, however, have to pay the taxes amounti ng to Rs 221 . The ai rl i ne cl ai med i ts fares woul d be 40 % l ower
t han that of tradi ti onal ai rl i nes and on a n average, 1 0 % hi gher t han a i r- condi ti oned fi rst a nd second- cl ass
rai l way fares. (GoAi r to offer 1 0, 000 free t i ckets a month, I E. D, 2 1 . 1 0. 05, C24)
Coi mbatore- based start- up Paramount Ai rways may be a l ow- prof i l e operator, but i t has pl ans to capture a
l arge sl i ce of the hi gh- brow corporate t ravel pi e wi th i ts superi or busi ness and fi rst cl ass i n·f l i ght servi ces.
The ai r l i ne' s Managi ng Di rector M Thi agaraj a n sai d that i t has deci ded to i ntroduce fl at beds a nd satel l i te
tel evi si on on i ts fl eet of new generati on Embraer a i rcraft by mi d 2006. Al ong wi th fi rst and busi ness cl ass
cabi ns, al l ai rcraft wi l l be equi pped wi t h modern i n· fl i ght entertai nment systems i ncl udi ng personal TV screens
on al l seats. The programmes on offer wi l l i ncl ude musi c, vi deos and l i ve news through a satel l i te upl i nk.
Meanwhi l e, Bennett, Col eman & Co has taken a 2% stake i n the ai r l i ne for a n undi scl osed sum. The ti e· up wi l l
be the medi a behemot h's mai den equi ty exposure i n the rapi dly growi ng avi at i on space. Accordi ng to Mr
Thi agaraj an , the ai rl i ne wi l l constantl y seek to di fferenti ate i ts on· ground and i n·fl i ght servi ces, and the cabi n
offeri ng was part of t hi s exerci se. I nci dental l y, the a i r l i ne, whi ch commenced operati ons on October 1 9, wi l l
conti nue wi th i t s focus of l i nki ng metros wi th secondary towns of commerci al i mportance. ( Para mount Ai r to
offer f l at beds, satel l i te TV, EIB, 23. 1 1 . 05, C24)
Cha rtered servi ces operator Jagson Ai r l i nes i s the l atest ai rl i ne pl anni ng to enter the domesti sa i r space as
a n al l · l ndi a schedul ed operator. I ndi a al ready has 1 2 schedui ed operators and 44 non- schedul ed operators.
The a i rl i ne, promoted by chai r man Jagdi sh P Gupta, has brought onboard former Ai r Sa hara CEO Uttam
Kumar Bose. I t i s uncl ear whether Jagson wi l l posi ti on i tsel f as a l ow cost carri er or a ful l · fl edged servi ce
ai rl i ne.
When the gover nment opened a i rl i ne busi ness for pri vate sector i n 1 991 , Jagson Ai rl i nes was among the fi rst
pri vate ai r l i nes to ava i l the l i cence. I t l aunched i ts chartered servi ces i n 1 992 and is currentl y operati ng i n
Hi machal Pradesh a n d Raj asthan. The a i rl i ne wi l l now have t o convert i ts non· schedul ed operator l i cence to
that of a schedul ed operator. I t wi l l have to i ncrease i ts pai d up capi tal from the current Rs 1 . 06 crore to Rs
30 crore to qual i fy as a schedul ed operator. I t' s not cl ear yet how the ai rl i ne proposes to ra i se funds to meet
wi th the mandatory regul ati ons. (Jagson takes off i nto crowded ski es, Pummy Kaul , FE. B, 04. 01 . 06, C24)
Li quor house Mohan Meaki n supported I ndus Ai rways wi l l fi nal l y take to the wi ngs thi s March wi th 1 0 l eased
pl anes u nder i ts bel t i n the fi rst yea r of operati ons. The a i r l i ne i s bei ng capi tal i sed wi th a Rs 250 crore fund
pool , whi ch i ncl udes equal contri buti on of Rs 1 00 crore each from the two promoters. Usi ng Del hi , Chandi garh
and Amri tsar i s i ts base, I ndus Ai rways pl ans to connect towns l i ke Jammu, Shi ml a, a nd Sri nagar i n the
north. ( I ndus Ai r to hi t ski es i n March, Gi ri sh Rao & Boby Kuri an, EIB, 25. 01 . 06, C24)
J ha rkhand i s pl anni ng to i nt roduce a uni que model of ai r travel that woul d hel p i ts peo
p
l e access charter
fl i ghts and state· run schedul ed f l i ghts t o di fferent desti nati ons i n the state. I ni ti al ly there woul d be two sma l l
uti l i ty pl anes, a n d one smal l a n d one medi um hel i c
o
pter. The state i s i n the process of buyi ng a smal l f l eet of
1 1 · seater, 5· seater and 4- seater a i rcraft , as wel l as hel i copters of passenger capaCi ty 7 to 14. Dependi ng
on the demand of the servi ce, the state government woul d expand the fl eet. (Jharkhand mul l s novel ai r travel
model , Ari ndam Si nha , FE. D, 1 6. 02. 06, C24)
Forei gn ai r l i nes
Tha i l and· ba sed Nok Ai r i s consi deri ng enteri ng the I ndi an market i n 2006, a nd i s l ooki ng for a ti e
'
up wi th a
l ow- cost carri er i n I ndi a. Nok Ai r i s a l ow· cost a i r l i ne
r
egi stered under Sky Asi a Co, a j oi nt vent ure between
publ i c and pri vate i nvestors. The carri er star ted operat i ons i n Tha i l a nd i n J ul y 2004. At present, the onl y
forei gn l ow cost carri er operat i ng to I ndi a i s Sharj ah- ba sed Ai r Ara bi a . The ca rri er sta rted operat i ons i n
March thi s year and operates seven f l i ghts a week to Mumbai . Nok Ai r has al ready approached Vi jay Mal l ya­
promoted Ki ngf i sher Ai r l i nes for a possi bl e t i e- up. The domest i c fares offered by Nok Ai r a re al most 30%
cheaper than l egacy carri ers operati ng i n Tha i l a nd. (Thai l ow- cost carri er Nok Ai r may enter I ndi a, Neel asri
Barman, FE. D, 08. 1 0. 05, C24)
| Documentation Update | .
Jetstar Asi a , Si ngapore's l eadi ng l ow· cost ai rl i ne has l aunched i ts servi ces to Bangal ore and wi l l operate five
days a week. Bangal ore wi l l be i ts second desti nati on i n I ndi a after Kol kata. The ai rl i ne wi l l target corporate
travelers, more speci fi cal ly from the I T sector, those from smal l and medi um enterpri ses and l ei sure travel l ers.
(Jetsta r servi ces to Bangal ore, TH. B, 24. 01 . 06, C24)
Ma uri ti us may soon open i ts ski es for I ndi an carri ers, both publ i c and pri vate. A cl ea r i ndi cati on of thi s was
gi ven by the Deputy Pr i me Mi n i ster of Ma uri t i us, Mr Xavi er Luc Duva l , duri ng hi s vi si t to Mumba i . "The
country's strategi c geographi cal l ocati on a dvantage for the growi ng I ndi an outbound travel l i ng traffi c woul d
be very soon passed to the I ndi an Government. Thi s woul d pave way for I ndi an publ i c and pri vate ai rl i nes to
use Mauri ti us as a gateway for onward jour ney. " He al so reiterated the Mauri ti us Government' s commi tment
on the earl y i mpl ementati on of rupee converti bi l i ty. Mauri ti us had asked i ts centra l bank to work on thi s, as
i t coul d gi ve a si gni fi ca nt boost to bi l ateral rel ati ons between t he two countri es, especi a l l y on t he touri sm
front. ( Mauri ti us may open ski es for I ndi an carri ers, BL. B, 1 7. 02, 06, C24)
The European Uni on banned more than 90 forei gn ai rl i nes from countri es i ncl udi ng Thai l and, Afghani stan and
Swazi l and, publ i shi ng the fi rst EU- wi de bl ackl i st of unsafe carri ers after crashes i n the previ ous two years
ki l l ed hundreds of European travel l ers.
The ban across the 25· nati on EU covers passenger and cargo operators. The l i st al so targets carri ers from
Comoros, the Democrati c Republ i c of Congo, Equatori al Gui nea, Li beri a, North Korea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
Rwanda and Si erra Leone. Several pl ane acci dents l ast August prompted EU l aw makers t o seek a uni for m
approach to a i rl i ne safety. The l i st, to be u pdated at l east every three months, i s based on defi ci enci es found
duri ng checks at European a i rports, t he use of a nti quated a i rcraft by compani es and shortcomi ngs by non­
EU a i rl i ne regul ators. (EU bans more than 90 forei gn ai rl i nes from 25· nati on bl oc, FE. B, 23. 02. 06, C24)
Charter Ai rl i nes
After l ow cost a i rl i nes the concept of general avi at i on (GA) or chartered avi ati on i s catchi ng the fan cy of
corporates and N Rl s, Techni cal ly, it means al l commerci al avi ati on operati ons other than schedul ed and non­
schedul ed a i r servi ces for hi re. But i n I ndi a , GA i s l argel y percei ved as a l ei sure act ivi ty i ndul ged i n by the
nouveau ri ch and corporate houses. But now, even tradi ti onal busi ness houses a re opti ng for professi onal
chartered avi ati on servi ces, And compani es provi di ng these services are mushroomi ng as fast as t he demand.
Saj a Ai r, a newl y- i ncorporated company, for i nstance, i s starti ng i ts operati ons wi th a seed capi tal of $3- mn.
Si mi l arly, another company promoted by a group of NRl s cal l ed Fi del ity Avi ati on i s worki ng over ti me to tap
the chartered avi ati on market. (Cha rtered avi ati on t akes wi ngs, Pummy Kaul , FE. D, 1 0, 09. 05, C24)
I ndi an tour operators have gone a head and done what the government has been proposi ng for a l ong ti me­
devel opi ng smal l ai rport hubs for i nternati onal charter arri val s. The l atest to j oi n the charter cl ub, after Goa,
Amri tsar and Cochi n, i s Agra , i n the hea rt of the north· l ndi a ci rcui t. The touri sm season for 2005· 06 has
al ready been ki cked off wi th the a rri val of the fi rst charter whi ch l anded l ast week. The charter, operated by
Si ta- Kuoni Travel Ltd, wi l l fly di rect from Gatwi ck Ai rport, London, to Agra I nternati onal Ai rport Schedul e for
the season i ncl udes one fl i ght a week, with a week- l ong stay i n the country. The tour operator has got fl i ghts
booked through November, up to March 2006, whi ch r uns i nto 24 weeks of booki ngs. I t cannot be better
news for tour operators runni ng thei r busi ness i n thi s hi ghl y-vi si ted ci rcui t, al so popul arl y know as the Gol den
Tri a ngl e of Del hi ·Agra -Jai pur. I t wi l l take the pressure off the congested ai r corri dors to Del hi I nternati onal
Ai rport and get ta ke· off and l andi ng per mi ssi ons easi l y i n the l esser- used Agra Ai rport. (Agra t akes off a s
fi rst charter l ands, I E . D, 14, 1 0. 05, C24)
Trends and Patterns
Low·cost carri ers i n the country l i ke Ki ngfi sher Ai rl i nes and Spi ceJet a re i ncreasi ngl y outsourci ng mai ntenance
and overhaul i ng work to keep operati ng expenses down. They are l ooki ng to save al most 20· 25% i n costs by
contracti ng such work to pl ayers such as Lufthansa, KLM, SAS and Si ngapore Ai rl i nes. Publ i c sector carri ers
I ndi an Ai rl i nes and Ai r· l ndi a, who have ri ch experti se i n ai rcraft mai ntenance wi th a combi ned manpower
exceedi ng 9, 000, a re al so eyei ng a maj or pi e of the contract mai ntena nce and over· haul i ng busi ness. ( No­
fri l l s a i rl i nes see 25% savi ngs by outsourci ng mai ntenance, Sudhi r Chowdhary, FE. B, 26. 05. 05, C24)
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Document at ion Update |
Domesti c touri sm i ndust ry i n I ndi a al ready di sadva ntaged due to hi gh domest i c ai rfares is of l ate seri ousl y
chal l enged wi th the l aunch of l ow i nternati onal ai rfares. A Del hi-Trivandrum round tri p costs over Rs 34, 000,
whi ch i s more expensi ve t han fl yi ng to London a n d back. Domesti c tou ri sts now prefer to go to l ow cost
i nternati onal desti nati ons l i ke Mal aysi a, Si ngapore and the Mi ddl e East i nstead of domesti c desti nati ons l i ke
Keral a. I nternati onal touri sts onl y account for a bout 8% of the total touri sts i n I ndi a. Therefore, if domesti c
touri sts fi nd i t chea per to travel a broad than wi thi n the country, i t woul d become extremel y di ffi cul t for the
domesti c touri sm i ndustry to survive.
Conventi onal ai rl i nes i n I ndi a a re posi ti oned to target the busi ness segment, whi ch is not so pri ce sensi ti ve.
The l ei sure segment, on the other hand, tends to be extremel y pri ce sensi tive. I f domesti c touri st desti nati ons
have to reta i n thei r vi abi l i ty they have to achi eve a hi gh l evel of l ow-cost a i rl i ne connecti vi ty.
Steady economi c growth i s generati ng a n aspi rati onal push amongst consumers. 1 5 mi l l i on I ndi ans travel by
rai l everyday. Ai r travel apart from bei ng aspi rati onal i s a l so ti me savi ng especi al l y for di stant desti nati ons.
I t i s onl y a matter of t i me before a part of these rai l users moves on to a i rcraft.
I ndi a i s today the thi rd fastest growi ng domesti c avi ati on market i n the worl d posti ng a growth of 23% i n the
l ast f i nanci al yea r. The proj ecti ons a re that i t wi l l grow at an average of over 20% for the next fi ve yea rs .
Ai rbus I ndustri e reckons that I ndi an carri ers wi I I procure nearl y 400 a i rcraft by the yea r 201 7. One way of
putti ng thi s potenti al i n perspecti ve i s to compa re it wi th Chi na, whi ch has 140 mi l l i on domesti c ai r travel l ers
every year compared to 1 4 mi l l i on i n I ndi a.
Low·cost ai r l i nes have t o pay j ust a s much for t he a i rcraft, crew, fuel , l a ndi ng charges, etc. , as a ny normal
ai rl i ne. The model , therefore, works on hi gher capaci ty uti l i sati on i n terms of fi l l i ng up the ai rcraft as wel l as by
qui cker turn a round.
The state governments can step i n to i ncenti vi se l ow- cost carri ers for i ncreasi ng connecti vi ty as wel l as to
support tour i sm. Hi gh rate of sal es tax on a i rcraft t urbi ne fuel by al most a l l the states i s a factor that has
consi stentl y kept ai rfa res hi gh. Another area i s i n subsi di si ng the ground ha ndl i ng charges for a l i mi ted peri od
of about two yea rs. The government coul d possi bl y meet, say, about 40% of the ground handl i ng charges as
a n i ncenti ve. ( Leverage l ow-cost ai rl i nes for touri sm, Suman Bi l l a, ET. C, 1 8. 08. 05, C24)
Wi th the avi ati on i ndustry soari ng, l ack of suffi ci ent i nfrastructure to cope wi th i ncreased ai r traffi c has l ed to
a sharp ri se i n the number of near- acci dents i n the country. Duri ng 2005, 2 1 a i r mi ss, or near· acci dent,
cases i nvol vi ng commerci al ai rcraft were reported, an i ncrease of a l most 33 % over the previ ous year. What
i s more al armi ng i s that of the 21 , two i n ci dents where a "near- col l i si on was avoi ded" coul d have been
di sast rous, i nvol vi ng a bout 500 passengers. I n fact, i n the wake of t he ri se i n the number of ai rcraft, the
mi ni stry " has started i mposi ng a ba n on general avi ati on a i rcraft duri ng the pea k peri ods at Del hi and
Mumbai ai rports, " one source sai d. (Growi ng ai r traffi c l eadi ng t o near- acci dents, TS. D, 1 0. 03. 06, C24)
General
Ai r passengers a rri vi ng at the I GI Ai rport wi l l soon get a safe transport to thei r hostel s. The Uni on Touri sm
Mi ni stry has asked Del hi Touri sm to start a servi ce whi ch wi l l fi rst transport passengers to DTTDC's CP offi ce
i n buses and from there take them to thei r hotel s i n "safe" taxi s and a utos. The I GI Ai rport l acks space for
provi di ng bus service to the thousands of peopl e who fl y in dai l y. The mi ni stry wi l l ask several other agenci es
to i mprove i nfrastructure and make a touri st-fri endl y pl ace. The DDA needs to provi de l and for hotel s. About
a dozen f i ve stars need to be bui l t i n new and south Del hi . Budget hotel s are al so needed a l l over the pl ace, '
Rajeev Tal war, addi ti onal di rector·general (touri sm) sai d. (Touri sm i n top gear, Ai r passengers to be dropped
at hotel s, Saurabh Si nha, HT.D, 26. 04. 05, C24)
Creati ng software sol ut i ons for the travel i ndustry is expected to a growi ng busi ness for the foreseea bl e
future, especi al l y i n Asi a, because ai r travel i s boomi ng i n the regi on .
"Thi s segment grew by 1 00 % l ast yea r, and is esti mated to grow by at l east 70· 80 % t hi s yea r, " says Mr
Doshi , CEO of I nter- Gl obal Technol ogi es. The rush t o create cost- effecti ve onl i ne sol uti ons a nd servi ces for
| Docllmcntation I fpc/ut c | 2005 -06
commerci al ai rl i ne users gathered momentum after 9/1 1 , as ai rl i nes around the worl d, but parti cul arl y i n the
Uni ted States, went i nto a tai l spi n and started l ooki ng for ways to cut costs to keep themsel ves profi tabl e.
" I t has been made ma ndatory for a l l I nternati onal Ai r Tra nsport Associ ati on members to i ssue el ectroni c
ti ckets by 2007. A l ot of ai rLi nes a round the worl d have adopted e· ti cketi ng wi th gusto, because e- ti ckets cut
down the cost of processi ng a i rl i ne ti ckets dramati cal l y, from $1 2 per passenger to about $ 1 , says Mr
Doshi . Thi s has resul ted i n a l ot of the work of creati ng software for e- ti cketi ng, revenue management and
other sundry bi ts of the commerci al ai rl i nes' software requi rements gett i ng off- shored. (Software sol uti ons
for travel fl ouri sh, AA. D, 28. 05. 05, C24)
Shop wi th your credi t cards, and you woul d actual ly be ear ni ng a ti cket to fl y. Or you woul d be al lowed extra
baggage the next t i me you fl y wi th more and more ai rl i nes tyi ng up wi th ba nks for co- branded credi t cards.
Ai r Sahar a, Jet and Ai r Decca n have a l ready sta rted the scheme, where a credi t card user i s enti tl ed to
poi nts based on thei r spend, whi ch can be redeemed l ater. Others l i ke Emi rates, Sri La nkan Ai rl i nes and
Spi ce Jet a re al so expected t o fol l ow sui t . (Fl yi ng returns for ca rd-ca rryi ng ai r travel ers , Neel asri Barma n ,
FE. C, 01 . 07. 05, C24)
Thei r vi si t coul d not have been more ti mel y than now-when a group of stri ki ng domesti c pi l ots have made
a poi nt on thei r i ndi spensabi l i ty. At trai ni ng school chi efs from Queensl and have fl own i n to suggest how the
country' s growi ng number of ai rl i nes can bri dge thei r pi l ot shortage of 500- 1 , 000 a year. The fl yi ng school s
are tal ki ng to Jet Ai rways, Ki ngfi sher, Ai r Deccan, Spicejet and I ndi Go among others duri ng thei r four-day tour
of Bangal ore, Mumbai and Del hi . Thei r proposal s range from pi l ot sponsorshi p contracts from ai rl i nes for fl i ght
trai ni ng i n Austral i a, to sendi ng i n Austral i an i nstructor for short peri ods; even partneri ng wi th I ndi an fl yi ng
school s and l endi ng Austral i an i nstructors to coach or fl y pl anes. (Queensl and avi ati on trai ni ng team offers
sol uti ons for pi l ots shortage, BL. B, 1 6. 02. 06, C24)
The potenti al l y fatal condi ti on, deep vei n thrombosi s (DVT), al so dubbed ' Economy Cl ass Syndrome, can be
caused by poor qual i ty a i r and i nsuffi ci ent oxygen i n passenger ai rcr. aft, accordi ng to the l atest study by
sci enti sts. So far i t was bel i eved that si tti ng cramped for ei ght hours or l onger i ncreased the ri sk of a fata l
bl ood cl ot fourfol d. But a research from the Worl d Heal th Orga ni sati on , publ i shed i n the La ncet, shows that
si tti ng crammed i n economy cl ass for l ong hours cannot al one expl ai n why ai r passengers a re at hi gher ri sk
of potenti al ly deadl y blood cl ots. Thi s was found after studyi ng peopl e si tti ng on a seat on the ground for ei ght
hours and those who spent the same number of hours on a n ai rcraft. The resea rchers found chemi ca l s
i ndi cati ng cl otti ng i n 7 vol unteers were hi gher duri ng the ei ght hours on a fl ight than i n the ci nema. I t suggested
that l ow ai r pressure and oxygen l evel s on a fl i ght mi ght pl ay a rol e. ( Poor a i r i n pl a nes can cause deadl y
cl ots, Vi j ay Dutt, HID, 1 1 . 03. 06, C24)
C30 Touri sm I ndustry · Hotel s
I ndi a wi l l need 1 . 5 l akh hotel rooms to cater t o the touri st fl ow from abroad i n t he next four years. Earni ngs
from t hi s sector a re a l so expected to ri se by 35- 45% every yea r. Accordi ng to I ndi an Hotel s Company
managi ng di rector Raymond Bi ckson, 10- 1 5 mi l l i on is the mi ni mum number of touri sts that wi l l arrive i n I ndi a
i n the next five years. A mi ni mum i nvestment of Rs 30, 000 core i s needed from the private sector to establ i sh
1 , 50, 000 hotel rooms i n the next four years. The country currentl y, has 97, 000 hotel rooms i n the approved
Sector. ( I ndi a wi l l need 1 . 5 l akh hotel rooms i n 4 years, FE. C, 08. 04. 05, C30)
Bui l ders and devel opers appea r to be dri vi ng the second wave i f hotel devel opment i n Bangal ore attracted
by the boom i n the hospi tal ity sector, unl i ke the past when i ndustry barons were the pri me i ni ti ators. Analysts
say the market i s wi tnessi ng devel opers tryi ng up wi th establ i shed hotel brands for management/marketi ng
arrangements after fi rmi ng up the bl uepri nt for thei r foray. At l east two-thi rds (about 2, 500 rooms) of the new
i nventory bei ng pl anned for the city in the next two-four years are promoted by bui l ders, whi l e hotel compani es
l i ke Oberoi (East I ndi a Hotel s), Taj , Grand Ashok (Bha rat Hotel s). Leel a etc. a re poweri ng the rest. More than
4, 000 rooms a re proposed to be i nfused i nto the ma rket duri ng thi s spel l . Banga l ore presentl y has a bout
1 , 600- 1 , 700 fi ve- sta r rooms and experi ences an esti mated defi ci t of some 2, 000 rooms. The ma rket has
been growi ng at the rate of 1 5- 20% for the past fi ve years, and i s expected to sustai n thi s pace i n the mi d­
ter m. Therefore, room i nfusi on may soften room real i sati ons but not i mpact dema nd. ( Bui l ders drive the
l atest star hotel push i n B' l ore, Gi ri sh Rao, EIC, 20. 04. 05, C30)
; 005 -06 | DOCWHCltai ion Updat e |
Bed & Breakfast (B&B) accommodat i on i s a concept l ong a ssoci ated wi th the Bri ti sh. But wi th Del hi on i t s
way t o sett i ng up B&B servi ces, touri sts wi l l soon get chea p and conveni ent accommodati on. The Uni on
Tour i sm Mi ni stry i s setti ng up a task force to fi nd out where thi s servi ce can be offered. It i ntends to l ay down
parameters l i ke l ocal i ty, servi ces offered and standards of hygi ene and safety i n consul tati on wi th the i ndustry.
Once t he rul es a re i n pl ace, Del hi wi l l be the fi rst c i ty where approved B&Bs woul d be ei ther starred or
graded accordi ng to that checkl i st. The i dea i s to provi de easy, safe and hygi eni c accommodati on at economi c
rates to the steadi l y i ncreasi ng number of forei gn touri sts to the Ca pi ta l . Si nce the names of B&Bs
establ i shments may be put u p on tour i st websi tes a nd tour i sm off i ces, the gover nment pl ans to put stri ct
rul es i n pl ace to ensure qual i ty. I f any establ i shment i s found to devi ate from expected standards, i ts name
coul d be struck off t he ava i l abl e accommodati on l i st. ( Bed & breakfa st j oi nts t o check i n, Saura bh Si nha,
HT. D, 26. 04. 05, C30)
The hotel i ndustry i s faci ng a manpower crunch especi al l y at the entry and j uni or management l evel s. More
than hal f of the students, who pass out from catering i nsti tutes, are not i nterested i n getti ng i nto the hospi tal ity
i ndustry. Accordi ng to a Federati on of Hotel s and Restaura nts Associ ati on of I ndi a ( FHRAI ) survey i n 200 1 ,
a bout 1 0, 000 cateri ng graduates come i nto the j ob market. I ndustry sources sai d that though there i s no
offi ci al numbers avai l abl e, these numbers woul d have now gone up to a bout 1 5, 000. These students a re
opti ng for jobs on crui se l i ners, ai r l i nes, whi ch offer attracti ve remunerati on. Both these i ndustri es have the
added i ncenti ves of gl amour and travel . Lately, cal l centres and busi ness process outsourci ng centres have
a l so become a n opt i on. Accordi ng to i nformati on ava i l abl e on the Net, a n assi stant housekeepi ng manager
wi th two to t hree yea rs experi ence on t he Cunard l i nes ma kes a bout $ 1 , 900 (Rs 82, 650) a month. An
assi stant purser front desk recepti oni st for t he same l i ner, wi th some experi ence, wi l l get a bout $1 , 650 (Rs
7 1 , 775) . Recentl y, I ndi an Ai r l i nes was h i ri ng cabi n crew and the mi n i mum sal a ry offered was Rs 22, 000,
i ncl udi ng the fl yi ng a l l owance and other benefi ts such as gratui ty and provi dent fund. (Attri ti on rate hi ts hotel
i ndustry at entry, j uni or l evel s, Ni na Varghese, B L. B, 1 0. 05. 05, C30)
Heri tage tour i sm i s gai n i ng i mportance i n promoti ng I ndi a as a touri st desti nati on. Ri di ng t hi s wave i s the
number of heri tage hotel s, whi ch have grown threefol d si nce 1 991 (i n the cl assi fi ed and bra nd category) .
Accordi ng to I ndi an Heri tage Hotel s Associ ati on ( I HHA), whi l e there were 5 1 heri tage hotel s i n 1 99 1 , the
number was 1 54 i n 2004.
Accordi ng to I HHA, there a re many more heri tage hotel s i n I ndi a whi ch are not regi stered but run i ndependentl y
a s heri tage properti es by owners.
Among the hotel s chai ns, i t i s I TC Wel comgroup l ea di ng t he pack wi th 35 heri tage hotel s u nder the
Wel comHeri tage banner, fol l owed by Hi stori c Resort Hotel s (HRH) whi ch has 12 properti es. I n the recent
past, Neemrana Hotel s too has emerged as a very successf ul heri tage hotel chai n wi th 1 1 hotel s i n i ts
portfol i o.
Of the 1 54 heri tage hotel s, a l arge number of heri tage properti es (cl ose to 1 00 heri tage hotel s) are spread
across the pri ncel y states of Raj asthan, Guj arat and al l of North I ndi a. There are very few heri tage hotel s from
the southern and eastern parts of I ndi a. (Heri tage hotel s rea dy to make a statement, Mee
n
a N i chani , ETC,
23. 05. 05, C30)
Oversuppl y of mal l s has l ed, the devel opers seeki ng new ways to di fferenti ate thei r mal l s. The shoppi ng mal l
craze whi ch had propel l ed ma l l rental s across the country to i ncredi bl y hi gh l evel s seems t o have a bated. A
decl i ne i n demand for shoppi ng ma l l s has dri ven devel opers i n I ndi a to expl ore other l ucrati ve opti ons. The
new devel opments a re based on factors such as the si ze of mal l s ( mi l l i on sq ft a bove mal l s) to speci al ty
mal l s such as Gol d Souk, weddi ng mal l , seconds outl et mal l etc to desti nati on mal l s (i . e. mal l s cum amusement
centre a mong others) and mal l hotel s i s the l atest form of di fferenti ati on factor to have h i t the I ndi an ret ai l
i ndustry.
I n Saket, New Del h i , t hree real tors a re l ooki ng forward to devel op ma l l hotel s on 5 1 acres set a si de for
commerci al devel opment. The Rs 350 crore 'Select Ci ty Wal k' project bei ng devel oped by 'Sel ect I nfrastructure'
wi l l be desi gned on the l i nes of New York' s Ti me Square a nd wi l l house a posh shoppi ng mal l , busi ness
centre, mul ti pl ex and a 1 OO- room hotel .
| Documentation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
Near that comes the DLF Ret ai l Devel opers pl an that a re pl anni ng two projects cal l ed South Court and The
Courtyard that wi l l have hotel s wi th 60 and 1 00 rooms each.
Vi pul l nfrastruct ure i s a l so drawi ng out pl ans to devel op a 6, 00, 000 sq ft retai l and servi ce compl ex on the
Del hi - Gurgaon hi ghway. The compl ex wi l l al so have a 200- room hotel .
The pri me advantage of devel opi ng a mal l hotel i s that i t creates a synergeti c mi x of components i n terms of
l ease rates, occupa ncy l evel s, a nd cl i ent prof i l e.
The Omaxe group is a l so pl anni ng fi ve sta r hotel s i n thei r weddi ng mal l compl ex at Amri tsar a nd Pati al a, " I t
ma kes busi ness sense t o have a fi ve star hotel attached t o our weddi ng mal l s as hotel s wi l l bol ster sal eabi l i ty
of commerci al a nd retai l space, a dd to the footfal l s and become the a nchor. " says Kunal Ba nerj ee, vi ce
presi dent marketi ng Omaxe.
The Gal axy Towers i n Gurgaon i s comi ng u p wi th bouti que fi ve sta r hotel , wi t h ground fl oor and fi rst f l oor
devoted to s hoppi ng arcade whi ch houses desi gner showrooms.
Carl son Hotel i s comi ng up wi th a 1 22- room hotel i n Si gma Grand Mal l a nd Towers, an upcomi ng shoppi ng
compl ex i n Banga l ore. Thi s ki nd of a rra ngement sui ts both hotel i ers and devel opers. Hotel i ers can del egate
thei r worry about approva l s on devel opers and can avai l ready space. Above al l , t hey can enjoy a cost benefi t
of up to 25%. (Ma l l - hotel s, Namrata Kohl i , TOI . D, 1 7. 09. 05, C30)
After ba nni ng j eans for gi rl s i n Anna Un i versi ty a nd demandi ng a publ i c apol ogy from actor Khushboo on
i ntervi ews on premari tal sex, moral pol i ci ng scoped a nother ta rget. Two of Chennai 's Park Hotel staff were
arrested after two Tami l eveni ngers publ i shed photographs of gi rl s partyi ng in the hotel . The Chenna i Pol i ce
Commi ssi oner wi thdrew the hotel 's bar l i cence. The charges i ncl uded vi ol ati ng l i cence norms and "obscene
acts". The hotel fi l ed a wri t peti ti on i n the Madras Hi gh Court seeki ng to quash the order of the Commi ssi oner.
The court granted the stay wi th respect of the 21 0 guests stayi ng at the hotel , sayi ng t hey shoul d be al l owed
to stay unt i l October 1 . Ci ty Pol i ce Commi ssi oner, R Nataraj sai d: " For any congregati on a hotel shoul d have
a ' publ i c resort l i cence. ' Park Hotel di d not have such a l i cence and i t had a l so not kept to the t i mi ngs ( by
vi ol ati ng the 1 1 p. m. l i mi t). And, accordi ng to condi ti ons, the hotel has to serve l i quor on ly i n one pl ace (the
bar) , but i t has done so i n several pl aces (i nsi de the hotel ). Al l t hese are vi ol ati ons. " (Hotel faces ' moral i ty'
ban, I E. D, 30. 09. 05, C30)
The Town Hal l , where the Muni ci pal Corporati on of Del hi i s currentl y housed, may be converted i nto a five-star
heri tage hotel if a proposal made by the Taj group to the MCD i s accepted. The muni ci pal corporati on wi l l
move i nto the 28- storey MCD Ci vi c Centre, work on whi ch has al ready begun, i n 2008. Architect Arun Ver ma,
who attended t he presentati on , t hi nks a heri tage hotel i s a "great i dea " . But 0 P Jai n, Convenor I NTACH,
Del hi , does not thi nk commerci al i si ng the enti re bui l di ng i s a good i dea. "probabl y a part of i t (the Town Hal l )
faci ng Chandni Chowk can be used for economi c activity . . . but t he northern par t of t he bui l di ng shoul d remai n
untouched . . . " he sai d. (Town Hal l may turn heri tage hotel , I E, Del hi , 02. 1 0. 05, C30)
Top govern ment sources sai d the new pol i cy woul d al l ow ci ty fi ve· sta r hotel s to serve l i quor round· the· cl ock
at one of t hei r restau ra nts. At present, they can serve l i quor onl y t i l l l a m; bars- cum- restau ra nts face a
mi dni ght deadl i ne.
Sources sai d the proposed rel axati on comes at a hefty pri ce: the new l i cence fee for hotel s wi l l cost 50 %
more than the previ ous l i cence, whi ch was val i d for onl y 1 2 hours.
Fi nance Mi ni ster A K Wa l i a sai d, "The pol i cy has been approved by the Chi ef Mi ni ster ( Di kshi t) after bri efed
her a bout the detai l s of the pol i cy. Now it wi l l come up for approval from the counci l of mi ni sters. The Del hi
government i s al so l i kely to a l l ow establ i shments to serve l i quor to 18-year- ol ds. At present, Del hi fol l ows the
Punj ab Exci se Act, 1 91 4 whi ch set 21 as the cut- off age. (Li quor may fl ow 24x7 i n fi ve star hotel s soon,
Shubaj i t Roy, I E. D, 05. 1 0. 05, C30)
Luxury hotel chai ns have found a new address i n Gurgaon. After the runaway success of the Tri dent Hi l ton,
t he Oberoi Group i s pul l i ng out al l stops to bui l d a super- l uxury hotel The Oberoi -wi th 1 75 rooms ri ght
2 0 0 5 0 6 | Documentation Updute |
next to i t . The property, whi ch i s sti l l i n t he desi gn stage, i s j ust one of several new hotel s comi ng up i n
Gurgaon.
Pl ans for at l east si x other hotel s a re bei ng f i nal i sed, even a s others a re on the anvi l . Wi th Gurgaon havi ng
become the MNC and cal l centre capi tal of t he country, t here i s an acute demand· supply mi smatch. And wi th
an A l i st of Fortune 500 compani es sett i ng up offi ces i n the townshi p, the demand for good accommodati on
cl ose to workpl ace i s i mperative. Thi s i s fuel l i ng the suppl y boom.
Vat i ka Hospi tal i ty group has ta ken the l ead by bri ngi ng i n Starwood' s West i n as i ts partner to rol l out a 305·
room hotel on a strategi cal l y pl aced pl ot on the bust l i ng Mehraul i · Gurgaon Road. Thi s property shoul d be
ready by Jul y 2008. Si mi l arly, Carl son Hospi tal i ty, whi ch owns the smal l bouti que hotel Park Pl aza i n Gurgaon,
i s prepari ng to bri ng a 400·room Regent, i ncl us ive of 90 servi ce apa rtments, reportedl y i n conj uncti on wi th
Ambi ence I sl and. The property i s bei ng devel oped i nsi de the Ambi ence I sl and compl ex on the freeway and i s
expected to open by Apri l 2008. ( Ri tzy hotel chai ns make beel i ne or brand Gurgaon, HTD, 05. 1 0. 05, C30)
I n a move to gi ve fi l l i p to the hotel i ndust ry, the Del hi Devel opment Authori ty ( DDA) i s a l l set to al l ow huge
commerci al s pace i nsi de new hotel s for openi ng ret ai l servi ce shops and off i ces. The agenda paper of the
DDA meeti ng schedul ed has proposed a maj or change i n the Master Pl an for Del hi ( MPD) 2001 al l owi ng 20
% of the Fl oor Area Rati o ( FAR) for such use. Thi s norm, however, wi l l be appl i cabl e for new hotel s si tes only.
The proposed devel opment control norms for hotel s states, addi ti onal 5 % ground coverage shal l be al l owed
for provi di ng at ri um. I n case, the permi ssi bl e addi ti onal ground coverage for atri um i s uti l i sed, 25 % of the
ut i l i sed ground coverage s hal l be counted towards FAR. ( DDA set to al l ow 20% of FAR for shops i n new
hotel s, Rajesh Kumar, TPD, 1 7. 1 0. 05, C30)
Pune i s fast emergi ng as the next hotspot for the hotel i ndustry. Accordi ng to recent studi es, the i ncrease i n
average room rates (ARRs) and RevPAR (revenue per avai l abl e room) i n the ci ty have outpaced the growth i n
other ci t i es. Whi l e ARRs across ci t i es i ncreased by 1 9 % t o Rs 5, 326 ( Rs 4, 458), Pune recorded a 44 %
i ncrease i n ARR at Rs 5, 222 (Rs 3, 626), fol l owed by Bangal ore whi ch saw a 36 % i ncrease at Rs 1 1 , 289 (Rs
8, 325), a study done by CRI Sl nfac, a whol l y·owned subsi di ary of Cri si l Ltd. As for RevPAR, Bangal ore l ead
wi th a RevPAR of Rs 8, 85 1 fol l owed by Hyderabad and Pune (both around Rs 4, 500). The demand for rooms
i n Pune, i t adds, i s dri ven by busi ness t raffi c, part i cul arl y the I T a nd I TES sectors. Accordi ng to i ndustry
pl ayers, a number of i nternati onal brands such as the Marri ott, Ramada, and I nterconti nental a re pl anni ng to
enter the ci ty. Among the brands that have fi rmed up pl ans to set up properti es i n Pune are The Leel a, Hyatt ,
and Radi sson. ( Hotel chai ns queue up t o move i nto Pune, Tuni a Cheri a n George, BL. C, 05. 1 1 . 05, C30)
I t i s onl y the second week of November, the begi nni ng of the busy season, but hotel s i n Del hi , Bangal ore, and
Mumbai a re a l ready reporti ng ful l occupancy on most days of the week. Maj or hotel s i n t hese ci ti es have no
room for guests wi thout advance booki ng.
Some hotel s have a l ready revi sed the rates by 20· 25 %. But when contacted, a n offi ci al i n a Mumbai hotel
that has quoted hi gher rates sai d t hat the basi c t ari ff has not been hi ked, the ear l i er di scount has been
di scont i nued. Whi l e the hotel i ndustry i s not compl ai ni ng, an i ndustry watcher sai d that wi th the number of
rooms unl i kel y to i ncrease i mmedi atel y, the i ndust ry i s bei ng forced to t ur n away a l ot of busi ness, whi ch
coul d, i n the l ong term, prove negative. I ndi scri mi nate tari ff hi kes coul d al so ul ti matel y backfi re on the i ndustry,
he added. ( Hotel s goi ng ful l even before season warms u p, Tuni a Cheri an George, BL. B, 1 2. 1 1 . 05, C30)
Most hotel s i n the country a re seei ng at l east 1 5· 20% i ncrease i n onl i ne booki ngs as compared to the
previ ous yea r. The growth i s evi dent i n the metros. I ntertconti nental The Gra nd vi ce· presi dent a nd general
manager Hei ner Werdel i ng a dds, "There a re more vi si tors from Europe, U K and North Ameri ca , a nd from
Hong Kong and Si ngapore i n Asi a . They normal l y book onl i ne for the weekends through the gl obal di stri buti on
system ( GOS). These a re customers who are not very pr i ce sensi ti ve but a re more concerned a bout t he
brand of t he hotel and t he qual i ty of servi ce. Onl i ne booki ng, al though sl i ghtl y more expensi ve, addresses al l
the concerns t hey have. About 1 5% of our tot al booki ngs woul d be from onl i ne modul es by the next year. "
( Hotel i ndustry l ogs 1 5% hi gher onl i ne booki ngs, Rouhan Sharma, FE. C, 27. 1 2. 05, C30)
| Document ation Updat e | . 6
Taki ng a l eaf out of the book of countri es l i ke Mal aysi a , Germany, Bri tai n and others, the Touri sm Department
i n I ndi a i s popul ari si ng the concept of home- stays. Whi l e around 1 50 apartments from Del hi have enrol l ed
wi th the touri sm department for the purpose of provi di ng home- stays, Mumbai kers have enrol l ed a round
1 00 apartments t i l l now. The states where t he i dea i s gai ni ng acceptance are Karnataka, Goa and Keral a. The
state of Si kki m has a l so i ntroduced the concept i n some of i ts vi l l ages. ( Now forei gners can feel at home i n
I ndi a, Rouhan Sharma, FE. B, 05. 03. 06, C30)
The Tel ecom Regul atory Authori ty of I ndi a (TRAI ) has deci ded to freeze the cabl e tel evi si on rates as preval ent
on March 1 , 2006, for hotel s and resta urant s. TRAI sai d that t hi s has.been done to protect the i nterests of
commerci al consumers. I ndustry sources sai d that the rates charged by broadcasters from commerci al
enterpri ses are al most three ti mes the househol d rates. A coupl e of Associ ati ons of Hotel s and Restaurants
fi l ed a batch of peti t i ons agai nst l eadi ng broadcasters i n the Tel ecom Di sputes Settl ement a nd Appel l ate
Tri bunal (TDSAT).
The di spute basi cal l y pertai ned to the fact whether the hotel s a nd restaurants can be equated wi th domesti c
consumers for the provi si on of cabl e TV servi ce and there were a l so other connected a nd consequenti a l
i ssues u nder adj udi cat i on. (TRAI freezes cabl e rates for hotel s, restaurants, BL. B, 08. 03. 06, C30)
Compani es
Leela Group
World Bank pri vate equi ty arm I FC ( I nternati onal Fi nance Corporati on) i s bankrol l i ng hospi tal i ty major Leel a
venture' s new fi ve- star del uxe hotel project i n Chennai wi th l ong· ter m l oan of $40 mi l l i on. The 260· room
property i s bei ng proposed at an i nvestment of Rs 280 - 300 crore. The Leel a project wi l l be among the few
touri sm i nfrastructure ventures i n the I ndi an private sector where the Worl d Bank is taki ng an exposure. ( I FC
bankrol l s Leel a' s Chennai 5 star project, Gi ri sh Rao, EIB, 01 . 04. 05, C30)
The Leel a Pal aces and Resorts, one of I ndi a's l eadi ng hotel groups i n the l uxury sector, announced i ts pl ans
t o bui l d three new hotel s i n Uda i pur, Chennai and Hyderabad.
The group' s Vi ce- Chai rman, Vi vek Na i r, sai d a new pal ace hotel at Lake Pi chchol a i n Udai pur was u nder
constructi on. The hotel i s expected to be compl eted for the 2007 wi nter season wi th about 68 guest rooms
and royal sui tes. The pal ace hotel i s l i kel y t o cost Rs. 65 crores wi t h a n array of restaura nts, l ounges and Spa
a nd banquet faci l i ti es.
I n Chennai , the group has acqui red a property at Adyar beach and proposes to bui l d a 1 5· storey hotel wi th
360 guest rooms and sui tes. I n Hyderabad, the Leel a group has i denti fi ed a pri me l ocati on i n Banjara hi l l s to
bui l d a hotel wi th 300 rooms at a projected cost of Rs. 31 0 crores. The hotel i s l i kel y to be commi ssi oned by
2008. The group i s a l so l ooki ng at the possi bi l i ty of a cqui ri ng a beach resort at Bekal touri sm zone i n North
Keral a and i s hopeful of baggi ng a hotel si te i n Del hi , to be rel eased by t he government for the 201 0
CommonWeal th games. ( Leel a Pal aces pl ans 3 new hotel s, TH. D, 2 1 . 05. 05, C30)
Hospi tal i ty and garment i ndustry maj or Leel a Group i s pl anni ng to pump i n around Rs 500 crore to Keral a
across vari ous fi el ds l i ke I T i nfrastructure, hotel s a nd apparel manufacturi ng. The group reckons Kochi as one
of the emergi ng desti nati ons for I TES parti cul arl y busi ness process outsourci ng. I t has earmarked a si zeabl e
porti on of funds for devel opi ng I T i nfrastructure i n Kochi and Thi ruva na nthapuram. The other maj or area of
i nvestment wi l l be the hotel it took over recentl y at Koval am. The company i s pl anni ng to renovate the bui l di ng
at a cost of Rs 1 70 crore. I t i s al so l ooki ng at the possi bi l i ty of setti ng up a busi ness hotel i n Kochi a nd
a nother at Kumarakom. ( Leel a Group pl ans l arge i nvestments i n Keral a, I E. B, 1 6. 1 1 . 05, C30/L50)
Taj Group of Hotels
Taj Hotel s Resorts a nd P
a
l aces has marked i ts entry i nto Southeast Asi a by si gni ng a management contract
wi th Rebak I sl and Mari na Berhad to operate and manage the Rebak Mari na Resort, a 1 06· room premi um
resort on t he i sl and of Langkawi i n Ma l aysi a. Thi s i s pa rt of Taj ' s gl obal strategy t o establ i sh i ts presence i n
key gateway ci ti es and l ei sure desti nati ons. Thi s deal comes cl ose on the heel s of the Taj si gni ng a devel opment
and management contract to operate a resort property i n Dubai l ast month. (Taj Hotel s i n pact to operate
resort i n Mal aysi a, BL. B, 06. 05. 05, C30)
. 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Document at io1l Update |
Tata Coffee i s pl anni ng to foray i nto touri sm by l easi ng out i ts bungal ows l ocated at i ts headquarters a nd
estates at Coorg i n Karnataka. The company i s seeki ng approval from i t s sharehol ders to commence the
busi ness of touri sm, at the ensui ng annual general meeti ng of the company on August 4. (Tata Cofee to foray
i nto touri sm, Kai l ash Raj wadkar, EtC, 26. 07. 05, C30)
The Taj Group of Hotel s and Apol l o Group of Hos pi tal s are l ooki ng to make huge i nvestments i n Fi j i , sai d Mr
Joseph Si ngh, chai rman, Fi j i I sl ands Trade and I nvestment Bureau. Apol l o was l ooki ng to i nvest 75 mi l l i on Fi j i
dol l a rs i n a hospi t al i n west Fi j i and had a l ready hel d t al ks wi th off i ci a l s from Fi j i . The I TC Group i s al so
reported t o be keen t o start fi ve-star hotel s i n Fi j i . (TaL l TC, Apol l o may i nvest i n Fij i , AA. D, 1 3. 1 0. 05, C30)
After US, the Taj Group of Hotel s i s checki ng i nto Austral i a. The country's l argest hospi tal i ty chai n has bi d for
i coni c W Sydney Hotel s l ocated i n Wool l oomool oo. Owned by the Hong Kong- based Hari l el a group, the 1 04-
room hotel i s currentl y managed by Starwood Hotel s and Resorts_ I t i s expected that the hotel , whi ch
overl ooks t he Sydney harbour, woul d fetch a pri ce of $35 mi l l i on. The Hari l el a group had acqui red t he bouti que
hotel i n 1 999. Jones Lang La Sal l e hotel s are the advi sor for the dea l . I f Taj cl i nches t he deal , i t woul d be a
bl ow to Starwood, a s i t was i t s fi rst W hotel outsi de North Ameri ca. Taj ' s move i s a part of i ts strategy to
sprea d busi nesses gl obal ly. (Taj Group bi ds for Austral i an hotel , Reeba Zachari ah, TOI . D, 1 7. 1 0.05, C30)
A di sti ngui shi ng feature of t hese l odges i s that they wi l l not i nterfere wi th the exi st i ng ecol ogi cal habi tat of the
wi l dl i fe parks. Touri sts wi l l have a choi ce of tented tree- houses or cottages. Two l odges a re ready whi l e the
other t hree a re bei ng devel oped . Each of the l odges wi l l have a di st i ncti ve and apposi te archi tectural styl e,
refl ect i ng t he character of the regi on and t he habi tat i n whi ch these are l ocated.
An I ndi an head ranger has been appoi nted to guard and control acti vi ti es a round these centres. The ranger
wi l l be for mal ly t ra i ned at CC Afri ca' s Ra nger Tra i n i ng School at the Phi nda pri vate game reserve to gai n
experti se, whi l e a n archi tect wi l l al so work wi th CC Afri ca 's expert.
CC Afri ca i s an Afri ca n ecotouri sm organi sati on provi di ng hoi i day experi ences to the di scer ni ng travel l er.
Regardi ng thei r foray i nto ecotouri s m i n I ndi a, Steve Fi tzgeral d, CEO, CC Afri ca , says, "Wi l dl i fe i n I ndi a i s
hi ghly under- rated. " The fi ve target s pots chosen, he feel s, are far too ti ger- centri c but he i s opti mi sti c that
the broader experi ence wi l l be wonderul .
We understood we woul d need a l ocal partner t o run the operati ons, because i t i s cul tural ly too di ffi cult and
needs l ocal experti se. The ti e- up wi th Taj i s l ogi ca l . I t i s a great brand, has good geogra phi c spread i n t he
subconti nent . "
There i s a need to i nvolve communi ti es i n t he touri sm processes because popul ati on pressures wi l l strangl e
the wi l dl ife areas unl ess there i s a change i n operati ng model s, fears Fi tzgeral d. (On ti ger trai l , FE. B, 23. 10. 05,
C30)
A j oi nt venture between the Taj Group of Hotel s and Conservati on Corporati on Afri ca (CC Afri ca) i s proposed.
Fi ve l odges i n the deep heart of the forest wi l l have guests rest i ng i n fi ve- sta r l uxury a nd havi ng cl ose
encounters wi th the wi l d. The l odges are l ocated on the borders of the famous ti ger reserves -Corbett Ti ger
Reserve ( Uttaranchal ), Bandhargarh Ti ger Reserve, Panna Ti ger Reserve and Pench Ti ger Reserve ( Madhya
Pradesh). By mi d October 2006, the l odges wi l l be thrown open to guests.
The Taj group' s associ ate i n i ts Koval am beach foray Muthoot Pappachan group has deci ded to i nvest Rs 45
crore more i n two hotel proj ects. The Rs 2000· Crore turnover groups, wi th core competence i n f i na nci a l
servi ces, had recentl y parked a bout Rs 1 05 crore on hospi tal i ty ventures. The two hotel expansi ons, sl ated
for the next fi scal are centred i n Thi ruvananthapuram. I n Kochi , i ts Rs 40- crore el ectroni c software park i n
speci al economi c zone, i s due for openi ng next month.
Thi s woul d be i n addi ti on to a new hotel bl ock wi th 1 50, 000 sq ft bui l t- up space. The conventi on centre and
the new bl ock are schedul ed t o be compl ete i n 20 months.
| Documentation Update | 2 0 0 5 � 0 6
Muthoot Fl i ght Ki tchen that went under way i n 2003 caters to Ai rl ndi a, Qatar Ai rways , Si l k Ai r and I ndi an
Ai r l i nes. Transi t ai r passengers make the bul k of the group's ci ty busi ness hotel . (Taj ' s Koval am partner to
spread Rs 45 crore more on 2 hotel s , FE. C, 02. 02. 06, C30)
Taj Hotel s Resorts and Pal aces a nd The Shi l l a Hotel s & Resorts, one of South Korea ' s presti gi ous hotel
compa ni es, have entered i nto a strategi c marketi ng al l i ance to devel op cross- promoti onal opportun i ti es for
both compani es to l everage each other' s strengths. The Shi l l a i s affi l i ated to the Samsung Group and has two
hotel s, namel y, The Shi l l a Seoul and The Shi l l a Jej u. At i ts i ncepti on, The Shi l l a- Taj Hotel s partnershi p wi l l
provi de guests wi th a total of 1 9 hotel s offeri ng comparabl e servi ce and qual i ty. Al so, under the a l l i ance, Taj
Hotel s and Shi l l a wi l l devel op reci procal and j oi nt market i ng acti vi ti es that i ncl ude j oi nt pa rti ci pati on i n trade
shows, sal es events, cul i nary promoti ons and ni che market i ng programmes. The compani es wi l l al so a ssi st
each other i n exchangi ng sal es l eads and conducti ng roadshows across I ndi a and South Korea. (Taj Hotel s
forges a l l i ance wi th Shi l l a of Korea, TH. B, 07. 03. 06, C30)
Other Hotels
The room starved hospi tal i ty sector i n Bangal ore wi l l receive a shot i n the ar m wi th 4 new budget hotel s for
the busi ness travel l er. ABS Hotel s wi l l be contri but i ng 640 executi ve rooms pri ced between Rs 1 , 500· 2500,
across Bangal ore under the bra nd name ' Mi crotel l nns & Sui tes ' . The brand wi l l see i ts presence i n Ti er I I
ci ti es l i ke Bel gaum, Davangere, Hubl i , Dharwad, Mysore, Hassan, Kochi , Coi mbatore and Vi shaka patnam i n
the South t o start wi th and at Ri shi kesh, Ludhi ana, Amri tsar, Chandi garh and Del hi subsequentl y.
ABS wi l l be gi vi ng out f ranchi ses onl y to hotel s that wi l l be newl y constructed accordi ng to Mi crotel desi gn
speci fi cati ons The franchi sees wi l l recei ve a comprehensi ve support package from desi gn to trai ni ng to
ma rketi ng a nd management. ( Budget hotel s across 50 l ocati ons by 201 0, Sangeetha Chengappa , I E. B,
05. 04. 05, C30)
Presti ge Estates Projects, a property devel opment company, a n nounced a ti e- up wi th hospi tal i ty maj or
Hi l ton I nternati onal for devel opi ng a l uxury hotel i n Bangal ore.
The hotel , to be promoted by Presti ge at a cost of Rs 200 crore, wi l l be managed by Hi l ton. Thi s is the second
i nternati onal brand to associ ate wi th a domesti c player for a hotel project i n Bangal ore, after Marri ot announced
i ts i ntenti on to partner a Mumbai i nvestor i n managi ng the property i n the ci ty. ( Presti ge to devel op l uxury
hotel for Hi l ton i n Bangal ore, BL. B, 28. 04. 05, C301 K34)
The Comptrol l er and Audi tor Genera l (CAG) has sl ammed the di si nvestment department for sel l i ng the two
hotel s of Ai r· l ndi a subsi di ary Hotel Corporati on of I ndi a-Juhu Centaur and Ai rport Centaur -on the basi s
of si ngl e bi ds wi thout the benefi t of competi ti on.
I n i t s report s ubmi tted to Pa rl i a ment , the CAG stated that i n nei ther of the two sa l e tra nsact i ons was i t
evi dent that efforts were made t o bal ance the need a n d urgency of sel l i ng the properti es and obtai n i ng the
best possi bl e pri ce. The report sai d the val uati on of the properti es and fi xati on of reserve pri ce was not
consi stent wi th the practi ce fol l owed by the mi ni stry i n other cases. Rel axati ons al l owed to the bi dder and
i nterventi ons by the Mi ni stry to faci l i tate the sal e, i ndi cated i nadequate efforts to mi ti gate the ri sk of transacti on
i n a l i mi ted competi ti on scenari o, i t sai d. (Centaur hotel s were not sol d for best pri ce, says CAG report; Sol e
bi ds marked both deal s, FE. B, 07. 05. 05, C30)
M- Fa r Hotel s Pri vate Li mi ted, subsi di ary of the Oman· based Gal far that acqui red I TDC' s Koval am Ashok
Beach Resort. t hree years ago for Rs. 43. 7 crores, as part of the di si nvestment process, i s cl ose to di sposi ng
of t he sprawl i ng beach property. A l eadi ng hotel group i n t he country owni ng hotel properti es i n Mumbai and
Goa, and keen on sett i ng up hotel i n Bekal and fundi ng t he proposed ai rport at Kannur, i s i n the race for taki ng
over the Koval am property, sources sai d. The second hi ghest bi dder for the property, when i t was put on the
bl ock t hree years a go, i s a l so l earnt to be eyei ng the property a second t i me round. I ndust ry sources sai d
t he deci si on to sel l off the property was taken by t he grout fol l owi ng the t ussl e wi t h the State Government
over the Ha l cyon Castl e and the host i l e atti tude of the panchayat to devel opment works. ( M· Fa r Hotel s to
sel l off i ts property i n Koval am, S. Ani l Radhakri shnan, TH. D, 09. 05. 05, C30)
2 a 0 5 - a 6 | Document at ion Update |
Lal i t Sur i · promoted Grand group of hotel s announced pl ans to i nvest a round Rs 1 , 400 crore to more t han
doubl e the number of hotel properti es under the gr and u mbrel l a brand over the next 3· 5 yea rs to ri de t he
domesti c touri sm boom. I n addi ti on, t he group whi ch currentl y manages a chai n of 5· star hotel s wi l l foray i nto
the domesti c budget hotel segment besi des acqui ri ng properti es i n UK and US. The group has a l ready short
l i sted Kera l a , Ahmedabad, Amri tsar, Hyderbad, Bangal ore, Jai pur a nd Chennai as the si tes for sett i ng u p
new 5· star hotel s. (Grand hotel s t o pump i n Rs 1 , 400 cr, Byas Anand, TOL D, 21 . 05. 05, C30)
Four Seasons Hotel s I nc" the worl d' s l a rgest manager of l uxury hotel s, wi l l stop operati ng the money· l osi ng
Pi er re i n New York after i ts negoti ati ons to revi se t he l ea se fai l ed. Taj Hotel s Resorts and Pal aces wi l l take
over Pi erre' s management. Four Seasons wanted better contract terms from Pi erre owner 795 Fi fth Avenue
Corp. after the hotel had a l oss of $4. 2 mi l l i on l ast yea r. Four Seasons i s sel l i ng hotel s and exi ti ng l eases to
focus on i ts management busi ness. (Taj Hotel s to manage Fowr Season' s Pi erre, FE. B, 1 1 . 06. 05, C30)
The di sputi ng parti es i n the Sea rock Hotel case reached a settl ement i n t he Bombay Hi gh Court wi th Del hi ·
based Cl ari dges group buyi ng of t he remai ni ng 30 % stake and establ i shi ng total ownershi p. The Cl ari dges
group had al ready bought 70 % stake i n Searock. Today, i t entered i nto a settl ement wi th Skydeck Properti es
to buy the remai ni ng stake for Rs 1 32 crore. Searock i s si tuated at Bandra Bandstand i n south Mumbai . The
cour t goaded the di sput i ng parti es to sett l e the di spute. Accordi ng to the court' s compromi se for mul a,
Skydeck was to deter mi ne t he hotel 's ' enterpri se val ue' . Cl ar i dges coul d t hen buy off Skydeck at that
val uati on or sel l off i ts 70% stake. Both parti es agreed. Skyrock was val ued at Rs 450 crore, a nd Cl ari dges
agreed to pay Rs 1 32 crore to Skydeck to buy it off. (Sea rock spat over, Ci a ri dges buys 1 00%, I E. D,
1 4. 09. 05, C30)
Gl obe· trotti ng I ndi ans can now own a hotel room i n downtown London on a 999·year l ease. Not onl y wi l l thi s
del i ver 52 n i ghts a year of free stay, the deal promi ses a return on i nvestment by a l l owi ng the hotel to l et the
room out for the rema i n i ng days. Thi s unusual i nvestment pl an i s the baby of Johnny Sandel son . CEO of
Guestl nvest, i n town to promote the sal e of hotel s to i nvestors. The fi rst hotel to i nt roduce the model was
Guesthouse West, i n Notti ng Hi l l . Next i n l i ne i s Nest, a 1 70· room l uxury hotel i n Paddi ngton. whi ch wi l l open
i n earl y 2007. Rooms a re up for grab. wi th pri ces rangi ng from 1 75, 000 pounds ( around Rs 1 . 4 crore) to
270. 000 pounds (Rs 2. 2 crore). Wi th 1 1 mi l l i on touri sts each year and hotel room occupancy reachi ng 79 %
by August 2005, i t's cl ear that London' s hotel market i s i n a n accel erati on mode. Sandel son i s al so pl anni ng
to bri ng t hi s concept to I ndi a. ( Now. buy a hotel room i n London for Rs 1 .4 crore, I E. B. 1 8. 1 1 . 05, C30)
CGH Earth, whi ch operates hotel s i n Keral a and Lakshwadeep, has chal ked out an expansi on pl an that wi l l
ta ke the group outsi de t he State a n d even see i t go gl oba l .
The fami l y· owned group wi l l open i ts f i rst property outsi de the State i n Gokarna i n northern Karnataka next
month. The project, spread over 58 acres, wi l l i n the fi rst phase. offer 30 del uxe vi l l as pri ced at $300 per
ni ght per vi l l a. The property, cal l ed ' Swaswar' (Sanskri t for I nner Vi brati ons), has been posi ti oned as a yoga
retreat by the sea . Besi des, i t has si gned a j oi nt venture agreement wi t h the Karnataka Government for a
project i n Hampi . The Karnataka Government woul d provi de l and a s i ts equi ty i n the 30· room proj ect, wi th
CGH bri ngi ng i n Rs 1 2· 1 5 crore.
Mr Domi ni c sai d the group had al so acqui red a heri tage bui l di ng at Karai kudi i n Tami l Nadu, and the property
woul d be l aunched by the wi nter of 2006. The group has al so acqui red 200 acres al ong the coast i n Rameswaram
di st r i ct and i s awai t i ng envi ronmenta l cl ea ra nce for a project that wi l l come u p a l ongsi de the proposed
Mari ne Nati onal Park. Under i ts overseas i ni t i ati ve, the company has taken on l ease a heri tage bui l di ng i n a
vi l l age near Stuttgart i n Germany, whi ch wi l l serve a s i ts marketi ng a r m for Europe. A new company, CGH
I nternati onal , has been fl oated to operate i ts overseas ventures. (CGH Earth pl ans expansi on, Tuni a Cheri an
George, BL. B, 1 9. 1 1 . 05, C30)
Vi ceroy Hotel s Ltd has proposed to set up two, star category hotel s wi th an overa l l i nvestment of Rs 620
crore i n the next t hree years. The Chennai property, est i mated to cost Rs. 460 crore, wi l l have 350 room·
capaci ty bes i des 200 executi ve apar tments attached to the hotel . Further, the US- based JW Marri ott has
expressed i ts wi l l i ngness to manage the property. The proposed Bangal ore property i s esti mated t o cost Rs.
1 60 crore a nd the board has al so authori sed the managi ng di rector t o expl ore t he possi bi l i ty of franchi see!
management contract wi th Mar ri ott I nternati onal I nc, USA. And i t wi l l have a 200· room capaci ty. (Vi ceroy
Hotel s pl ans to i nvest Rs. 620cr i n 2 new proj ects, FE. B, 23. 1 1 . 05, C30)
' Document at ion [ Tpda[ e ' ,? 0 0 5 -06
Hi l ton I nternati onal , a l eadi ng hotel chai n of the U. K. based Hi l ton group, has entered i nto a n agreement wi th
Empee Hotel s to manage and operate the l atter' s l uxury hotel to be establ i shed i n Chenna i . Accordi ng to M.
P Purushothaman , Cha i rman, Empee Group, the 253- room property to be chri stened ' Hi l ton Chennai ' , wi l l be
l ocated i n t he Gui ndy I ndus tri a l Estate ( Ekkattuthangal ). The outl ay on the project was esti mated at Rs. 1 84
crore, to be fi nanced wi th an equi ty compbnent of Rs. 55 crore and debt of Rs. 1 29 crore. ( Hi l ton to manage
Empee Hotel s' new venture, TH. D, 06. 0 1 . 05, C30)
Presti ge Estates Projects has a nnounced i ts expansi on pl ans i n i ts newl y di versi fi ed a rea of hospi t al i ty
busi ness. The company, whi ch had compl eted 1 20 devel opments coveri ng 1 0 mi l l i on sq f si nce i ts foray i nto
the busi ness i n 85- 86, announced l ast year i ts foray i nto hotel busi ness wi th a ti e-up wi th Hi l ton I nternati onal
to devel op a 300- room property i n Bangal ore. Mr I rfan Razack, Managi ng Di rector, sai d that Prestige pl ans to
promote five hotel s and servi ced a partments i n the next two years. One of them i s a j oi nt venture wi th the Taj
Group to bui l d a property about three km near the proposed Bangal ore I nternati onal Ai rport at Devenahal l i .
Presti ge wi l l have a n equi ty stake i n t he a i rport transi t hotel wi t h Taj run n i ng and managi ng t he property.
I ni t i al ly it woul d have 1 00 rooms and other faci l i ti es wi th an opti on to expand as the demand grows. (Presti ge
Estates to expand bi z i n hospi tal i ty sector, BL. B, 2 1 . 01 . 06, C30)
Rel i ance I ndustri es Ltd ( RI L), whi ch has won the bi d for 7. 5 hectare of l and at Bandra Kurl a Compl ex for a
record Rs 1 , 1 04 crore for the devel opment of a conventi on centre, proposes to make i ts foray i nto the hotel s
busi ness.
RI L has worked out a pl an for the constructi on of a hotel havi ng u pto 250' rooms, whi ch wi l l accompany the
proposed conventi on centre. RI L has pl anned t he constructi on of a worl d· cl ass conventi on centre wi th seati ng
capaci ty of 2, 000. I ndustry sources, however, sai d RI L wi l l expl ore opti ons of a 3-star, 4- star or 5- star hotel
whi ch woul d enta i l i nvestments rangi ng a nywhere between Rs 35, 000 per room and Rs one l a kh per room.
( Rel i ance I n d eyes foray i nto hotel busi ness, Sanj ay Jog & Mona Mehta, FE. B, 24. 01 . 06, C30)
I TC Hotel s, i t a ppears, may conti nue wi th the Sheraton brand for another year before i t revi si ts the arrangement.
The Sheraton brand, whi ch i s owned by Starwood Hotel s and Resorts, has been I TC Hotel s' partner i n I ndi a
for 29 yea rs. Presentl y, onl y 10 of l TC' s 66 odd hotel s i n 50 l ocati ons i n I ndi a are co- branded as Sheraton
properti es under a marketi ng and di stri buti on al l i ance. Si nce the commerci al rel ati onshi p was comi ng to a n
e
n
d thi s year, several !eadi ng hotel cha i ns i ncl udi ng Regent a n d Shagri - I a were t al ki ng wi th I ndi a's second
l argest hospi tal ity chai n to step i nto Sheraton's pl ace. ( l TC, Sheraton ti e- up to stay for now Arrangement May
Be Revi si ted i n a Year' s Ti me, Gi ri s h Rao, ETB, 21 . 02. 06, C30)
Hotel management company Sarovar pl ans to open 50 Hometel budget busi ness hotel s pan· 1 ndi a over the
next five years. The fi rst one, Radha Hometel , was thrown open i n Whi tefi el d, Bangal ore. Typi cal ly, the hotel s,
whi ch wi l l promi se a neat and cl ean a mbi ence, wi l l cal l for a n i nvestment of a bout Rs 1 0- 1 1 crore each
excl udi ng the l and cost. Sarovar wi l l al so turn i nto an i nvestor soon wi th pl ans to put i n Rs 200 crore towards
own i ng some of these hotel s. Sarova r has a l so rai sed $8 mi l l i on pri vate equi ty from two Ameri can VCs ­
New Bassma and New Nernon to support i ts future i nvestments. The Bangal ore property, owned by Chennai
based Fai r mont Hotel , offers 1 02 rooms. (Sarova r pl ans 50 Hometel bi z hotel s i n 5 years, ETB, 26. 02. 06,
C30)
Unl i ke Bangal ore and other metros, where modern s peci al i ty hospi tal s are gi vi ng a fi l l i p to heal th touri sm,
i nvestors i n Keral a a re pi tchi ng for ayurveda , Keral a's forte, for both treatment and wel l ness to attract more
touri sts. Dr N. Madhu, one of the three promoters of Cherai Beach Resorts i n Kochi sai d that wi th i ts basi c
experti se i n ayurveda, Keral a shoul d be a bl e to garner 25 % of the overal l share i n the wel l ness and medi cal
touri sm busi ness. He sai d that though ayurveda had suffered a setback due to some unscrupul ous operators,
the Keral a Govern ment' s move to i ssue accredi tati on to practi ti oners woul d rei nforce i ts credi bi l i ty_ (Cherai
Beach Resorts pl ans to focus on heal th touri sm, BL. C, 22. 03. 05, C30)
C31 Resorts
Wi l derness Resorts Pvt Ltd, a start· up eco· touri sm company, has annou nced an i ni ti al i nvestment of Rs 45
crore to l aunch a resort cha i n across country. Wi l derness Resorts has al ready i denti fi ed four properti es i n
Kabi ni nea r Nagarhol e, Bandi pur a nd Bhadra i n Karnataka . I t pl ans to set u p 5 0 resorts across the country
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
i n fi ve years through the devel opment of green fi el d projects and acqui si ti ons. Wi I derness has been promoted
j oi ntl y by Mr Ramesh, Mr Murthy and Mr H. B. Jai raj , Chai rman of BRB Group, a l ocal hospi tal i ty company.
(Wi l derness Resorts to set u p eco·touri sm chai n, Bl. C, 22. 1 2.05, C31 )
Country Cl ub I ndi a (CCl l) , a touri sm resort c l ub chai n , has expanded i ts operati ons t o Sri lanka by t aki ng
over a hi l l si de resort near Kandy. CCl l wi l l spend about Rs 2 bi l l i on ($44.4mi l l i on) on i ts devel opment. The Rs
1 bi l l i on resort group si gned a memorandum of underst andi ng ( MoU) wi th a Sri Lankan touri sm group to
acqui re the 40000 sq feet property j ust 15 km from Kandy. I t recentl y bought touri sm properti es l i ke "Bush·
Betta", near the Bandi pur Ti ger Reserve, Coconut Grove near Bangal ore and Country Cl ub De Goa. (Country
Cl ub buys hi l l si de resort i n Sri lanka, Hari sh C Menon, ETB, 05. 01 . 06, C31 )
A websi te whi ch rates accordi ng to meri t the ten best resorts of 1 7 States. The rat i ngs are based o n the
recommendati ons of veteran travel l ers, who speak from fi rst· hand experi ence of havi ng spent qual i ty t i me
there wi th thei r fami l i es. www. i ndi aresortssurvey. com ( I ReS) i s a 50, 000 pl us group of travel l ers, who share
thei r experi ences onl i ne. "Thi s i s the fi rst of i ts ki nd venture i n the country. I ndi a Resorts Survey has an onl i ne
rati ng mechani sm that al l ows act ua l travel l ers to eva l uate the resorts and l ei sure hotel s i n I ndi a. These are
regul arl y revi ewed by PWC. We have l i sti ngs of more t han 1 , 500 hol i day dest i nat i ons si t uated wi thi n 350
kms from pri me ci ti es a nd whi ch charge anywhere from Rs. 72 to Rs. 32, 000 for a day' s stay, " Hari Nayar,
CEO and Co· Founder of lei sure and Lifestyl e I nformati on Servi ce. (Websi te l i st s top ten ' hop ski p' resorts,
Ami t Upadhye, I E. B, 1 3. 01 . 06, C31 )
e32 Travel Agents
Ai r· l ndi a, has announced that travel agents' commi ssi ons on i nternati onal ti ckets wi l l be reduced from 7 % to
5 %, effecti ve May 1 . Most other European and Sout h· East Asi an carri ers a re a l so to fol l ow sui t . Travel
agents are j oi n i ng ran ks, wi th the two maj or trade a ssoci ati ons t he Travel Agents Associ at i on of I ndi a
(TAAI ) and the Travel Agents Federati on of I ndi a (TAFI ) -an nounci ng a boycott of Ai r· l ndi a. Earl i er l ast year,
Bri ti sh Ai rways and luft hansa had tri ed unsuccessful ly to cut the travel agents commi ssi ons.
Commi ssi on cuts, a worl dwi de phenomenon: Ai rl i nes are cappi ng I nternati onal Ai r Travel Agents' commi ssi ons
to reduce di stri buti on costs. For l arge corporate cl i ents, travel agents al ready operate on a fi xed servi ce fee,
based on t i ckets i ssued rather t han on percentage of publ i shed fare. Wi t h t he a dvent of the I n ternet for
maki ng booki ngs, and the opti ons of el ectroni c ti cketi ng, ai rl i nes, at l ast, have an effecti ve travel i ntermedi ary
i n 1 1
Val ue chai n for tradi ti onal ai r travel di stri buti on: Mega ai rl i nes are uni que i n extendi ng thei r di stri buti on chai n
through i magi nati ve use of technol ogy. The GDS (Gl oba l Di stri buti on Systems) -such a s Sabre, Amadeus,
Gal l i l eo, and Worl dSpan -are technol ogy pl atforms based on a mai nframe rea l t i me computer, wi th a VPN
(Vi rtua l Private Network) t hat connects travel agents wi t h t he reservati on systems of di fferent ai rl i nes. Now,
wi th the I nternet, they have a n a l ternati ve medi um to di stri bute t hei r a i r product.
The new ki ds on the bl ock -the Onl i ne travel agency: The success of these OTAs i ntroduced ai rl i nes to the
potent i al of the I nternet for sel l i ng ai r ti ckets. They si mpl i fi ed thei r fares, and began to attract consumers to
thei r portal s. As the ai r l i ne port al s scored over OTAs i n terms of transparency of pri ce, better avai l abi l i ty of
fl i ghts, etc, thei r share of t he OTA market grew to 60 %.
Wake· up cal l f or tradi t i onal a i r l i nes from lCCs: Tradi t i onal a i r l i nes are at l ast focussi ng on reduci ng the
di stri buti on costs, whi ch are second onl y to sal ari es. The di stri buti on costs are control l abl e, i f and onl y i f, the
tradi ti onal ai r l i nes attempt to change thei r busi ness model . Thi s i s easi er sai d than done, as can be seen from
the boycott by travel agents of ai r l i nes whi ch reduce thei r commi ssi ons.
Profi tabi l i ty of travel agents: The i ndustry average of travel agent profi ta bi l i ty, PBT / Revenue i s 1 · 2 %. The
gl obal , mul ti · l ocati on travel agents may not pass on the enti re l ATA commi ssi ons to t hei r corporate cl i ents;
t hey a l so earn commi ssi ons on other val ue· added servi ces such as sal e of forei gn exchange, packaged
tours, and hotel booki ngs . Yet such gl obal congl omerates have l ow operati ng margi ns because of the hi gh
overhead costs on sal ari es, admi ni strati on, communi cati ons, etc.
' Document ation Update ' 2 0 05 - 0 6
The smal l travel operator has a much l ower cost base, yet i s forced to part wi th most of the l ATA commi ssi on
to meet the expectati ons of the a i r travel l ers. And now travel l ers a re sai d to check the l owest f are on the
I nternet, onl y to buy from thei r nei ghbourhood agent.
What future technol ogy hol ds i n t ravel di stri buti on: I n 1 999, at the hei ght of the I nternet frenzy, Forrester
forecasted that the onl i ne ret ai l sal es i n the US wi l l reach $ 100 bi l l i on i n 2002. Despi te the I nternet bust i n
2000, the forecast came true, i n 2003, when t he tota l onl i ne sa l es i n t he US touched $ 1 20 bi l l i on. I t i s a
questi on of t i me before the US trends become a gl obal one.
The ai rl i nes wi l l si mul taneousl y bui l d technol ogi es of shari ng FFP (Frequent Flyers' Programmes), and common
ai r l i ne Web si tes wi th e- ti cket i ng whi ch connects them di rectl y wi th the customer. The ai rl i ne i ndustry i n Asi a
i s soon desti ned to catch up wi th Nort h Amer i ca i n sal es f rom on l i ne channel s as wel l as e· t i cketi ng, a s
predi cted by i ndustry anal ysts. Today, few travel agents possess the technol ogi cal capabi l i ty o r t he fi nanci al
powers to take on the combi ned mi ght of the ai r l i nes. The smal l operators, who cater to the ni che market,
may survi ve the onsl aught of technol ogy. However, the l arge travel agents wi l l have to transform themsel ves
usi ng the same I nternet technol ogy to offer B2C web-based i nterfaces for thei r corporate cl i ents, offer dyna mi c
tour packagi ng for l ei sure travel l er to outsmart the OTAs. The offl i ne travel agent nei ther ' owns' the customer
nor the technol ogy cha n nel s to access the customer.
As a i r l i nes and t hei r agents sl ug i t out over t he amount of commi ssi on, i t wi l l be i nteresti ng to see who
emerges vi ctori ous i n the fi rst round of battl e, as Ai r I ndi a percei vabl y has a l ower "Customer Pul l ", bei ng a
weaker bra nd than Bri ti sh Ai rways, and Lufthansa; even these ai rl i nes wi th stronger brands have to rely upon
the vi tal "Agent Push" to sel l a i r t i ckets i n I ndi a . (What i s the fut ure of the t ravel a gent? Pankaj Na rayan
Pandi t , BL. C, 08. 04. 05, C32)
Ai r Deccan has hi t i ts fi rst a i r pocket wi th the travel agents t aki ng a deci si on to keep i n a beya nce the co­
branded credi t card offer wi t h I CI CI t i l l the i ssue of commi ssi on to the a ge nt s i s resol ved. The bone of
contenti on between Ai r Deccan and the travel agents i s the 5 % transact i on fee, whi ch the a i rl i ne l evi es on
passengers over and a bove the basi c fare whenever a t i cket i s booked t hrough the agents. Passengers who
book t hei r ti ckets di rectl y t hrough the I nternet a re exempted from payi ng the transacti on fee.
Though the t ransacti on fee i s gi ven to the travel agents i n the for m of commi ssi on, agents say the fee shoul d
be i nc l uded i n the basi c fare and not shown separatel y i n the ti cket. The t ravel agents cl ai m that by showi ng
the transacti on fee separately from the basi c fare i n the ti cket, the a i rl i ne i s i n fact tryi ng to l ure the passengers
away from the t ravel a gents. Travel a gents a l so fea r t hat if t hey a ccept t he credi t card offer, i t wi l l set a
precedent a nd they may have to accept si mi l ar offers from other a i rl i nes.
I nteresti ngl y, the yet- to- be l aunched Ki ngfi sher Ai r has announced that i t wi l l provi de t ravel a gents 5 %
commi ssi on for sel l i ng i ts t i ckets and the commi ssi on wi l l be i ncl uded i nto the basi c fare. (Travel agents put
Ai r Deccan' s credi t card offer on hol d, K. Gi ri prakash, BL. C, 1 1 . 04. 05, C32)
Travel Corporat i on of I ndi a (TCI ) has a nnounced TCI Travel Net the 24x7 t ravel centre. I t i s a i med a t
enhanci ng the t ravel l ers experi ences by offeri ng them a range of servi ces t hrough a si ngl e seaml ess channel .
By cal l i ng TCI Travel Net, customers get travel assi stance to meet a l l t hei r requi rements; from domesti c and
i nternati onal a i r ti ckets, customi sed hol i days, hotel reservati ons, car hi re, Eurora i l passes, Cosmos tours &
crui ses, to j ust a bout a nythi ng that has to do wi th t ravel . TCI Travel Net ensures home del i very of ti ckets and
al l travel documents. I t al so offers travel l ers the fl exi bi l i ty of payi ng by cheque, credi t card, bank transfers or
demand draft s. (Travel l ers can cal l TCI 24x7 for assi stance, AA. D, 1 9.05. 05, C32)
E- PLACES BOOMI NG E- TI CKETI NG BUSI NESS ( I ndustry esti mates)
Yea r e· travel e- ai r t i ckets
2004- 05 976 800
2005·06 1 , 600 1 , 400*
2006- 07 1 , 800 1 , 600*
; 0 0 5 - 0 6 j Document ation Update j
Accordi ng to sources, e-travel busi ness, wherei n consumers book hotel reservati ons onl i ne, i s expected to
j ump over 90% to Rs 1 , 800 crare by the next f i nanci al yea r, from Rs 976 crore i n 2004- 05. Booki ng of a i r
ti ckets t hrough the I nternet i s a l so esti mated to doubl e to Rs 1 , 600 crore next year from Rs 800 c rore l ast
year. Among the exi st i ng l ow-cost a i rl i nes, i ndustry est i mates put Ai r Deccan as the l eader i n e- ti cketi ng wi th
over 60% market share fol l owed by Spi cejet ( 1 0%), Ki ngfi sher (8%) and Ai r Sahara (7%), i ndustry sources
sai d. (e- asy booki ngs l ead to net i ncrease i n t ravel , Ashi sh Si nha, FE. D, 07. 09. 05, C32)
The hotel i ndustry and tour operators s i gned an a greement to abi de by the r ul es of the game, honour
commi t ments and not undercut each other. The a greement, s i gned between t he Federat i on of Hotel a nd
Restaurant Associ ati ons of I ndi a a nd I ndi an Associ ati on of Tou r Operators ( l ATa), cal l s for wri tten contracts
between the two si des on deta i l s of servi ces to be provi ded to touri sts, i ncl udi ng food, rooms, t ra nsport,
tari ffs, taxes, payment terms and commi ssi ons. I t ai ms at resol vi ng probl ems a nd narrowi ng down a reas of
confl i ct of i nterest between tour operators and hotel i ers. ( Hotel i ers, tour operators si gn pact, TS. D, 09. 1 0.05,
C32/C30)
Lack of uni formi ty i n the fares charged by t he Archaeol ogi cal Department i n terms of I ndi an currency and US
dol l ars, i s taki ng a f i nanci al tol l on the forei gn touri sts vi s i ti ng the renowned Khaj ura ho templ es. As far the
charges of Archaeol ogy Depa rtment go, for a s i ngl e templ e vi si t , a forei gner has to shel l out $5 whi ch i s
equi val ent to Rs 250. The bone of contenti on i s t hat the conversi on rate of a dol l a r i s Rs. 2 1 5 to 220. Most
of the forei gn touri sts a pproach the travel agents for vi si t i ng the templ es. The agents charge the tour i st i n
I ndi an currency, that i s Rs 250, a n d pay $ 5 for each t i cket at the Archaeol ogy counter a t the templ e. Thi s
way, the agents a re abl e t o save Rs 30 each t i cket. The age nts not sat i sfi ed wi th t hei r ear ni ngs have gone a
step beyond. They a re ci rcul at i ng fake dol l a rs and t hus baggi ng the whol e conversi on rate. ( Bhopal t ravel
agents dupe forei gn touri sts, TPD, 1 2. 1 0. 05, C32)
Swi ss t ravel gi ant Kuoni a ppears to be remappi ng i ts I ndi a retai l strategy to better access the masses. I t i s
i ntroduci ng t he Kuoni - badged products for t he fi rst t i me i n t he country si nce i t made a s pl ash i n t he market
i n 1 996 by acqui ri ng SOTC Hol i day Tours. The Kuoni brand wi l l focus on the premi um t raffi c i n group travel ,
FI T (free i ndi vi dual travel l er) and domest i c busi ness. The SOTC master brand (Worl d Famous Tours, Hol i days
of I ndi a, Do I t Yoursel f) wi l l cont i nue to drive the vol ume end of the travel busi ness, i ncl udi ng the products for
corporate t ravel l ers. Another customi sed product for i ndi vi dual fami l i es, Chri stopher Col ombus, was phased
out some months back to pave way for these new umbrel l a brands. Kuoni I ndi a has used both SI TA, whi ch i t
acqui red i n 2000 and Tou r Cl ub, bought i n 200 1 , a nd SOTC brand names i n the past si nce these brands
carri ed strang l ocal a ppea l . However, i t has now deci ded to use t he Kuon i badge t o cut t hrough the growi ng
cl utter at the top where several operators a re vyi ng f or a l a rger sl i ce of the HN I crowd.
Accordi ng to travel trade a na l ysts, the pocket s izes of I ndi ans i s onl y gett i ng bi gger by the year, whi ch offers
an exci t i ng opport uni ty for t ravel compani es to offer a di versi fi ed basket of products to meet every need. A
Merri l l Lynch/Capgemi ni Worl d Weal th Report has, i n fact, put the country i n the fastest growi ng HNI category,
wi th 70, 000 mi l l i ona i res i n 2004. A study by the Nati onal Counci l of Appl i ed Economi c Resea rch has sai d
that t he number of crorepati househol ds had grown t o a l most 20, 000 i n 2001 ·02 and wi l l i ncrease t o more
than 50, 000 by 2005· 06. (Kuoni to tap ri chi e- ri ch's ruse for hol i day travel , Gi r i sh Rao, ETB, 24. 01 . 06, C32)
I ndi a wi l l see at l east three more travel si tes go onl i ne thi s yea r, taki ng the total number of transacti on- based
e-travel s i tes to si x. However, t he goi ng woul d not be easy for some of these new entrants, Mr Deep Kal ra ,
Founder and CEO, MakeMyTr i p. com, sai d. I nvestors, who have been i nterested i n the segment, were bound
to get more wary of i nvest i ng i n a market that was fast crowdi ng, he sai d.
MakeMyTri p, whi ch was t argeted at the US-based NRI when i t l a unched i n 2000, entered the I ndi an market
l ast year, and has i n seven months of operati on notched up a t urnover of Rs 200 crore. Mr Kal ra has targeted
a turnover of Rs 450· Rs 500 crore i n the yea r endi ng March 2007. The new pl ayers are l i kel y to eat i nto the
market share of the offl i ne pl ayers.
Earl i er thi s month, Rel i ance Capi tal , Norwest Venture Partners, a nd TV 18 i nvested i n Yatraonl i ne, a venture
i ni ti al l y promoted by Mr Dhruv Shri ngi and Mr Mani sh Ami n. Mr Shri ngi and Mr Ami n were earl i er managi ng
Ebookers, an onl i ne t ravel Websi te, whi ch was bought out by Cendant for $41 0 mi l l i on i n 2004.
| Documentation Update | . 0 6
About 20 % of the I ndi an travel market woul d go onl i ne by 201 0, as agai nst 2. 5 %, val ued at Rs 2, 500 crore
currentl y. I n the US, over 50 % of ti ckets are sol d onl i ne.
The market's response to Ma keMyTri p and i ts acceptance of the onl i ne mode have surpri sed hi m. Mr Kal ra
says hi s si te sel l s between 500 a n d 600 domesti c a i r ti ckets and a round 1 00 i nternat i onal ti cket s, a l l
i nbound from the US.
I nteresti ngly, nearl y 70 % of t he transacti ons on the si te a re by mal e buyers, and 70-80 % of t he buyers are
professi onal s i n the 27 -42 year age group. Most of the transacti ons a re conducted between 1 0 am and 5
pm, suggest i ng that travel reservati ons are fi nal i sed dur i ng offi ce hours! Hotel booki ngs are an i mportant
busi ness segment, wi th MakeMytri p booki ng a bout 50 room n i ghts each day. Currently, i t has the i nventory
of a round 400 hotel s on l i ne and hopes to rai se t hi s to 500·600 hotel s i n the comi ng year.
Goi ng forward, the si te woul d l ook at new strategi es i ncl udi ng enabl i ng B2B2C busi ness i n the smal l er ci ti es.
The si te was currentl y worki ng wi th travel agents to go onl i ne i n ' B' and ' C' ci ti es such as Ludhi ana, Amri tsar,
Nashi k, a nd Kol hapure, he sai d. (e· travel si tes to mul t i pl y, but equi ty f i nance may dry up, Tun i a Cher i an
George, BL. C, 28. 01 . 06, C32)
The boom i n the travel space conti nues to attract i nvestors. Bennett, Col eman & Co ( BCCL) has acqui red a
1 3% stake i n the Travel Ai r Group, a l eadi ng south· based travel servi ces company. Travel Ai r Group, whi ch
rol l ed out i ts operati ons from Bangal ore i n 1 977, has consi stentl y remai ned Karnataka's l eadi ng travel agent.
The group has a turnover of over Rs 200 crore a nd i s growi ng at 20% annual l y. ( BCCL takes 1 3% stake i n
Travel Ai r, ET. B, 1 6. 02. 06, C32)
After havi ng qui t the avi ati on busi ness, the Sahara I ndi a group has announced the l aunch of I ndi a' s "l argest"
travel and touri sm company -Sahara Gl obal . The new U$1 0 bi l l i on congl omerate" wi l l have 665 offi ces
across 165 towns and ci ti es both wi thi n the country and abroad. The company wi l l focus on i nbound touri sm
(travel l ers vi si ti ng I ndi a) , travel overseas, domesti c touri sm wi t hi n the country, medi cal touri sm, travel for
conferences and exhi bi ti ons, NRI travel servi ces and a travel portal backed by a gi ant satel l i te network that
wi l l faci l i tate fl i ght and hotel booki ngs among other thi ngs. The Sahara I ndi a group had been pl anni ng the
l aunch of the company for a bout 1 5 months now and operati ons wi l l commence by the end of the month.
( Sahara starts travel fi rm, AA. D, 1 0. 03. 06, C32)
C41 Labour Pol i cy and Legi sl ati on
After the brutal rape and murder of a cal l centre empl oyee by a taxi dri ver, t ravel agenci es i n the ci ty have
come under the pol i ce scanner. The cal l centres, too, have i mposed certai n rul es and regul ati ons for these
compani es to fol l ow.
A study t aken up by traff i c engi neeri ng expert M N . Sreehar i , chai r man of Traff i c Engi neers and Safety
Trai ners (TEST) · has esti mated that more than 20, 000 vehi cl es on contract wi th these compani es make over
20, 000 tri ps each day ferryi ng empl oyees from t hei r homes to workpl ace a nd vi ce versa . The cab dri vers
have been gi ven stri ct i nstructi ons that the fi rst empl oyee they pi ck for work a nd the l ast one to be dropped
at home shoul d be a mal e. I f the route assi gned to the cab does not have a ny mal e employee to pi ck ti p, i t i s
the duty of the dri ver to come back t o the company, pi ck up a securi ty guard, who wi l l accompany the femal e
empl oyee to thei r desti nati ons. Meanwhi l e, the i denti ty cards provi ded by the travel agency shoul d a lways
be fur ni shed by the cab dri ver when demanded by the empl oyee or by the pol i ce.
Si mi l arly, the travel a genci es have al so become very stri ct on whom they a ppoi nt. The candi dates have to
produce a pol i ce veri fi cati on certi fi cate a l ong wi th dri vi ng l i cence.
The tel ephone numbers of al l dri vers have been gi ven to the empl oyees. I f a substi tute dri ver takes over,
then the travel agent wi l l i nform the company. whi ch wi l l i n tur n i nfor m the empl oyee. Safety measures l i ke
sti ckers on vehi cl es wi th n a me of the cal l centre and phone n umbers to hel p the publ i c report a ny d ri ver
f l outi ng traffi c rul es, are bei ng fol l owed. Travel agenci es want the BPO compani es to i nstal l wi rel ess radi os
and Gl obal Posi ti on i ng System ( GSM) gadgets i n the vehi cl es for hei ghtened safety of thei r empl oyees.
(Travel agenci es adopt safety norms for cal l centres, I E. B, 1 7. 01 . 06, C41 )
2 a 0 5 - a 6 | Documentation Update |
• D TOURI SM PROMOTI ON AND TYPES OF TOURI SM .
000 Touri sm Vol umes and Patterns (I ndi a)
Wi th more peopl e breaki ng away from conventi onal travel l i ng, offbeat opti ons are here to stay. "The change i s
due t o medi a coverage of unusual pl aces, and adventure TV chan nel s wher
e
peopl e see rea l act i on. Treks,
campi ng and raft i ng expedi ti ons are getti ng bigger than ever before, " says Vai bhav Kal a, Founder· Di rector of
Del hi · based Aquaterra Adventures. If adventure tour i sm exci tes the outdoor· bound, eco· tour i sm has i t s
share of takers too. Eco· touri sm i s al l about not l eavi ng one' s foot pri nts behi nd, whi l e unravel l i ng nature' s
mystery. But eco·touri sm i s much more than j ust si ghtseei ng. Mi ngl i ng wi th the l ocal s and creati ng a bond i s
part of the experi ence. Travel l ers l ea r n about new cul tures a nd l i festyl es, t hus breaki ng t he myt hi cal rural ·
urban di vi de.
Eco· retreats and camps range from cozy cottages i n the mi ddl e of pi ne forests to ful l y equi pped Swi ss· styl e
tents at di zzyi ng hei ghts. And those who run t hese properti es want to offer much more t han ' a hotel and
room' . These communi ty· based retreats have somethi ng for every ki nd of travel l er -fami l i es, professi onal s,
busi nesspersons, backpackers, students and corporates. Run· of·the· mi l i l ocai es are genera l l y avoi ded, and
rel ati vel y l ess charted pl aces are expl or
e
d. (The new·age Marco Pol o, Swetha Kannan, BL. C, 06. 05. 05, 000)
I ndi an hol i day makers stay l onger and shop to thei r hearts content, and spi ce up the economy. I n fact, Ber l i n
Touri sm Marketi ng whi ch got l ess t han 1 0, 000 l ei sure vi si tors from t he country l ast year i s engagi ng the Bi rd
group to market the pl ace. Si mi l arl y, Si ngapore Touri sm Board is not onl y l aunchi ng I ndi a· speci fi c campai gns
but has even desi gned school travel programmes, whi ch combi nes i nformati on and entertai n ment.
J ust a bout every touri sm boa rd, be i t Dubai , Mal aysi a, Swi tzerl and or Austra l i a has straddl ed together to
fasci nate the desi · pal ate si nce there i s nothi ng l i ke an I ndi an hol i day maker unl eashed. The archetypal l ei sure
travel l er l oves good food, comfortabl e accommodati on (usual ly t hree to fi ve star). i s not very exci ted about
roughi ng i t out and most i mportantl y l i ke to shop, notwithstandi ng l i beral i sati on whi ch has made al l i nternati onal
products avai l abl e i n the country. The l ast characteri sti c i s common to j ust about al l I ndi ans i rrespecti ve of
whether he i s on a hol i day or travel l i ng on work. (Gl obal touri sm l ures I ndi ans; Si ngapore, Dubai & Germany
Desi gn Packages for Desi s, Gi ri sh Rao, ET. C, 1 6. 05. 05, 000)
An i ncreasi ng number of I ndi ans a re now searchi ng the gl obe for exoti c desti nati ons, for that rare experi ence
and possi bl y for the added snob val ue. Rushi ng off i nto the Amazon j ungl es or Afri ca' s heart of darkness i s
sti l l not par t of t he average exoti c hol i dayer' s t our i t i nerary but he i s a l ready knocki ng on t he fri nges and
surel y gett i ng there.
" I n the l ast few years, the number of I ndi ans seeki ng exot i c hol i dayi ng dest i nati ons has been steadi l y ri si ng.
What were j ust a few thousands fi ve years ago i s qui te a substanti al now' sai d Rohi t Hanga l , di rector of I ndi a
I nternati onal Travel Mart . ' Ea rl i er, usual l y i t was the t hi rd· ti me travel l er who chose exoti c dest i nati ons, si nce
i t i nvolved more money a nd more of the unknown; someone who has travel l ed i s comfortabl e wi th tryi ng out
somet hi ng new. But that has changed now, " sai d Gi ri j a Chandra n, a Bangal ore· based travel operator.
I n addi ti on, the young IT crOWd, wi th more di sposabl e i ncome and whi ch travel s frequentl y on job assi gnments,
prefers such dest i nat i ons. There a re a l so the cauti ous, "though the number of those choosi ng onl y exoti c
desti nati ons i tsel f has gone u p, there are pl enty of other touri sts who i ncl ude one desti nati on t o thei r i ti nerary,
l i ke addi ng Greece to a n I ta l i an t r i p or hoppi ng across t o New Zeal and on a t r i p to Aust ra l i a . ' sai d Pratap
Das, a travel consul tant. And then there i s the mi nuscul e segment whi ch wants to do j ust one exot i c acti vi ty
preferabl y i n a n exot i c l ocat i on. " Ri ver cru i ses on Russi an ri vers, di vi ng and zorbi ng i n New Zeal and, scuba
di vi ng i n the Paci fi c · these a re some of the acti vi ti es bei ng chosen. ' (Normal i s bori ng: more takers for exoti c
touri sm, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 01 . 08. 05, 000)
| DOCll ment ul ioll Udat e ' 0 6
~ = m =~+ ¬&.=¬ = 1
Foreign Tourist Arrive's, 1 995-2006 I
i
I
foreign tourist arrivals during the calendar year 2005 numbered 39, 1 5, 324, a 1 3.2%
lnetase over the 2004 arrivals that numbered 54, 57. 477. Foreign exchange earnings
dulng fh year amoulte to US$ 5, 730.86 millio. up 20.2% over the 2004 ernings of
US$ 4. 769.0 milion. In rupe tms the erings during 2005.amount RS.25, 1 72. 28 croreg
Q 1 6.5% ilcrease over the 2004 earnings ot Rs2l ,603.00 erore.
2. 12
I
2.29
2. 37
I i
2.65
2 54
2. 73
2. 38
I
_ .
�. Arivls In Million Nos.
I . u . ¬ . & . · +
1 995 1 996 1 997 1 998 ' 999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
r Surce; Ministry of Tourism PI Grophlcs
L
_-' --TForei gnlo-ur i st a rri val s, l 995· 20(6,\llB, 1 r.01.16-010; -
!
I
I
I
I
I
I
I
,
I
Forei gn touri st i nfl ow i nto I ndi a registered a growth of 1 3. 2% i n 2005, from 34, 57, 477 i n 2004 to 39, 1 5, 324
i n 2005. Accordi ng to i ndustry sources, the growth and devel opment of I ndi an economy have contri buted
substanti al l y to the growth of touri sm i n the country. The growth of touri sm al so had favoura bl e i mpact on the
country's forei gn exchange earni ngs whi ch registered a groth of 16. 5% i n 2005. Earni ngs from forex amounted
to Rs 25, 1 72. 28 crore i n 2005 compa red to Rs 2 1 , 603 crore i n 2004 is currentl y among the fastest growi ng
touri st desti nati ons i n the worl d. The annual rate of growth of touri sm i n I ndi a i s pegged at 1
3
. 2% compa red
to 5% growth i n gl obal touri sm. Wi th touri sm touchi ng new hei ghts, I ndi an hotel s a re geari ng up to enchash
the opportuni ty. Despi te the average room rate (ARR) goi ng up, the overal l occupancy rate (OR) was si gni fi cantl y
higher at 80· 85% i n 2005 i n l uxury hotel s across the country. (Forei gn touri st i nfl ow up, Somasroy Chakraborty,
FE. C, 26. 0l . 06, 000)
The hi gh- payi ng Ameri can touri st has toppl ed the charter·fl yi ng touri sts from UK over the l ast one year. Thi s
t rend i s expected t o gather steam ove r the next one yea r, t hanks t o the l aunch of di rect non· stop f l i ghts
between the two countri es fol l owi ng the open sky pol i cy si gned l ast year. Wi th nati onal carri ers I ndi an Ai rl i nes
and Ai r I ndi a sl ated to fl y di rectl y to US desti nati ons over the next 1 2 to 1 5 months, the to· and·fro t raff i c
between t he countri es i s expected to grow by around 20% over t he next one year, currentl y val ued at around
$1 bi l l i on i n revenues.
Of the 3. 9 mi l l i on forei gn touri sts who arrived on I ndi an shores i n 2005, the Uni ted States not onl y offered the
bi ggest numbers -around 5 1 akh but more i mportantly thi s l ot were the hi ghest spendi ng ones.
"One hi gh· end Ameri can touri st i s equal to t hree Br i t i sh touri st i n terms of tot al spend i n I ndi a, " noted
offi ci al s i n Mi ni stry of Tou ri sm. One of the pri mary reasons for thi s i s that an Ameri can touri st on an average
stays a nywhere between 1 5 and 1 8 days i n the country. I n compari son, the popul ar UK tour i st i s general ly
here for seven to ei ght n i ghts. To attract greater numbers, accordi ngl y, the I ncredi bl e I ndi a campa i gn to
market Brand I ndi a as a touri sm desti nati on i s bei ng re·worked wi th more focus on the Ameri can market.
Sever al campa i gns on pri nt, tel evi si on and I nternet medi a a re l i ned up for 2006 i n the US mar ket. ( US
touri sts head t o I ndi a, Sudi pto Dey, ET. B, 03. 02. 06, 000)
The tour i sm i ndustry i s expected to grow by 1 5 % t hi s year t ha n ks to the fri nge benefi t tax cut. Al so, the
i ncrease i n al l ocati on for touri sm from Rs. 786 crore to Rs 830 crore i s expected to enabl e I ndi an desti nati ons
to be marketed better. However, the touri sm i ndustry woul d have been happi er i f i t recei ved sops i n the form
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Updat e |
of u ni form tax structure on hotel rooms as wel l as a better taxati on on avi ati on turbi ne fuel . The i ndustry i s
parti cul arl y pl eased wi th t he deci si on t o i ncrease FOl l i mi t i n avi ati on from 40 t o 49 %. (Touri sm sector seen
wi tnessi ng 1 5% growth post- FBT cut, HT. O, 02. 03. 06, 000)
001 Domesti c Touri sm
The government has deci ded to pay more attenti on on promoti ng do: nesti c touri sm rather than focusi ng onl y
on i nternati onal touri sts. Speaki ng at a n i nteracti ve meet organ i sed by PHD Chamber of Commerce and
I ndustry ( PHDCCI ), Touri sm Secretary A K Mi shra sai d that t he focus of the country' s touri sm pol i ci es had
al ways been on attracti ng el i te touri sts from abroad. Thi s was refl ected i n a poor rati o of domesti c touri sts to
forei gn touri sts. The rate needs to be changed i n favour of domesti c touri sts to meet touri sm targets, the
secretary sai d. Pi l gri mage touri sm i s one a rea whi ch Touri sm Mi ni ster Renuka Choudhary i s attempti ng to
promote to boost touri sm. (Domesti c touri sm to be promoted, FE. B, 07. 04. 05, 001 )
I ndi a n travel l ers a re wi l l i ng to expl ore dest i nati ons wi t hi n the country and a re prepared to fl y domesti c
carri ers on i nternati onal routes i f gi ven a good deal than the forei gn counterparts, says JouneyMart. com. I n
a survey conducted among 1 , 1 50 peopl e, compri si ng both mal es and femal es i n the age groups between 1 8-
24, 25- 55 a n d 56 and a bove, it was found that I ndi a i s the hottest and preferred desti nati on for travel l ers
thi s summer. As many as 83% pl an vacati on i n I ndi a than a broad, the survey hi ghl i ghted.
Accordi ng t o the survey, attracti ve a i rfare, packages and deal s conti nue t o be t he pri me i nf l uencers whi l e
deci di ng a hol i day desti nat i on. 43 % of the respondents were i nf l uenced by attracti ve deal s, whi l e 30%
through word of mouth. Travel expense/budget i nf l uenced 1 6% of the respondents whi l e promoti ons by
touri sm boards have a l so made a n i mpact on the overal l choi ce of the desti nati on. I t is i nteresti ng to note
that I ndi an travel l ers are wi l l i ng to experiment wi th fl yi ng on popul ar domestic ai rl i nes for overseas desti nati ons.
Majori ty of the respondents were aware of the open sky pol i cy. I n fact, the tsunami di saster has not deterred
peopl e from goi ng to the beaches, wi th 61 % of the respondents sayi ng tsunami has had no i mpact on travel
to beaches, though 32% have agreed that tsunami has made them reconsi der travel to beaches thi s summer.
The travel pol l al so reveal ed that 37% of the respondents a re l ooki ng for a n a dventurous getaways, whi l e
23% a re i nterested i n wi l dl ife safari . The concept of crui se vacati on seems to be growi ng i n popul ari ty wi th
6% of the respondents goi ng on a crui se thi s summer. Goi ng by the i ncreasi ng el ectroni c payment system,
most of t he travel l ers a re wi l l i ng t o pay by cards. The survey shows t hat credi t/debi t cards have repl aced
cash as a more favourabl e mode for fi nanci al transacti ons.
Among the travel l ers, travel agents remai n to be the most popul ar choi ce for maki ng travel reservati ons, wi th
65% res pondents booki ng thei r ti ckets through a t ravel agent. ( I ndi a n ready to expl ore l ocal tour i st
desti nati ons, R Ravi chandra n, FE. O, 1 4. 05. 05, 001 )
The bi g myth a bout Bengal i s and Guj arati s bei ng the top travel l ers i n the country i s bl own . Thei r n umbers
a ren' t i nsi gni fi cant, but Bengal i s and Guj arati s together accounted for j ust a bout 5. 4 mi l l i on of a total of 33
mi l l i on domesti c touri sts i n 2002. That mi ght seem l i ke a l ot , but Karnataka al one had 6. 1 mi l l i on touri sts,
maki ng Kannadi gas, by far, the most travel l ed peopl e i n the country. Touri sts from Tami l Nadu made up the
next bi ggest group wi th 3. 7 mi l l i on. Maha rashtri ans and Bengal i s were next i n l i ne wi th 2. 9 mi l l i on tour i sts
a pi ece whi l e the Guj arati s were j ust behi nd t hem at 2.8 mi l l i on.
That' s the sna pshot of domesti c touri sm i n I ndi a from a fi rst of i ts ki nd survey conducted by the Nati onal
Counci l of Appl i ed Economi c Research (NCAER) for the touri sm mi ni stry.
Wi th over 800, 000 respondents, i t i s amongst the bi ggest surveys i n tour i sm a nd i s i ntended to gi ve the
mi ni stry i nsi ghts that coul d be useful i n formul ati ng pol i cy. (Surpri se! Kannadi gas travel most, Bangal ore,
Mysore i n Top 1 0 non· rel i gi ous spots, Sami ra n Cha krawertt i , TOI . B, 06. 1 2. 05, 001 )
010 Tou ri sm Promoti on
Seei ng Chi na fast emergi ng as a rel ati vel y open soci ety and a maj or pl ayer i n the gl obal economy wi th thei r
ci ti zens enj oyi ng a measure of freedom to move and the mool a h to spend as never before, I ndi a i s expl ori ng
| Docllmentation Update | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
possi bi l i ti es of wooi ng touri sts from i ts gi ant nei ghbour wi th the worl d's l a rgest popul ati on. The number of
touri sts from Chi na to I ndi a i n 2003 was 34, 907. There are cl ear si gns of Chi nese touri sts' i nterest in I nd i a
and the touri sm mi ni stry has i ni t i ated a process to reopen a representati ve offi ce i n Chi na to further i ncrease
the touri st a rri va l s to I ndi a. (Wooi ng the brave, new Chi nese touri sts, TS. D, 29. 05. 05, 01 0)
To promote the touri sm sector beyond the t radi ti onal touri st seasons, the Confederati on of I ndi an I ndustry
(CI I ) has ' mooted the i dea of promot i ng ' monsoon touri sm".
The monsoon season for a l most states, barri ng a few excepti ons, has t radi ti onal l y been the off· season for
i nbound and domest i c touri sm. Monsoon, though vi tal for the economy, has so far been a wet bl anket for the
touri sm i ndustry, droppi ng hotel /resort occupanci es by nearl y 50% and sharpl y reduci ng revenues for travel
and tour operators servi ci ng the domest i c segment. Therefore, there i s a need to promote monsoon touri sm.
Suggesti ng strategi es for promot i ng monsoon touri sm, the CI I paper has recommended that i t woul d be
i mperat i ve to i dent i fy states t hat woul d be sol d as monsoon tour i sm dest i nat i ons. I t coul d be based on
touri st attracti ons, beauty of the l andscapes, equabi l i ty of the cl i mate, abi l ity of the i nfrastructure to handl e
monsoon and t he hospi tabi l i ty of the l ocal popul ace. (CI I fl oats ' monsoon touri sm' to beat off season bl ues,
FE. B, 04. 07. 05, 01 0)
Many touri sm boards are tryi ng to l ure touri sts from smal l er and ti er " ci ti es. I n fact, these boards a re doi ng
roadshows and educat i ng the publ i c a l ong wi th the travel and tour i ndustry i n these ci ti es. On thei r radar a re
pl aces l i ke Lucknow, Bhopal , Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Chandi garh, Ludhi ana, Amri tsar, Kochi , Pune,
Nasi k, Jai pur, Coi mbatore, Guwahat i , I ndore and Jammu. There has been a great demand from these pl aces
to vi si t South East Asi a. The yea r 2004 cl osed wi t h a fi gure of 5 . 8 mi l l i on out· bound t ravel l ers wi th t he
devel opi ng ci ti es (B· ci ti es) contri buti ng nearl y 38%. Thi s year the fi gures a re expected to touch 7. 5 mi l l i on
and i ndustry sources expect the contr i buti on of B· ci ti es to surge by at l east 1 5 to 20% wi th the growth i n
these ci ti es from anywhere between 25 to 30% per annum. (Touri sm boards eye ti er I I ci ti es for growt h, Raja
Awasthi , ET. B, 1 7 . 07. 05, 01 0)
I nformati on on touri sm opti ons i n the Capi tal wi l l now be ava i l abl e at Del hi Touri sm' s mul ti l i ngual , i nteracti ve
websi te. To attract touri sts from Japan, Europe as wel l as parts of Afri ca and Lat i n Ameri ca, the Del hi Touri sm
websi te wi l l go mul ti l i ngual from 15 November. The new i nteracti ve websi te wi l l have touri st rel ated i nformati on
i n four l anguages, French, Japa nese, German and Spani sh, i n addi ti on to Engl i sh. (Touri sm web si te to go
mul ti l i ngual , Abhi jeet Anand, TS. D, 20. 1 0. 05, 0 10)
Targeti ng secondary ci ti es i n I ndi a and encouragi ng l eadi ng fi l mmakers to shoot i n Si nga pore i s the twi n ai m
of the Si ngapore Touri sm Board i n i ts effort t o i ncrease traffi c from I ndi a t o Si ngapore. Among the i ncenti ves
they offer i s upto 50 % of the cost of fi l mi ng. They have a fund of $1 0 mi l l i on to be spent over three yea rs.
(Coi mbatore, Surat hi gh on Si ngapore touri sm l i st , AA. D, 26. 1 0. 05, 0 10)
An unprecedented surge i n travel sector notwi thstandi ng, a l l servi ce provi ders to t hi s boomi ng sector, be
they ai rl i nes, hotel s or travel agents, however, wi l l need to put much more effort i n differenti ati ng t hei r brands.
The word of cauti on for the sector comes from t he TNS I ndi an Travel Dossi er 2005 rel eased. Accordi ng to the
study that t racks the i mpact of the un precedented surge i n t ravel demands i n recent years, Nort h I ndi a
l eads the way, wi th a si gni fi cantl y hi gher travel i nci dence. Whi le domesti c busi ness and l ei sure travel accounted
for 1 1 % each of the travel i nci dence. overseas travel was 3% each for busi ness and domest i c travel . (Travel
sector urged to ' focus on di fferenti at i ng brands, FE. C, 1 5. 1 2.05, 0 10)
The worl d's l argest travel and touri sm fai r · I TB Berl i n · gets underway wi th over 1 0, 000 compani es from 1 83
countri es parti ci pati ng i n the event. I n i ts 40th edi ti on thi s year, the I TB organi sers say the fai r wi l l be bi gger
t han before, havi ng evol ved from a si mpl e exhi bi ti on to a modern competence centre for t he travel a nd
touri sm i ndustry.
Those putti ng up stal l s at the four·day event i ncl ude Ki ngfi sher Ai rl i nes, Jet Ai rays and the touri sm departments
of Keral a, Uttar Pradesh, Raj asthan ,' Uttaranchal and Goa , Taj Hotel s, t he Oberoi Group, Leel a Pal aces and
Resorts and The Grand Group woul d be parti ci pati ng i n t he fai r wi th the hope of garneri ng i nternati onal t i e·
ups. (Worl d touri sm fai r opens today, TH. B, 08. 03. 06, 01 0)
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documcntation Update |
011 Festi val s · I ndi a (Touri sm Promoti on)
Hel d i n January every yea r, the J ai pur Heri tage I n ter nat i onal Festi va l i s not j ust a bout the a rts, cul ture,
heri tage and conservati on, but al so a bout devel opment.
Al l acti vi ti es of the foundati on are, i n fact, dri ven by the convi cti on that Raj asthan' s heri tage i s the State's
greatest economi c asset a n d must be l everaged even as i t i s preserved, he says. So, even as i t seeks to
i ncrease i nterest i n Raj ast han's cul ture, craft and heri tage, the festi val must al so have a di rect and posi ti ve
i mpact on the State's economy.
I ni ti ati ve gets street-sma rt: The Jai pur Vi rasat Foundati on has star ted a seri es of ongoi ng i ni ti ati ves to craft
a heri tage· based model of soci al and economi c devel opment. One such progra mme i s an ' i ntegrated street
revi tal i sati on project' . A pi l ot project of t hi s venture i s to be l aunched i n a few days a nd i nvolves renovati ng
an enti re street wi t hi n the ' ol d ci ty' of J ai pur.
The project i ncl udes restori ngfa<ades of key bui l di ngs on the street and i mprovi ng physi cal i nfrastructu re i n
t he street. The proj ect , whi ch has t he a ct i ve parti ci pat i on of t he street's resi dents, a l so seeks t o i ncrease
pri de i n ownershi p of properti es and bri ng i n tangi bl e economi c benefits to peopl e l ivi ng there. The foundati on
hopes the pi l ot venture, when compl eted, wi l l encourage other communi ti es to l aunch s i mi l ar i ni t i at i ves.
( Heri tage festi va l a i ms to dri ve devel opment, Sankar Radhakri shnan, BL. C, 05. 09. 05, 01 1 )
020 Package Tours
I ndi a i s not j ust about the Taj . Stung by the myst i que of I ndi an weavers, forei gners a re al l out to expl ore the
country's text i l e tradi ti ons i n remote a reas of Bhuj (Guj arat), Sanganer ( Raj asthan), Nuapatna (Ori ssa) and
Pochampa i l i (Andhra Pradesh).
' Texti l e ci rcui ts' have become one of the un i que sel l i ng proposi ti ons for t hose tour operators who offer thei r
customers somet hi ng beyond t he famous Gol den Tri angl e of Del hi -Agra-Jai pur. A New Zeal and- based tour
operator sel l i ng South I ndi an text i l e tour package for a pproxi matel y $4, 600, has na med i t "Si l k and Spi ce.
Domesti c operators are al so offeri ng choices. One of the famous ci rcuits i n the east i s Bhubaneshwar· Nuapatna­
Barpal i · Sonepur· Bol angi r. The package promi ses to make you fami l i ar wi th I kat (ti e and dye) and tasar si l k
weavi ng. Another popul ar sector offered by domesti c tour operators i s Mumbai · Bhuj · Jamnagar· Ahmedabad­
Udai pur· Jai pur·Agra- Del hi · Mumba i . The rates are around $2, 000 for 16 days a nd 15 n i ghts. (Touri sts snoop
at our warp & weft, Raj eev Jayaswal , ET. C, 1 5. 08. 05, 020)
I magi ne a group of Ameri cans on horsebacks ri di ng through remote vi l l ages i n Rajasthan, bravi ng the scorchi ng
desert heat . Now i magi ne t hem stoppi ng at vi l l ages, di st ri but i ng l i vestock, educati ng the vi l l agers about
AI DS a nd par t i ci pati ng i n medi cal camps. Thi s motl ey group, mai nl y from New York i s, by the way, on a
hol i day. Except that it combi nes exoti c travel wi th a l i beral dose of phi l a nthropy. Wel come to a new concept
of t ravel that' s f i ri ng the i magi nati on of Ameri cans who a re now comi ng to I ndi a to get the experi ence of a
l i feti me. And the man behi nd thi s concept is a 35-year- ol d New Yoker, hal f- I ndi an, hal f· French, Al exander Souri
and i t i s hi s organi sati on, Rel i ef Ri ders I nternati onal ( RRI ) , that' s maki ng thi s possi bl e. The nearl y two·week
l ong ri de, cost i ng $5, 400 each, i s organ i sed a l ong wi t h the I ndi an Red Cross and has been co- created by
Mahesh Anora, di rector, Nati onal Di saster Management, I ndi an Red Cross. (Happy hol i day: Gi vi ng ai d as they
travel , Meenakshi Kumar, TOLD, 1 1 . 09. 05, 020)
The next t i me you deci de to go on a hol i day beware of the ' two n i ghts/three days package' offered by travel
agents. There i s every possi bi l i ty that you wi l l get cheated by a day. The catch i nvari abl y l i es i n the fi ne pri nt:
the embarkati on and di sembarkati on ti mi ngs. Thi s means the schedul e i s fixed i n such a way that one mi nute
of servi ce costs you a day.
.
One such case came up before the Nati ona l Consumer Di sputes Redressal Commi ssi on ( NCDRC) a bout a
coupl e taken on a tri p from Bangal ore to Si ngapore and then on a crui se to Mal aysi a and back. They had been
promi sed a 2 ni ghts 3 days Si nga pore· Mal aysi a crui se by t he t ravel agency. On t hei r retur n, t hey f i l ed a
peti ti on i n the di stri ct consumer forum sayi ng the crui se tri p was of two ni ghts and onl y 1 % days. They sai d
they had been mi sl ed by the schedul e. The consumer forum uphel d t hi s vi ew and ordered the tour operator
to pay Rs 50, 000 compensati on. (Beware the 2 ni ghts/3 days trap, Kumkum Chadha, HTD, 23. 02. 06, 020)
| [o(,ll711 cntul ion Update | _' 0 05 0 6
020a Adventure Tou ri sm
One day after NASA brought t he shutt l e Di scovery back from l ow Earth orbi t, a pri vate company pl ans to
announce a more audaci ous venture, a touri st tri p around the Moon. Space Adventures, a company based i n
Vi rgi ni a h a s a l ready sent two touri sts i nto orbi t, o n 1 0t h Aug 05 , i t was set t o u nvei l a n agreement wi t h
Russi an space off i ci al s to send t wo passengers on a voyage l asti ng 1 0 to 21 days, dependi ng part l y on i ts
i ti nerary and whether i t i ncl udes the I nternati onal Space Stati on. A roundtri p t i cket wi l l cost $1 00 mi l l i on. The
space· far i ng touri sts wi l l travel wi th a Russi an pi l ot. ( Now, a $1 00m Tour around the Moon, John Schwartz,
TOI . M, 1 1 . 08. 05, D20a)
Adventure touri sm i n I ndi a coul d emerge a s one of the bi ggest forei gn exchange earner for the country i n the
next 10 years t hrough effecti ve management and pol i cy i n it i at i ves by di fferent state gover nments. Revenue
genera ted by the sector i s expected to reach $20 bi l l i on by 201 0. I ndi a regi stered a growth of over 20%
l ast yea r and i s currentl y val ued at over Rs. 400 crore. The growth fi gure i s expected to doubl e t hi s year a s
touri sm i n the country grew at 1 5. 3% wi th addi ti onal forei gn exchange earni ngs up by 22% to $5. 03 bi l l i on
i n 2004·05 from $4. 1 2 bi l l i on i n 2003-04. These a re the fi ndi ngs of a recent anal ysi s to a ssess the potenti al
of the country t o become a pri me dest i nati on i n attract i ng forei gn touri sts wi th an adventurous bent of mi nd.
Di fferent l ocati ons i n t he country whi ch provi de such avenues for adventure touri sm recorded cl ose t o 1 . 25
l akh of domesti c hol i dayers wi th Hi machal Pradesh bei ng t he preferred desti nati on, who enjoyed the thri l l s of
rafti ng, trekki ng, para-gl i di ng etc.
There i s an est i mated 1 0, 000 a dventure tour operators i n I ndi a who have speci al i zed i n provi di ng adventure
tour packages to the domesti c and the forei gn touri sts. And adventu re tour operators a re now ma rketi ng
Moun t Kai l ash, a pi l gri mage desti nat i on i n a bi g way. The a na lysi s has u nder l i ned the i mport ance of the
sector, a s adventure touri sm i s a major draw for i nternati onal touri st as nearl y 40% of them come to I ndi a for
a dvent ure a nd soft a dventure hol i days. (Advent ure touri sm wi l l be bi ggest forex ear ner, FE. C, 29. 08. 05,
D20a)
020b Recreati on and Theme Parks
More hotel s across the U ni ted States a re s pend i ng up to $75 mi l l i on each to bui l d huge encl osed water
parks, hopi ng to l ure fami l i es someti mes from j ust a few ki l ometers away. More fami l i es a re checki ng i n,
despi te payi ng somet i mes doubl e or even tri pl e t he cost of other hotel s. A decade ago, there were onl y si x
such i ndoor hotel parks -pri mari l y i n the Wi sconsi n Del l s, a resort communi ty outsi de Madi son, Wi sconsi n.
Today, some 60 hotel s offer i ndoor wat er parks and 98 more a re ei ther pl anned or under constructi on i n
vari ous states, accordi ng t o US Real ty Consul tants, a hospi tal i ty i ndustry resea rch fi rm based i n Col umbus,
Ohi o.
Vi si tors to most hotel s wi th water parks wi l l pay $80 to $400 per ni ght per room, dependi ng on the si ze of
the park and the hotel 's l ocati on. Yet many fami l i es a re wi l l i ng to pay extra, because most room rates i ncl ude
water park admi ssi on for four to si x guests tor the fi rst and l ast days ot thei r stay. (The Latest I n Hotel Pool s:
Water Parks, Jenni fer AI sever, AA. D, 1 4. 05. 05, D20b)
The Bori vl i pol i ce have regi stered a case of negl i gence agai nst Vi nayak Kashi d, an offi ci al of Water Ki ngdom,
after an ei ght yea r- ol d boy drowned i n a wave pool i n the a musement park. Seni or pol i ce i nspector Suresh
Martathe sai d, "We conducted an i nspecti on of the premi ses fol l owi ng the i nci dent. I t i s the management' s
responsi bi l i ty to ensure that youngsters do not venture i nto the pool on thei r own. Water Ki ngdom offi ci al s
fai l ed t o do thi s. They do not have suffi ci ent number of l i fe guards. (Amusement park offi ci al booked for boy's
deat h, TOI . M, 08. 06. 05, D20b)
: 0 0 5 - 0 6 | DOCWl1Cll i uti01 1 Upc/at e |
D20c Conventi on Tou ri sm
Interview with Barbara Hanlon, Managing director India Interational Expo XXI (P) Ltd, (a
subsidiar of Expomedia Group PIc, London).
Q. What i s the exhi bi ti on market l i ke i n I ndi a? Where does I ndi a stand vi s- a·vi s the worl d?
A. I ndi an exhi bi t i on i ndustry i s h i ghly unorgani sed and i s cur rentl y a t a nascent stage. I t
resembl es what Chi na or Russi a were over 1 2 yea rs ago. At present I ndi a has exhi bi ti on
centres i n onl y fi ve ci ti es, wi th a total i ndoor space of about 200. 000 sq m. I roni cal ly, most
of the ven ues a re outdated and not up to gl obal standards. Moreover, every year there a re
onl y about 200 exhi bi ti ons organi sed al l over I ndi a. Chi na, wi th al most the same popul ati on
as I ndi a, hol ds more tha n 2, 500 exh i bi ti ons wi th t he total exhi bi ti on space reachi ng more
than 2. 5 mi l l i on sq m. Germany, has 2. 7 mi l l i on sq exhi bi ti on space and organi ses 300 fai rs;
al most two·thi rd of them are renowned i nternati onal exhi bi ti ons.
Q. What a re the chal l enges and opportuni ti es i n thi s segment for I ndi a?
A. Most of t he exhi bi ti ons hel d i n I ndi a are organi sed by vari ous governmental bodi es, I TPO,
i ndustry associ ati ons or trade· speci fi c bodi es. There are only a handful of pri vate organi sers.
I n the a bsence of a ny l eadi ng i nternati onal organi sers, t he I ndi a n market i s depr i ved of
i nternati onal shows and exhi bi ti ons.
Q. How does I ndi a gai n from exhi bi ti ons? Wi l l i t ma ke a si gni fi cant di fference for I ndi a?
A. The exhi bi ti on i ndustry i s very i mportant for any country as successful exhi bi ti ons di rectly
or i ndi rectl y benefi t the country's economy and boost its gl obal i mage. It wi l l di rectl y boost
I ndi a's touri sm and hospi tal ity sector. Forei gn and l ocal exhi bi tors and vi si tors spend money
for boardi ng, l odgi ng, tra nsport, and entertai nment whi ch di rectl y benefits the ci ty where the
event i s bei ng hel d. Al l these commerci al acti vi ti es have a di rect i mpact on country's economy.
Further more, exhi bi ti ons a l so generate empl oyment.
( ' Exhi bi ti on i ndustry wi l l boost touri sm' , Amri ta Chauhan Sanyal , ETB, 1 6. 07. 05, D20c)
Securi ty l i nes and fl i ght del ays top the l i st as the events that most negati vel y affect t ravel . And t he maj ori ty
of busi ness travel l ers do not want cel l phone use al l owed i n-fl i ght. As for travel managers, they say expectati ons
from top management a re cost savi ngs and gl obal i sati on of the travel programme.
These a re among the fi ndi ngs of the Car Wagonl i t Travel (CWT) gl obal busi ness travel survey commi ssi oned
to gauge atti tudes and percepti ons of busi ness travel l ers and corporate trawl managers about the current
and future state of busi ness travel .
I t randoml y sampl ed opi ni ons of 2, 1 00 busi ness travel l ers and 650 t ravel managers i n 1 2 countri es. Resul ts
from t he Asi a Paci fi c poi nt toward a general ly posi ti ve out l ook for the travel sector i n thi s regi on i n 2006, wi th
I ndi an travel l ers bei ng the most opti mi sti c.
I n I ndi a , Austra l i a and Japan , f l i ght del ays affect 6 1 % of busi ness travel l ers frequently or occasi onal ly.
Chi nese busi ness travel l ers, however, are the most l i kel y to be frequentl y or occasi onal l y affected by ai rport
securi ty l i nes as compared to other travel l ers i n t hi s regi on. I n Asi a Paci fi c, Japanese t ravel l ers a re most
comfortabl e wi th maki ng t hei r t ravel booki ngs onl i ne wi t h 75% of t hem booki ng more t han 40% of t hei r
busi ness travel onl i ne. A maj ori ty of Austral i an t ravel l ers ( 55%) al so book thei r busi ness t ravel onl i ne whi l e
thei r counterparts i n Chi na and I ndi a does so l ess often (23% and 1 7% respecti vel y)
When travel l i ng, Asi a Paci fi c busi ness travel l ers are most l i kel y to be i rri tated by other passengers. Whi l e
both the Austral i ans and Ja panese a re most annoyed by cryi ng babi es, the Chi nese di sl i ke other travel l ers
not checki ng· i n over· si zed l uggage, and I ndi an travel l ers do not appreci ate bei ng di sturbed by nei ghbouri ng
| Docllment al i011 Update | 2 0 0 S 0 6
passengers. I ndi an travel l ers i ndi cated that they are l east i ncl i ned to travel to Afri ca. (Busi nessmen opti mi sti c
on t ravel growth i n 2006, I E. C, 26. 01 . 06, D20c)
For most I ndi an busi ness t ravel l ers, i t means hi gh stress l evel s, t han ks t o the poor t ravel i nfrastructure i n
t he country. A recent survey puts I ndi ans on top of t he wor l d, l i tera l l y for bei ng t he most stressed out
busi ness travel l ers. A survey carri ed out by Gra nt Thornton among more than 7, 000 owners of medi um· si zed
busi nesses from 30 countri es duri ng fourt h quarter of l ast year, states busi ness travel i s most stressful for
I ndi an executi ves. Around 41 % of the respondents cl ai med i t to be very or extremel y stressful . But t hese
busi ness owners suggest t hat busi ness t ravel i s vi ta l for the success of thei r enter pr i se. Phi l i ppi nes had
22% respondents feel i ng stress due to busi ness travel . Botswana and Chi na fol l owed I ndi a and t he Phi l i pi nes
wi th 21 % and 20% respondents cl ai m i ng stress respect i vel y. (I ndi an bi z travel l ers most stressed: Survey,
Bai j u Kal esh & Ti nesh Bhasi n, TOI . D, 2 1 . 02. 06, D20c)
Wi th corporate cul ture attracti ng more and more peopl e. i t i s i tsel f u ndergoi ng some changes. One evi dent
change i s the boardroom shi fti ng from the metropol i s to "greener pastures". An i ncreasi ng number of I ndi an
busi ness houses and mul ti nati onal corporati ons are conducti ng thei r conferences, meeti ngs and team bui l di ng
exercises far from the maddi ng crowd of the metropol i s i n a qui et and serene ambi ence. (The green boardroom,
Yudhaj i t Shankar Das, TS. D, 23. 02. 06, D20c)
D20d Heri tage Touri sm
The Supreme Court i ssued a noti ce t o t he Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a on a peti ti on seeki ng protecti on of
wor l d heri tage si tes a nd monuments i ncl udi ng the Tomb of Gha l i b, the renowned poet of medi eval peri od
si tuated wi thi n the Ni zamuddi n' s compl ex i n the capi tal .
The appl i cati on fi l ed by noted envi ronmental i st l awyer N. C. Mehta came for heari ng before a be-compri si ng
Justi ce S. N. Va ri ava , J usti ce A. R. Lakshmanan a nd Just i ce H. S. Kapadi a seeki ng di recti on for removi ng
encroachment from t he monument si tuated at the Hazrat N izamuddi n compl ex.
I n the a ppl i cat i on, the peti ti oner has al so sought repai r and restorat i on of the cu rved · mar bl e screen t hat
was surroundi ng Ami r Khusro' s shri ne. The pet i ti oner has a l so sought consti tuti on of a n expert commi ttee
commi ssi on compri si ng i ndependent expert i n the fi el d of a rt and cul ture to vi si t the worl d heri tage si te and
protected monuments i n Del h i and submi t an i ndependent report wi th measures t o be undertaken for thei r
safety, preservat i on and protect i on. ( Heri tage si tes: Not i ce t o ASI , I E. B, 06. 04. 05, D20d)
Wi th a i r pol l ut i on a round the Taj sl owl y comi ng down to acceptabl e l i mi ts, the Agra admi ni strati on i s taki ng
steps to restore the sereni ty of the atmosphere a round t hi s monument by control l i ng noi se pol l ut i on. Thi s
woul d a l so be appl i ca bl e to rel i gi ous pl aces i ncl udi ng mosques a n d templ es.
Cont i nui ng i ts effort to check pol l uti on control a round the Taj, the UP Pol l ut i on Control Board ( UPPCB) has
t argeted the l oud- spea kers i nst al l ed at the vari ous templ es and mosques of Taj Ganj as major sources of
noi se pol l uti on i n the vi ci ni ty of the Taj Maha l .
I n a l etter i ssued t o the Agra di stri ct magi st rate a nd correspondi ng pol i ce stati ons of the town, the UPPCB
has demanded t he l oudhai l ers functi oni ng a round t he Taj Mahal to be i mmedi atel y scra pped down, not
di scri mi nat i ng between commerci al i nstal l ati ons a nd the l oudspeakers i nsta l l ed on rel i gi ous bui l di ngs l i ke
templ es, mosques etc.
I nci dental ly, bei ng a Worl d Heri tage monument, the Taj Mahal enjoys the speci a l status of bei ng protected
from noi se pol l ut i on wi th the maxi mum noi se a l l owed at the mai n dome of the monument restri cted at j ust
45dB (deci bel s). The monument has a l ready been cri ppl ed by a number of cul tural programmes organi sed
beh i nd the Taj Mahal i ncl udi ng the "Ya nni Show" i n 1 997 and Zee Anta kshari i n the yea r 2000. The a rea
a round the Taj i s deemed to be a ' si l ence zone' wi th the noi se l i mi ts at 50dB i n the day and 40dB duri ng
n i ghts but i n real i ty the noi se l evel s i n and a round the monument far exceed the norms speci fi ed i n the Noi se
Pol l uti on ( Regul ati on and Control ) (Amendment) Rul es, 2002 by more than 20·30dB. (After ai r check, ' cl ean'
Taj project to muff l e noi se, Vi jay Upadhyay, TPD, 27. 04. 05, D20d)
: 0 0 5 - 0 6 | DO(,U11Cl l l(l t ion Updat e |
The ri ch cul tura l heri tage of Gurgaon wi l l soon be l ai d bare for vi si tors, thanks to an ambi ti ous pl an to boost
touri sm in thi s NCR ci ty. The Gurgaon chapter of I ndi an Nati onal Trust for Art and Cul tural Heri tage ( I NTACH),
whi ch has l i sted 50 such hi stori cal monuments, has pl ans to promote two of these as touri st dest i nati ons. I n
i ts draft pl an 202 1 , t he NCR Pl anni ng Board ( NCRPB) has al so emphasi sed on t he conservati on of t he NCR
heritage. The monuments exi st as i ndi vi dual structures. (Save heri tage, woo touri sts, Pl an t o save 50 Gurgaon
si tes, S K Ahuj a , HT. D, 0 1 . 05. 05, D20d)
The ASI has come i n for severe cri ti ci sm from the Parl i amentary Standi ng Commi ttee for i ts l ethargy i n not
wri ti ng reports of the excavati ons i t has undertaken and thereby wast i ng publ i c funds.
"The l a bour and money gone i nto t he excavat i ons u nder t aken by ASI for the knowl edge to crystal l i ze for
generati ons and the efforts to make excavati ons more understandabl e, becomes more frui tful only when the
fi ndi ngs are documented, " the report of the commi ttee on Transport, Touri sm and Cul ture sai d.
The previ ous panel , too, had poi nted out t hi s l apse and i nspi te of i t, t he Mi ni st ry of Cul ture has done nothi ng
to document the excavati ons.
The ASI 's excuse, the report says, i s that i t doesn' t have enough professi onal s and staff to do the work. I n
thi s context, i t questi ons the wi sdom of the Mi ni stry i n "l oadi ng the ASI wi th more mi ssi ons when i ts not abl e
to compl ete i ts ear l i er assi gned work" The commi ttee has a l so charged the Mi ni st ry wi t h " l acki ng i n far
sighted ness and a confused thi nki ng" on conservation of the country's ri ch cul tural and archaeol ogi cal heritage.
The remark comes i n the wake of ASI 's pl ans of fi rst l aunchi ng two nati onal mi ssi ons -one for anti qui ti es and
other for bui l di ng heri tage -and l ater mergi ng t hem. (ASI gets r ap for ski ppi ng reports, wast i ng funds,
Aasha Khosa , I E. D, 02. 05. 05, D20d)
U NESCO has stated that Del hi has the potenti a l of j oi ni ng the famed l i st of wor l d heri tage ci ti es l i ke Bath or
Edi nburgh. The honour has el uded the Ca pi tal for l ong. Even nei ghbouri ng Nepal has t hree heri tage ci ti es:
Kat hmandu, Bhaktapur and Lal i t pur. The worl d over, t here a re 200 heri tage ci ti es wi th Europe a nd North
Ameri ca domi nat i ng the l i st . Experts feel the gover nment now has t o make out a strong case for Del h i ,
hi ghl i ght i ng the ci ty's uni que facts t o UNESCO. The earl i est coul d be next year, as only one nomi nati on a year
can be sent. The heri tage status wi l l come as a bi g boost to touri sm. Conservati oni sts, too, want t he country
to sei ze t hi s opport uni ty. Wi th 3000 years of recorded hi story, Del hi i s emi nentl y qual i fi ed for the honour.
(Ci ty vi es for heri tage tag, Saurabh Si nha, HT Del hi , 04.05. 05, S20 / D20d)
The Brahman Templ e at Pushkar has been decl ared a protected monument of nat i onal i mportance. The
templ e, sa i d to be the onl y exi sti ng one dedi cated to Lord Brahma, was constructed i n 1 4th century and
thousa nds of devotees and touri sts throng i t every yea r. (Centre gi ves templ e tag of protected, AA. D,
09.05. 05, D20d)
The government wi l l devel op the hi stori c Da,ndi March route i n Guj arat i nto a heri tage corri dor, Touri sm Mi ni ster
Renuka Chowdhury sai d. Waysi de ameni ti es and other touri sm faci l i ti es wi l l be created a l ong the route whi ch
Mahatma Gandhi took duri ng hi s sal t satyagraha as part of the freedom struggl e. She sai d the corri dor woul d
be t he part of the "freedom ci rcui t" bei ng devel oped across t he country t o make t he peopl e aware of the l i fe
and work of our freedom fi ghters. ( Dandi route to be heri tage corri dor, TPD, 1 3. 05, 05, D20d)
After drawi ng up recommendati ons for the Central and state governments on preservati on of tri bal heri tage,
the I ndi an Nati onal Trust for Art and Cul tural Heri tage has worked out a roadmap to create urban awareness
a bout the ' nati onal t reasures' and the need t o protect t hem. To start wi t h, I NTACH wi l l organi se a t ri bal
cul tural festi val i n Del hi earl y next year. The objecti ve of t he festival i s t o educate t he mai nstream a bout the
i ndi genous knowl edge of the tri bal s.
Besi des, I NTACH pl ans to set up heri tage moni tors to prevent further destructi on of tri bal a reas, endorse
tri bal s as ' nat i onal t reasures' , devi se speci a l i ncenti ves and other benefi ts, and address the concepts of
Tri bal Trusteeshi p and I ntel l ectual Property Ri ghts.
As a four· day conference on preservati on of tri bal heri tage came to a cl ose, the recommendati ons i ncl uded
documentati on of tri bal tradi ti ons, oral l i terature, customs and ri ch i ntangi bl e heritage, sensi ti zi ng bureaucrats,
| Documeniui iOl l Updai | � 0 0 5 - 0 6
soci ol ogi sts, medi a and others deal i ng di rectl y wi th tri bal s, conducti ng workshops and semi nars, prepa ri ng
a smal l modul e for trai ni ng offi ci al s posted i n tri bal areas and faci l i tati ng tri bal representati on i n the nati onal
mai nstrea m. ( I ntach roadmap to preserve tri bal heri tage, Pra rthna Gahi l ote, I E. D, 1 9. 05. 05, D20d)
Mahatma Gandhi 's Phoeni x Settl ement, the bi rthpl ace of the non-vi ol ent movement or satyagraha, may be
recommended for nomi nati on as a Worl d Heri tage si te, the South Afri can government has sai d. The settl ement
coul d be i ncl uded i n a l i st of potenti al si tes to be submi tted to UNESCO, spokesperson for the South Afri can
depa rtment of envi ronmental affai rs and touri sm sai d. The cal l for the hi stori c si te to be recogni sed as a
Worl d Heri tage Si te has been made by l eadi ng members of the I ndi an-ori gi n communi ty. ( Bi rt hpl ace of
' satyagra ha' may become Worl d Heri tage si te, TOI . D, 24. 05. 05, D20d)
Reacti ng strongl y to the frequent concerns rai sed by envi ronmental i sts over the requi rement of a heal thy
water l evel i n Ya muna to preserve the Taj Mahal 's foundati on the Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) has
termed these concerns "un necessary".
Attri buti ng the spread of such "hoaxes' to an overzeal ous secti on of the medi a, Mr D Dayal an, Superi ntendi ng
Archaeol ogi st, ASI sai d there was no need for concern over the structural i ntegri ty of the Taj as the monument
was perfectl y safe from al l natural cal ami ti es. The ASI off i ci al sai d concerns over the dryi ng up of the water­
f i l l ed foundat i ons of the 'Taj due to the shi fti ng of the ri ver Ya muna were al so basel ess as " most of the
foundati on of the Taj i s pl aced on sol i d ground and not on a water- borne raft of ebony. He sai d that the Taj and
al l other monuments near the ri ver i n Agra have one common feature -a "ri ng formati on" i n the foundati on
faci ng the ri ver to di sperse the force of the ri ver water duri ng fl oods. (ASI sl a ms unwa rra nted ' expert'
opi ni ons on Taj structure, Vi j ay Upadhyay, TH. D, 07. 09. 05, D20d)
Di rector- General of the Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) Babu Raj i v sai d that a Heri tage Si tes Commi ssi on
woul d be set up by the Centre to ensure conservati on of hi stori cal monuments i n the country. Repl yi ng to
questi ons, he sai d the proposed commi ssi on woul d concentrate on unprotected monuments. I t woul d advi se
the Centre on measures to be taken for i denti fi cati on, protecti on and ma nagement of the mon uments. I t
woul d al so revi ew the l egal fra mework for the conservat i on of monuments a nd suggest appropri ate
amendments. The statute for the proposed Commi ssi on was bei ng prepared and woul d be ready by December.
I t woul d have to be pl aced before Pa rl i a ment and, subsequentl y, i t mi ght have to go through the Standi ng
Commi ttee.
Many monuments were faci ng t hreats because of haphaza rd growth, unpl anned urbani sati on, demol i ti on ,
renovati on, negati ve i mpact of pi l gri m touri sm and other forms of touri sm, poor mai ntenance and devel opment
projects such as i rri gati on schemes.
He suggested that the Central and the State Governments as wel l as the l ocal bodi es act i n uni son for the
effecti ve i mpl ementati on of the conservati on schemes wi th peopl e' s parti ci pati on and i nvol vement. There
was al so a need to accel erate the efforts for capaci ty· bui l di ng i n a rchaeol ogy whi ch had evolved i nto a new
sci ence. (Heri tage Si tes Commi ssi on to be set up soon, TH. D, 1 2. 09. 05, D20d)
From I ndi a and the Di asporas they are j oi ni ng hands wi th the worl d' s I rani an Zoroastri ans to protest agai nst
the destructi on of the most potent symbol of thei r common heri tage. The Seeva nd dam neari ng compl eti on i n
South I ran wi l l submerge t he ol d ' i mper i al route' of t he Achaemen i d empi re, one of t he two Zoroastri an
dynasti es of Persi a. The greater a ngui sh i s that i t coul d a l so j eopa rdi se Pasargadae, t he capi t al bui l t by
Cyrus the Great, sweepi ng away hi s fabl ed tomb there.
A campai gn t hrough cyberspace cal l i ng for si gnatures to a pet i t i on addressed to "the peopl e of the worl d
and the United Nati ons" (http: //www. peti ti ononl i ne. com/Pasargad). l ni ti ated by the ' I nternati onal Commi ttee
to Save the Archaeol ogi cal Si tes of Pasargad' , it states rather dramati cal l y, "We, the undersi gned, regretful l y
have to i nform al l the i nhabi ta nts of our pl anet earth that one of the greatest parts of the hi stori cal heri tage
of (the) human race i s on the verge of permanent exti ncti on. " I t a ppeal s agai nst the drowni ng of a "ri ch and
compl ex si te that, si nce i ts i ncept i on, has been consi dered by a l l wri ters of anti qui ty as one of the wonders
of the a nci ent wor l d' ' , and compa res t hi s to the destructi on of Ba mi yan Buddhas by the Ta l i ba n . (Da m
t hreatens Parsi heri tage si te, Bachi Ka rka ri a , TOI . D, 1 4. 09. 05, D20d)
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
Thi s 1 , 600-year-ol d ci ty of Kashmi r achieved a mi l estone, when i ts f i rst heri tage map compi l ed by the Centre
for Heri tage and Envi ronment Kashmi r (CHEK) was l aunched by Chi ef Mi ni ster Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The
fi ve- vol ume cul t ura l resource mappi ng, compl eted i n col l aborati on wi th I ndi an Nat i onal Trust for Art and
Cul tura l Heri tage ( I NTACH), gi ves Sri nagar t he di st i nct i on of bei ng the second ci ty i n I ndi a after Del hi wi th a
documented map on heri tage structures. The mappi ng work was done by a group of four young a rchi tects
who di d the j ob i n a short span. The organi sati on has i denti fi ed 825 heri tage marvel s i n the ci ty. ( Heri tage
map of Sri naga r l aunched, Shuj aat Bukhari , TH. B, 21 . 09. 05, D20d)
The Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) i s pl anni ng a heri tage map for the country, l oggi ng i n unprotected
monuments a nd a nt i qui ti es to curb traffi cki ng a nd ensure they a re not negl ected. The Rs 90- crore project,
Nati onal Mi ssi on on Monuments a nd Anti qui ti es, proposes a l ocati onal analysi s that woul d i ncl ude not onl y
the protected monuments but thousands of others whi ch accordi ng to the project document are "unprotected
or i n utter state of negl ect ' . As of now only 3659 bui l t heri tage si tes a re protected by t he ASI a bout 3, 500
a re conserved by the states.
Each si te wi l l be documented wi th drawi ngs, photographs, satel l i te i magery and aeri a I photography to pl ace
the cul tural heri tage i n a chronol ogi cal order accordi ng to a standardi sed procedure of mappi ng. The data wi l l
be compi l ed from both publ i shed and unpubl i shed l i terature.
The ASI had, earl i er, got approval from the Pl anni ng Commi ssi on for setti ng up two projectsne on monuments
and another on ant i qui ti es at a hi gher outl ay of Rs 400 crore. For the mappi ng though the outl ay has been
scal ed down to Rs 90 crore. Besi des mappi ng monuments, the project wi l l draw up a n i nventory of the
possessi ons wi th state museums, heri tage i n mal khanas of panchayats. Confi scated by the Customs, i ncome
tax, CBI or pol i ce stati ons, and those housed i n private museums and col l ecti ons. A database generated out
of such an i nventory expected to provi de "the most effecti ve tool i n preventi ng i l l egal trade i n anti qui ti es".
(ASI to draw up monument map, Rs 90- crore project ai ms at curbi ng i l l egal t raffi cki ng, Ami tav Ranj an, I E. D,
20. 1 0. 05, D20d)
( FE. B, 1 8. 1 1 . 05, D20d / Z80)
'H HEQl TAG(
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The Archaeol ogi ca l Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) has carri ed out several excavati ons at i mportant si tes thi s yea r wi th
si gni fi cant resul ts such as di scovery of pre- Hara ppan remai ns at Utta r Pradesh, accord i ng to an ASI
spokesma n. Speaki ng at Hamsal a deevi , where Ri ver Kri shna j oi ns t he Bay of Bengal , 45 km from here, he
sai d i n Baror i n Raj asthan , remai ns of pre- Hara ppan and Hara ppan cul tures had been unearthed. (ASI fi nds
pre- Hara ppan si tes i n Raj ast han, VTB, 1 9. 1 1 . 05, D20d)
D20e Pi l gri mage Touri sm
The Uttaranchal Gover nment' s move to open the Badri nath shr i ne f or "darshan" t hroughout the yea r has
evoked stiff oppOSi ti on from rel i gi ous l eaders and priests. Reacti ng sharpl y t o t he move, Swami Swaroopanand
Saraswati , Sankaracharya of Jyoti r Peeth and Dwa ri ka-Sharda Peeth sai d that the very i dea of keepi ng the
Badri nat h shri ne open t hroughout the year was agai nst the Hi ndu rel i gi ous bel i ef and i f the Gover nment
forced such a deci si on i t wi l l bri ng untol d mi sery to t he ent i re nat i on. Swami Brahmanand Saraswati of
Har i dwar fel t that the Government' s attempts to commerci al i ze the sacred shri nes and al so put restri cti ons
on them i n the name of sci enti fi c management was depl orabl e and woul d spark off an agi tati on by the Hi ndus
i n the enti re country_ He hoped the State Gover nment woul d refrai n from pl ayi ng wi th rel i gi ous bel i efs a nd
| Documentat ion Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
'grabbi ng' management of templ es i n the name of reforms. ( Seers not for keepi ng Badri nath open a l l year,
TH. D, 1 7. 05. 05, D20e)
The crush and chaos i n the Jagan nat h templ e at Puri may be rout i ne for the fai thful but i t has put off Uni on
Mi ni ster for Touri sm, Ms Renuka Choudhary. Fresh from a vi si t to the 1 2th century shr i ne t he mi ni ster ti cked
off i ts management and suggsted that i t shoul d fol l ow the Vai shno Devi and Ti ru pati pattern for i mprovement.
Asser t i ng that Ori ssa was poi sed for a bi g l eap i n the fi el d of tour i sm, the mi ni ster who vi si ted wel l · known
si tes l i ke Konark Pi pl i and Raghuraj pur duri ng her t hree day tour, sai d she wanted the state to be the bi ggest
touri st dest i nati on.
The Mi ni ster had a word of advi ce for the Ori ssa government whi ch, she sai d, shoul d draw up a touri sm sub·
pl an to ensure that every department of the government chi pped i n wi th funds for the al l - round devel opment
of touri st si tes. She sai d there was no dearth of money for touri sm devel opment, but the state government
shoul d use the funds effecti vel y. Ori ssa wi l l j oi n 10 other states of the count ry whi ch have been i ncl uded i n
the Centre's pl an for l aunchi ng a "freedom touri st ci rcui t" i n August to hi ghl i ght pl aces con nected wi th the
I ndi an freedom struggl e. (Crowded Puri templ e puts Renuka off, Ashutosh Mi shra , TPD, 03. 06. 05, D20e)
I ndi ans are known to be a rel i gi ous l ot and the l ow·cost a i rl i nes a re act i ng as a catal yst to the i ncrease i n non·
resi dent I ndi ans opti ng for pi lgri mage touri sm. Apart from domesti c touri sts, tour operators a re now embarki ng
more on non· resi dent I ndi ans to boost thei r revenues.
SOTC seni or vi ce- presi dent, Frederi ck Di vecha poi nts out , "the ent ry of more l ow- cost carri ers and the
Touri sm Mi ni stry's I ncredi bl e I ndi a campai gn has hel ped i n the growth of pi l gri mage touri sm. ' Popul ar pi l gri mage
packages favoured by NRl s i ncl ude Char Dham (Yamnotri , Gangotri , Badri nath a nd Kedarnath) Vai shnodevi ,
Amri tsar, Ti rupati and Shi rdi , whi l e Ajmer i s al so emergi ng al most as popul ar as Ti rupat i . Comment i ng on the
growth i n pi l gri mage touri sm, Cox & Ki ngs executi ve di rector Arup Sen adds, " Pi l gri mage touri sm i s growi ng
at a rate of 20% annual ly i n the organi sed sector. " Forei gn touri sts from Japan a nd Sri Lan ka are maki ng a
beel i ne for the Buddhi st ci rcl e, parti cul arl y Bodh Gaya. Sri Lankan Ai rl i nes even operates a di rect fl i ght twi ce
a week between Col ombo and Bodh Gaya from October to February. ( Pi l gri mage touri sm turns bi g busi ness,
Rouhan Sharma & Neel asri Barman, FE. D, 16. 09. 05, D20e)
Mi ni ster of State, Renuka Chowdhury cl ai med that she had successful l y persuaded Dal ai Lama to promote
the Buddhi st ci rcui t i n the country. Further, to ensure touri st arrival s to these si tes, the touri sm mi ni st ry was
al so i n the process of worki ng out MoUs wi th state-owned ai r l i nes l i ke Ai r I ndi a for i ntroduci ng speci al pi l gri m
packages speci fi cal l y targeted at Buddhi st si tes, Chowdhury sai d. About 1 6 states, i ncl udi ng Uttar Pradesh,
Andhra Pradesh and Hi machal Pradesh have been i denti fi ed by the touri sm mi ni st ry whi ch can devel op
vari ous Buddhi st si tes. ( Dal ai Lama, I ndi a's new touri sm ambassador, Pummy Kaul , FE. D, 28. 1 0. 05, D20e)
020f Heal th / Medi ca l Touri sm
The Government hopes t o encourage t he buddi ng medi cal touri sm sector, sel l i ng foreigners the i dea of travel l i ng
to I ndi a for l ow· cost, but worl d- cl ass heal thcare.
Accordi ng to a Confederati on of I ndi an I ndust ry- McKi nsey study, medi cal touri sm can contri bute between
Rs. 5, 000 crores a nd Rs 1 0, 000 crores of addi t i onal revenue for u pmarket tert i ary hos pi t al s by 201 2.
Gl obal l y, medi ca l touri sm i s sai d to be a Rs. 1 76- bi l l i on i ndustry, and a na lysi s projects that peopl e from Afro·
Asi an countri es spend Rs. 880 bi l l i on every year on heal thcare servi ces from outsi de thei r countri es.
I ndi a i s a rel ati vel y new ent rant i n thi s fi el d, and i t has to prepare to face the exi st i ng competi ti on from other
Asi an countri es such as Thai l and. Mal aysi a and Si ngapore. These countri es together now attract 10 ti mes the
medi cal touri sts that I ndi a does. Hong Kong and South Afri ca a re emergi ng as bi g medi cal touri sm desti nati ons.
Experts sai d the other bi g advantage of i mprovi ng medi ca l touri sm i s that i t i s non· seasona l . ( I ndi a, a new
desti nati on for medi ca l touri sm, Vi dyashree Amaresh, TH. B, 1 9. 04. 05, D20f)
The government pl ans to i ssue 1 2- month vi sas to attract forei gn pati ents to come to I ndi a for medi cal care.
Last year, 1 . 1 8 mi l l i on peopl e came to I ndi a for medi cal treatment, at one- tenth the US cost. Nursi ng costs
2 a 0 5 - a 6 | Documentation Update |
i n a nursi ng home i n the US average $38, 000 per yea r, and even home ca re costs $ 1 2, 000 per yea r. The
number of aged Ameri cans a bove 65 wi l l doubl e from 36 mi l l i on today to 7 1 . 5 mi l l i on by 2030, and may be
one-tenth of t hem wi l l need l ong- term nursi ng. Hospi ta l s a re very expensi ve to set up and expand. But
creati ng a seri es of ol d persons' homes wi th nursi ng faci l i ti es i s rel ati vel y l ow-tech, can be done at a scorchi ng
pace and yi el d pl enty of jobs. Thi s i s where I ndi a shoul d go. There wi l l natural l y be resi stance i n ri ch countri es
to sendi ng thei r aged to I ndi a. I t wi l l take ti me and pati ence to create a cl i mate where thi s di sappears. Gl obal
i nsurance compan i es shoul d, i n consul tati on wi th the government, create a system for certifyi ng ol d peopl e' s
homes as worl d cl ass. FDI shoul d be permi tted i n the sector up to 1 00%. The government shoul d offer vi sas
for not j ust 1 2 months but 1 2 yea rs for l ong- ter m a i l ments l i ke Al zhei mer' s. ( Nursi ng as bi g busi ness,
Medi cal Touri sm Wi th A Di fference, ETB, 0 1 . 08. 05, D20f)
The wi despread bel i ef that ' green medi ci ne' is safe and more dependabl e t han synthet i c drugs that carry
si de effects has l ed to a spurt i n the demand of medi ci nal pl ants.
Thi s renewed i nterest i n the pl a nt- deri ved drugs has l ed to an over- expl oi tati on a nd vi r tual deci mat i on of
severa l val ua bl e pl ant speci es. I nadequate efforts wi th rega rd to col l ect i on, processi ng a nd mar keti ng of
medi ci nal pl ants have jeopardi sed the i ncome generati on acti vi ti es of a l arge number of rural peopl e, especi al ly
t r i bal s. Accordi ng to offi ci al est i mates, Or i ssa forest coverage was 37. 3 % of the total 1 , 55, 707 sq kms
forest cover i n I ndi a . However, year 2000 satel l i te survey showed onl y 24 % of forest cover as the forests
were depl et i ng at a rate of 0. 93 %. As the forests a re the domi ci l e of vari ous speci es of medi ci nal herbs,
efforts are bei ng taken to i ntroduce t he concept of 'soci al forestry' . (Demand for herbal medi ci ne eati ng away
green cover, TPD, 09. 09. 05, D20flE01 b)
Wi th medi cal touri sm fast attai ni ng i ndust ry status i n maj or ci ti es l i ke Bangal ore i n response to a concerted
effort i nvol vi ng l eadi ng hospi tal s, travel agents, tour operators a nd hotel compani es, the Uni on Govern ment
has started efforts to esta bl i sh a nati onal l evel regul atory body to ensure i nternati ona l standard i n medi cal
faci l i ti es avai l abl e to pati ents comi ng from a broad. A hi gh- l evel meeti ng of Heal t h and Touri sm mi ni sters of
d i fferent states, hel d i n New Del h i , deci ded on such a regul atory body as vi tal i n vi ew of t he i ncreasi ng
tendency among certai n hospi tal s and travel agents to charge exorbi tant rate for surgeri es and other modes
of treatment on forei gners. ( Nati onal body to check medi cal touri sm, I E. C, 26. 01 . 06, D20f)
D20g Rural Touri sm
The Uni on Government i s focussi ng on rura l touri sm t o provi de a new experi ence t o forei gn as wel l as domesti c
touri sts, Mr Ami tabh Kant, Joi nt Secreta ry, Uni on Mi ni stry of Tour i sm, has sai d. As part of t hi s i ni t i ati ve,
I ndi a Touri sm i s i mpl ementi ng a proj ect i n 55 sel ected vi l l ages across t he country to sel l t hei r heri tage,
cul t ure and a rt for ms. These vi l l ages woul d be provi ded wi th Rs 50 l akh each under U N DP assi stance to
i mprove i nfrastructure l i ke bui l di ng open- ai r t heatres, i nterpretati on centres, shop outl ets etc.
Besi des, an addi ti onal amount of Rs 20 l akh woul d be provi ded for devel opi ng l ogi sti c faci l i ti es and starti ng
communi ty parti ci pati on centres t hrough sel f· hel p groups, he added.
The Government i ntends to provi de 25 mi l l i on j obs from touri sm by 2007 wi th the i mpl ementati on of these
projects, he sai d. (55 vi l l ages sel ected to promote rural touri sm, V sanjeev Kumar, TH. B, 29. 08. 05, D20g)
Rural I ndi a has much to offer beyond agri cul ture. It has a great potenti al i ty for di fferent growi ng segments of
touri sm l i ke eco touri sm, adventure touri sm, heal th touri sm, farm touri sm, endogenous touri sm, nature touri sm,
cul tura l touri sm, rel i gi ous touri sm and the l i ke. Worl dwi de rural touri sm whi ch offers these ni che segments i s
a growi ng concept . Whi l e touri sm i n general i s growi ng at a n a nnual rate of 4%, nature travel i s i ncreasi ng
annual rate of between 1 0% and 30%, says the Wor l d Resources I nsti tute.
The Worl d Touri sm Organi sati on est i mated the al l nature· rel ated forms of touri sm accounted for about 20%
of total i nternat i onal travel and nature touri sm, i n parti cul a r, generates 7% of gl obal t ravel expendi ture.
Experts l i ke Fi l l i on found t hat 40-60% of such touri sts are nature tour i sts and 20- 40% are wi l dl i fe- rel ated
touri sts.
The i ssue i s of rural touri sm on a sustai nabl e basi s. Di fferent facets of nature al l ure touri sts. I t i s, therefore,
' l)oCll 1 l l cl l t al ioll Updat e |
a dvi sabl e that nature i s mai nta i ned i n i ts t rue form. But t here a re i nstances of del i berate expl oi tati on of
nature for mi nti ng money.
I n I ndi a the enti re package of rural touri sm i s sti l l at an i nfant stage. Adequate efforts have not been made so
far to effecti vel y market t hi s concept abroad. Rural areas i n Raj asthan a nd Keral a a re attracti ng touri sts on
thei r own Uttar Pradesh a nd Bi har have started attracti ng tour i sts on thei r own.
Di fferent studi es a re done on i denti fyi ng a reas of rural tour i sm. The UNDP sponsored project i s bei ng
i mpl emented i n different parts of the country t hrough the part i ci pati on of Central and state governments and
NGOs. A recent study j oi ntly undertaken by the Federati on of I ndi an Chambers of Commerce and I ndustry
( FI CCI ) , Raj a sthan gover nment and the credi t rat i ng agency Cri si l has di vi ded t he state i ntD ei ght touri st
ci rcui ts. These ci rcui ts a re: Jai pur·Tonk· Madhopur ci rcui t, Shekhawati ci rcui t, Mewar ci rcui t, Hadoti ci rcui t
desser t ci rcui t , Aj mer Pushkar· Merta- Nagpur ci rcui t, Mount Abu ci rcui t and Vagad ci rcui t .
The study has a l so i denti fi ed four eco- rural ci rcui ts each i n southern, south-eastern, north-eastern and western
regi ons. (Sustai na bl e r ura l touri sm can generate l ong- term benefi ts for vi l l agers, Ashok 0 Sharma,
1 9. 09. 05, D20g)
D20h Gol f Touri sm
Pl ayi ng gol f has vi rtual ly become de ri gueur for seni or offi cers i n t he armed forces. And t o faci l i tate "Seni or
offi cer· l i ke qual i ty", the a rmed forces have establ i shed gol f courses at many di fferent l ocati ons i n the country.
But the Comptrol l er a nd Audi tor Genera l has now frowned on t hi s practi ce to use defence l a nd for gol f
courses. Moreover, i t has cri ti ci sed the fact that a rmed forces have been credi ti ng the revenue earned from
these courses to non· publ i c funds". The I AF for i nstance, has si x gol f courses at New Del h i , Bangal ore,
Baroda, Al l ahabad, Nagpur and Hi ndon. The CAG sel ected golf courses at Bangal ore and Baroda for a detai l ed
audi t scruti ny. (Audi t report sl ams defence gol f courses, TOL D, 09. 05. 05, D20h)
The Nati onal Capi tal Regi on ( NCR) promi ses to be the next bi g hot spot of thi s mul ti · bi l l i on dol l ar golf busi ness
worl dwi de. NCR today boasts of fi ve worl d· cl ass gol f courses: Del hi Gol f Cl ub (GC) i n Del hi , Cl assi c Gol f
Resort, DLF GC, Gol den Greens GC - a l l i n Gurgaon, and Jaypee Greens GC i n Greater Noi da. Al l these
courses have i nvol ved i nvestments of at l east Rs 1 00 crore each. (NCR tees off to a new hi gh i n gol f touri sm,
Naveneet Anand, TOI . D, 29. 05. 05, D20h)
Pri ced at Rs 3 crore, al most 90% of the 300 l uxury fl ats i n Magnol i as have been sol d out. And thi s, when the
DLF group' s project i s sti l l on pa per. Buyers were more i nterested i n the fact that the proposed compl ex
shares i ts boundary wal l wi th an exuberant gol f course. Magnol i as, whi ch i s second i n the seri es of the hi gh·
end l uxury homes, i s preceded by the Ara l i as, overl ooki ng the gol f course. The Aral i as, l i ke Magnol i as, was a
speci al "by i nvi tati on onl y" project l aunched by the DLF i n l ate 2002. ( Buyers tee off to DLF project for gol f
course, Payal Saxena, TOI . D, 03. 1 0. 05, D20h)
D20i Eco Touri sm
Taki ng note of t he confl i ct between nati onal pa rks a nd l ocal peopl e, Hi machal Pradesh has come out wi th a
model to encourage parti ci patory management to promote eco· touri sm.
The fi rst move i s to curta i l government spendi ng and encourage l ocal s to t ake part i n the promot i on of eco­
tour i sm. Second, to convert t he l i on safa ri at Renuka and the Great Hi ma l ayan Nat i ona l Park at Kufri by
handi ng over management to i ndependent soci eti es.
The famous touri st desti nati on of Khaj j i ar i n Chamba di stri ct, Mani karan and Banj ar val l eys i n Kul l u and the
Chansel ski sl opes i n the Rohru a rea of Shi ml a di stri ct are al so bei ng conver ted i nto soci eti es.
Sources i n the state government sai d that thi s had been done fol l owi ng the l essons l earnt from the experi ence
i n the ' Va l l ey of Fl owers' i n Cha mol i di st r i ct i n Uttarancha l . The val l ey, once descri bed as one of the most
beaut iful i n the worl d, i s today choked wi th weeds.
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
Experts say the tal l grass growi ng here l ed to fl owers becomi ng exti nct. Thanks to a ban on the entry of l ocal s
i nto t he val l ey after i t was decl a red a nati onal park. Ear l i er, l ocal s had free access wi t h t hei r cattl e, whi ch
used to graze there and prevent the prol i ferati on of weeds. Hi machal govern ment has therefore deci ded to
i nvol ve l ocal s i n the devel opment of key touri st dest i nat i ons to make these sel f· sustai nabl e. Govern ment
sources say these societies coul d promote eco·touri sm. The state i s home to three zoos, 29 wi l dl i fe sanctuari es
and three Hi mal ayan nati onal parks. The government deci ded to l ocate the forest department i nfrastructure
i n pl aces of touri st i nterest at these soci eti es' di sposa l . The soci eti es charge entry fees and other l evi es from
touri sts.
The pi cturesque nat ure park at Manal i has a l so been converted i nto a soci ety. The resul ts have been
encouragi ng. Local s have been i nstrumental i n bringi ng more touri sts to trekki ng routes that are bei ng regul ated
by them on an experi mental basis i n the Mani karan and Banjar val l eys, popul ar touri st desti nati ons. Encouraged
by the respon se, the government has deci ded to i nvol ve peopl e i n regul ati on of ground water resources and
moni tori ng of qual ity of dri nki ng water. (Local s are back i n parks, hel pi ng eco·touri sm, Charanj i t Ahuj a, FE. C,
26. 1 2. 05, D20i )
D20j Cul ture Touri sm
The Uni on Cabi net approved a proposal t o ratify t he UNESCO Convent i on for safegua rdi ng of i nt angi bl e
cul tural heri tage. I t a l so agreed to contri bute to the " Fund for the Safeguardi ng of the I nta ngi bl e Cul tura l
Heri tage" at l east every two years.
Mr Jai pal Reddy, Mi nster for I nformati on and Broadcast i ng, sai d, " For the purpose of t hi s Convent i on,
i nternati onal assi stance coul d be obtai ned t o safegua rd those forms of i ntangi bl e cul tural heri tage i n need of
urgent safeguardi ng. " (Cabi net nod for UNESCO proposal on cul tura l , heri tage, BL. B, 06. 07. 05, D20j)
Hol di ng a cul tural event on a heri tage si te wi thi n the ci ty has become a matter of monumental expense. The
Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) cha rges the organi sers anythi ng between Rs 25, 000· Rs 50, 000 dai l y for
such a n event, whereas the fee is as l ow as Rs 1 0, 000· Rs 25, 000 i n other ci ti es.
Even the refundabl e securi ty·fee i s a steep Rs 50, 000 per day here, whi l e i n other pl aces, organi sers woul d
need t o deposi t Rs 30, 000 dai ly. What' s more, t he rul es that were formul ated some ti me back, sti pul ate that
no permi ssi on woul d be granted for a functi on where admi ssi on fee i s charged or ti ckets sol d.
The govern ment has i denti fi ed ei ght pl aces where cul t ura l events "of hi gh standa rds, preferabl y cl assi cal
musi c, dance and drama" may be permi tted by the ASI Ara b ki Sarai and outer l awns of I sa Khan' s Tomb i n
Hu mayun' s Tomb: open a reas a t Qutab Mi n a r compl ex, Qua Rai Pi t hora , Red Fort (a rea of Ram Li l a a nd
i n si de); Roshanara Garden and Tal ab Maha l . (ASI ' s monumental rates for cul tural events, Saura bh Si nha,
TOI . D, 04. 09. 05, D20j)
New Forms
I n December l ast year a ci ty· based tour operator orga ni sed a package for a group of 26 Austral i ans, who
spent 22 days i n South I ndi a tasti ng and l ear ni ng the cu i si nes here. So i mpressed was the group that i t has
promi sed to come back thi s year for more.
The i t i nerary was si mpl e: each day, the group travel l ed to a new pl ace and l ear nt of fi ve l oca l di shes. I n
Mysore, they were taught Mysore Pak whi l e i n Coorg i t was pa ndi curry a n d kadambutt u; i n Kera l a i t was
Mal aba r and Syri an Chri sti an food, whi l e i n Tami l Nadu i t was Chetti nad and other cui si nes. "I t was a l i ttl e l i ke
turni ng touri sm on i ts head. I n between cooki ng and sampl i ng, the touri sts got to see the l ocal attracti ons,
the tour operator sai d.
Though sti l l i n i t s i nfancy i n I ndi a, t he potenti al for food touri sm i s enormous and i s extremel y popul ar i n the
UK, Europe USA and Chi na. I n I rel and excl usi ve cateri ng houses take i n candi dates and touri sts for two·three
weeks of cul i nary trai ni ng.
| Documentation Update j . 0 6
The country i s seei ng a host of speci al i ty tours rel ated to food Wi ne tours are currently done i n a few vi ne
yards i n Kar nataka and Maharashtra, whi l e pub- hoppi ng, though sl i ghtl y on t he wane now, i s sti l l a done thi ng.
At the other extreme is the organi c far m experi ence started by a few farmers i n Maharashtra, where touri sts
can stay on farms for two·four weeks and work wi th farmers. The accommodati on i s rusti c; food i s basi c and
work, back· breaki ng. (What's cooki ng? I t' s food touri sm, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 1 6. 04. 05)
For those fasci nated by the macabre and catastrophi c, the hai r· rai si ng and gut wrenchi ng epi sodes of hi story,
t here' s an enti re i ndustry of tour operators wai ti ng to take you to graveyards, and battl efi el ds, to the darkest
torture chambers and even on the track of seri al ki l l ers. They cal l i t Dark Touri sm.
Curi ous vi si tors
Even before the debri s coul d be cl eared from Ground Zero, a vi ewi ng pl atform had to be erected for t he
hundreds of cur i ous vi si tors who trooped i n, some even posi ng for cameras. The subway route that once
ended under the Worl d Trade Centre now breaks i nto the ci ty' s surface.
The book Dark Touri sm: The Attracti on of Death and Di saster co· authored by John Lennon and Mal col m Foley,
di scusses t hi s 20th cent ury phenomenon. The two authors bel i eve i t a l l started wi t h the si nki ng of t he
Ti t ani c. Other tragedi es were too ol d to obsess over or sel l successful ly.
I n Dal l as, Texas, you can actual l y take a Cadi l l ac ri de wi th the accompanyi ng soundtrack of cheeri ng crowds.
I t ends wi th the sound of a gunshot that Kennedy i n a l l l i kel i hood never heard. Jack· the· Ri pper- wal ks are
hugel y popul ar i n London. Not so hi gh on the l i st i s the i nfamous nucl ear reactor at Chernobyl ; despi te the
ri sk of exposure to radi ati on.
You coul d vi si t t he gas chambers i n Auschwi tz. Or you coul d vi si t the Robben I sl and -l i es 1 2 km off the
South Afri can coast -where Nel son Madel a spent 27 years of hi s l i fe.
Asi a' s l i st
Al though some experts l i ke Lennon and Foley bel i eve dark touri sm i s a predomi nantl y western trend promoted
by crafty market i ng ski l l s, Asi a has its own l i st. There's the chi l l i ng sight of t housands of skul l s at the Ki l l i ng
Fi el ds of Tuol Sl eng i n Phnom Penh.
I n I ndi a, nearly 1 0, 000 peopl e vi si t t he Jal l i anwal a Bagh each day, says Bal raj Si ngh, Touri st offi cer at Amri tsar
The Cel l ul ar Jai l at Andamans, another Nati onal Memori a l , whi ch wi l l be 1 00 years ol d on March 1 0, 2006,
a l so gets i ts share of curi ous vi si tors. (Wal k on the dark si de, Meera Mohanty, TH. B, 05. 02. 06)
2 0 05 0 6 | Documentation Update |
• E - TOURI SM , SOCI ETY AND I MPACTS .
EOO Soci al I mpact of Touri sm
I sl ami st groups i n Zanzi bar are worri ed by what they see as i ncreasi ngl y i nappropri ate behavi our by Western
touri sts, sayi ng thei r acti ons offend the I ndi an ocean i sl ands' conservative Musl i m cul ture. The organi sati ons
are al so concerned about the spread of bars on t he i sl ands off mai nl and Tanzani a, whose beaches and coral
reefs make i t a haven for honeymooners. "Touri sts shoul d not i ndul ge i n sex acts or ki ss openly, thi s i s not
somethi ng that peopl e can accept, " Fari d Hadi , chai rman of the Zanzi bar I mams' associ ati on (Jumaza), sai d.
(No ki ssi ng pl ease! I E. C, 05. 05. 05, EOO)
Forei gn touri sts getti ng marri ed as per Hi ndu ri tual s i n Raj asthan i s a common thi ng. But one such coupl e,
who ki ssed each other dur i ng t he ceremony, has c reated ri ppl es i n the hol y Pushkar, wi t h l ocal pri ests
l odgi ng a FI R agai nst them. The controversy started after an I srael i coupl e got marri ed i n the tradi ti onal way
and seal ed the weddi ng wi th a ki ss. Si nce then the pri est community has been fumi ng over thi s publ i c di spl ay
of passi on at a hol y pl ace l i ke Pushkar.
Termi ng it a cl ear vi ol ati on of rel i gi ous senti ments and norms, Sri Ti rth Guru Purohi t Sangh Trust has l odged
a compl ai nt wi th the pol i ce agai nst the coupl e. Though ki ssi ng among touri sts is a common scene at publ i c
pl aces i n Pushkar, t hi s i s the fi rst i nstance when a pol i ce case has been l odged agai nst a ny forei gner for
hur t i ng rel i gi ous senti ments. What enraged the pri ests the most was the fact that the I srael i duo star ted
embraci ng and ki ssi ng each other whi l e the Vedi c hymns were bei ng chanted. The coupl e cl ai med that t hey
were encouraged by l ocal s to go for a ki ss duri ng the weddi ng ceremony. They al so sai d that they respect the
sancti ty of the hol y pl ace but if ki ssi ng was agai nst the rel i gi ous senti ments, the pri ests shoul d have cauti oned
them beforehand. Pushkar has seen a rapi d i ncrease of touri sts from I srael i n recent years, who stay here for
months. Last year, a stri ptease dance by a n I srael troupe had snowbal l ed i nto a maj or controversy t hat
ul t i matel y l ed to the removal of the di stri ct col l ector, who was present at the show. ( No ki ssi ng at Pushkar
weddi ngs, Ranjeet S Jamwa l , TS. O, 1 1 . 09. 05, EOO)
• Smoki ng and dri nki ng, however i nnocent, are consi dered as symbol s of moral l axi ty among I ndi ans .
• Huggi ng, embraci ng and ki ssi ng a woman i n publ i c i s out of questi on i n soci ety. Al so, women never
approach a stranger for a casual conversati on.
These are j ust some of the nuggets of wi sdom i n the admi ni strati on's new moral i ty gui de to Pushka r' s foreign
touri sts. Concerned a bout the ri si ng i nci dents of ' cul tural cl ashes' between the pandi ts of Pushkar and the
forei gn touri sts, the Aj mer admi ni strati on i s tryi ng to broker peace through a rul e book for the vi si tors.
The 20- page book, drafted publ i shed and di stri buted by the admi ni strati on, i ndi cates that I ndi ans consi der
smoki ng and dri nki ng as symbol s of moral l axi ty and consi der any publ i c di spl ay of affecti on wi th women as
soci al taboo.
The admi ni strati on is hopi ng that a conservative portrayal of the I ndi an cul ture woul d deter the touri sts from
behavi ng i n a man ner t hat woul d i ncense the l ocal pri ests, who have been at l oggerheads wi th touri sts,
sayi ng that they have been pol l uti ng the holy ci ty. Pri thvi Raj Sankhl a, SOM of Ajmer, feel s that by warni ng the
touri sts, such cul t ura l dashes coul d be averted. A week ago, a Fi nni sh tour i st bathed on the ghats i n the
nude and then wal ked down to her hotel . The pri ests created a furore a nd fi l ed a case agai nst her. I n 2004,
pri ests had l aunched a sti r when a group of I srael i women .. stri pped" on the outski rts of Pushkar duri ng a
pri vate party_ ( Pushka r to have rul e book for touri sts, Sandi pan Shar ma, I E. C, 1 9. 1 1 . 05, EOO)
E01 Envi ronmental I mpact of Touri sm
Uni on Touri sm Mi ni ster Mr s Renuka Chowdhury sai d i n the Lok Sabha that unl ess t he peopl e's concerns
| Documcnt ation Updat c | 0 6
a ri si ng out of the debi l i tati ng envi ronmental si tuati on i n the Sunderbans, the worl d's l argest mangroe forests,
were adequatel y addressed, i t woul d be ' very di ffi cul t " for her to " market" the regi on as a pri me t ouri st
l ocati on of the country, "Sunderbans i s causi ng anxi ous moments, " the Mi ni ster sai d whi l e respondi ng to a
suppl ementa ry quest i on on rural touri sm by Mr Basudev Barman ( CPI - M). She sai d a group of peopl e had
appeal ed t o MPs drawi ng thei r attenti on t o envi ronmental degradati on taki ng pl ace i n the ecol ogi cal l y sensi tive
regi on. Mr Bar man wa nted the Mi ni ster to take steps to devel op Suderban s as par t of her r ura l tour i sm
devel opment scheme. (Sunderban s real l y worri es Renuka, TS. D, 1 0. 05. 05, E01 )
The hospi tal ity di vi si on of the Muthoot Group i s to focus on conservati on touri sm a nd i s readyi ng a bouti que
of smal l projects wi th l esser envi ronment i mpact . A part of t he group' s revenue wi l l be set asi de for
conservati on projects l i ke protecti on of a speci es and al so support a project of the tri bal peopl e, accordi ng
to di vi si on executi ve di rector M George.
About the bouti que of projects, he sai d they woul d be hi gh- end resorts wi th not over 20 rooms. The a i m was
not rapi d expansi on, but create a sustai ned desti nati on and take the l ead i n thi s i ni ti ati ve. The projects woul d
be i n beach and backwater desti nati on: The divi si on had evolved a strategy to enter agri cul t ura l touri sm so
that the i ndustry coul d regai n its status, he added. (Muthoot' s hospi tal i ty di vi si on to focus on conservati on
proj ect s, FE. B, 1 9. 05. 05, E01 )
The Envi ronment Mi ni stry of the Del hi government has made i t mandatory for a l l fi ve star, four· star hotel s,
restaura nts wi t h more t han 1 00 seats and hospi tal s t o use degradabl e pl asti c bags. As per a noti fi cati on
i ssued by the Mi ni st ry i n thi s regard, fi rst t i me vi ol ators wi l l be fi ned Rs 1 0, 000, the second and subsequent
defaul ters wi l l be f i ned Rs 20, 000. The Sr i ra m I nsti tute for I ndustri al Research, counci l for Sci enti fi c and
I nsti tuti onal Research (CSI R), Central I nsti tute for Pl asti c Engi neeri ng and Technol ogy (CI PEE Chennai ) have
been short l i sted by the Mi ni stry for provi di ng the degradabi l i ty certi fi cati on. The Certi fi cate of degradabi l i ty
is made mandatory for al l the a bove hotel s and restaurants. On an average the monthl y consumpti on of a ny
fi ve- st ar hotel ranges between 3, 000A, 000 bags. Whi l e most of them have a l ready moved t o degradabl e
pl asti c bags, others are l ooki ng for agenci es whi ch provi de t he degradabl e pl asti c bags. (Degradabl e pl asti c
bags must for hospi tal s, star hotel s, Envi ronment Mi ni st ry to hol d surpri se checks and fi ne vi ol ators, Teena
Thacker, I E . D, 30. 08. 05, EOl )
The founders of the Rough Gui des and Lonel y Pl anet books, troubl ed that t hey have hel ped spread a casual
atti tude towards ai r travel that coul d tri gger devastati ng cl i mate change, are uni t i ng to urge touri sts to fl y
l ess. Mark El l i ngham the founder of Rough Gui des, and Tony Wheel er, who created Lonel y Pl anet after taki ng
the hi ppi e t rai l across Asi a, want fel l ow travel l ers to "fl y l ess and stay l onger" and donate money to carbon
offsetti ng schemes. From next month, warni ngs wi l l appear i n al l new edi ti ons of thei r gui des about the i mpact
of fl yi ng on gl obal warmi ng al ongsi de al ternative ways of reachi ng certai n desti nati ons.
But the founders of the U K' s two bi ggest travel publ i shers a re refusi ng to give up fl yi ng and admi t they a re
not paragons of envi ronmenta l vi rtue. Both men have al so pl edged to donate money to the chari ty Cl i mate
Care to offset the ca rbon emi ssi ons of thei r 650 staff who fl y a round the worl d every yea r compi l i ng and
updati ng thei r t ravel books. I n Rough Gui des, the warni ngs wi l l come under the "getti ng there" secti ons of al l
new edi ti ons and wi l l emphasi ze a l ternati ve forms of travel . Whi l e ai r t ravel i s predi cted to i ncrease threefol d
i n the next 20 yea rs, El l i ngham deni ed hi s company had encouraged the surge i n fl yi ng. (Travel gui des urge
l ess fl yi ng, HID, 05. 03.06, E01 )
Ecol ogi cal footpri nt i ng was devi sed i n t he 1 990s. A ki nd of ecol ogi cal accounti ng, footpri nti ng measures
human resource consumpti on and waste l evel s (both of whi ch are i ncreasi ng) agai nst the earth's bi ocapacity,
whi ch i ncl udes the amount of bi ol ogi cal ly producti ve space ava i l abl e a nd the capacity of the earth to absorb
waste a nd pol l uti on, and to regenerate.
Our "fai r share" of the gl obe' s resources works out to around two hect ares per person a year, whereas the
average person i n the Uni ted Ki ngdom requi res 5. 3 hectares each (the equi val ent of si x footbal l pi tches).
Crai g Si mmons, co· author of Shari ng Nature' s I nterest, i nsi sts that footpri nti ng i s cruci al because i t gi ves us
a snapshot of our i mpact at a gl oba l , nati ona l , regi onal and personal l evel . Unsurpri si ngl y, Mr. Si mmons
recommends cal l i ng t i me on unnecessa ry ai r travel : "Dol l ar for dol l ar, chea p fl i ghts have a huge i mpact. A
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Document at ion Update |
fl i ght to the east coast of Ameri ca can add anot her two to three hectares on to your personal footpri nt for the
yea r. "
Less obvi ous, but i ncreasi ngl y si gni fi cant, i s the amount of el ectroni c gadgets a n d appl i ances we l et i nto our
l i ves each year. (How can I cal cul ate my 'eco footpri nt' ? We are consumi ng more and dumpi ng more than ever
before. A gui de on how to shri nk your ecol ogi cal shoe si ze, Lucy Si egl e, TH. B, 06. 03. 06, E01 )
EOla Envi ronmental Laws and Pol i cy
The d raft Nat i onal Envi ronment Pol i cy ( NEP) rel eased by t he Un i on Mi ni stry of Envi ronment and Forest
emphasi ses ' pol l uter pays' , 'cost· mi ni mi sati on' and market· based i ncenti ves for pol l uti on control , A l ogi cal
fol l ow up shoul d be to vest stewardshi p of n atural resources wi th communi ti es that a re di rectl y dependent
on them. NEp however, fal l s short here. Thi s l acuna i s gl ari ng because most common resources i n I ndi a
degenerate i nto open resources, over whi ch l ocal communi t i es have very l i ttl e control .
Peopl e who converted forests i nto agri cul tura l l and, a nd then i nto resi denti al or commerci al l and, recei ved
property ti tl es, but t hose who l et the forests stand are now tol d that t hese forests bel ong to a l l peopl e, not
j ust to them. Thi s i s grave i nj usti ce. NEP does t al k of mendi ng matters and gi vi ng l egal recogni ti on to forest
dwel l ers' tradi ti onal rights. But then, how exactly to recogni se tradi ti onal rights? N EP onl y has tri te suggesti ons
of partnershi ps between communi t i es a nd forest department offi ci al s, a nd arguments to uni versal i se Joi nt
Forest Management (JFM).
Of course, J FM does encourage communi ty part i ci pati on. But i t offers communi ti es no l ong· term stake i n
i mprovi ng forests. Moreover, where i s t he l egal mechani sm that guara ntees revenue shari ng between t he
forest department and communi ti es? J FM needs to move towards communi ty forestry management and
recogni ze communi ti es as custodi ans or stewards of forests. The forest department shoul d merel y act as an
advi sor or consul tant. The NEP recogni ses that i mproper pri ci ng pol i ci es for water, el ectri ci ty a nd fuel s have
l ed to water mi suse. However, it does not cl earl y a rti cul ate the way to rat i onal i ze these pol i ci es. It al so fai l s
t o emphasi se t hat pri ci ng i s but a subset of t he i ssue of t he user ri ghts t o water.
A way to al l ocate water ri ghts woul d be to fi rm up t he system of ' project al l ocati ons' used by the gover nment
today. Project authori ti es enter i nto l ong· term contracts wi th muni ci pal corporati ons and other government
agenci es for suppl y of fi xed quanti ti es of water. These quanti tative a l l ocati ons shoul d be converted to l egal ly
enforceabl e proporti onal al l ocati ons to water user associ ati ons. These ri ghts shoul d be t radabl e. Thi s approach
i s very di fferent from the emergi ng pract i ce of pri vati si ng river waters by l easi ng several ki l ometres of them
to pri vate compani es · our method only formal i ses exi sti ng cl ai ms.
But what about fami l i es who cannot afford to pay? The government can ei ther deci de on 'free' a l l ocati on per
person or per fami ly · then pay for that water from the general tax revenue. Thi s quota i s for a l l · the ri ch as
wel l as the poor. Water consumed above thi s 'free' quota wi l l have to be pai d by each fami ly. As recourse, the
aut hori ti es can subsi di se only the poor a nd make the ri ch pay for every drop of water they consume. (I t's j ust
the basi c, Parth J Shah & H B Soumya , I E. C, 05. 06. 05, E01 a)
Repl ace the Wi l dl i fe Protect i on Act (WPA) 1 972, the I ndi an Forest Act ( I FA) 1 927 and the Forest (Tr i bal
Ri ghts) Bi l l 2005 wi th a n i ntegrated pi ece of l egi sl ati on. The Renewabl e Natural Resource (Conservati on) Act,
whi ch i ncorporates the good parts of al l the t hree above and i s futuri sti c i n i ts vi si on and a ppl i cat i on and
does not suffer ei ther from t he si ege mental i ty of t he WPA whi ch revel s i n prohi bi ti on of al l sorts or t he free
for al l mandate of the tri bal bi l l .
The nati on needs a l aw that has gone t hrough the ri gour of a good worki ng draft fol l owed by publ i c heari ngs,
expert debates and act ive di scussi on i n Parl i ament, a l l wi th a pre· agreed t i meframe.
• Focus on the whol e and not j ust the parts.
• Focus on trends and not numbers.
• Focus on front l i nes and top l i nes.
• Focus on l ocal s.
( Forests: for a hol i st i c, futuri sti c vi si on, Manoj Kumar Mi sra, TH. B, 3 1 . 07. 05, E01a)
| Docwnentation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
Act i vi sts, envi ronment groups and i ndi vi dual s a re protesti ng t he secreti ve ways of the Uni on Mi ni stry of
Envi ronment and Forests (MoEF). The Mi ni stry has fi nal i sed a draft of the Nati onal Envi ronment Pol i cy (NEP)
and submi tted i t to the Cabi net for approval , wi thout maki ng the pol i cy publ i c, as sti pul ated under the Ri ght
to I nformati on (RTI ) Act of 2004. Over 70 ci ti zens' groups and i ndi vi dual s have wri tten to the Pri me Mi ni ster
to make i t publ i c. The fi rst draft of the NEP was fi l l ed wi th contradi cti ons. The revi sed draft shoul d have been
shown to us, and nati onal consul tati ons hel d wi th ci t i zens, before it was sent to the Cabi net, " sai d Ashi sh
Kothari of Kal pavri ksh. (What are the babus hi di ng? Anupama Javaraman, I E. B, 29. 08. 05, E01 a)
For t he fi rst ti me, t he a pex court has put i n pl ace a system t o eval uate and col l ect t he envi ronmental cost of
any project i n forest l and. Unti l now, the cost i ncl uded j ust that of trees fel l ed. But i n a 70 page j udgment. the
Supreme Court has ordered that projects be charged Net Present Va l ue ( N PV); va l ue of benefi ts from a
forest i ncl udi ng oxygen producti on, bi odi versi ty, ca rbon absorpti on and fl ood and drought control . The onl y
proj ects exempted wi l l be govern ment hospi tal s, di spensari es, non commerci al government ventures l i ke
school s, water tan ks, sewers. The NPV col l ected wi l l go to a nati onal corpus that wi l l be audi ted by CAG and
used f or preservi ng forests, not necessa r i ly i n the state where the project i s comi ng up. Thi s i s over a nd
above the current system of compensatory afforestati on .
.
NPV i s a l ready bei ng charged by four states - Bi har, Chatti sga r h, Maharast ra a nd Ha rya na. More t han Rs
300 crore has been col l ected so fa r and i s l yi ng wi th the courts wi th no cl a ri ty on what to do wi th the money.
The pl ea that publ i c sector projects of NHPC or Power-gri d be exempted has been turned down by a three
- member bench headed by Justi ce Y K Sabharwal who del i vered the j udgment after a conti nuous three·day
hea ri ng on an omni bus forest ease. (SC defi nes ' green' cost for projects bui l t on forest l and, Sonu Jai n, I E. D,
29. 09. 05, E01 a)
The fi nal techni cal report of the Nati onal Bi odi versi ty Strategy and A( ' i on Pl an ( NBSAP) has sai d that I ndi a
has l ost over hal f of i ts forest cover, 40 % of i ts mangroves, and a si gni fi cant part of i ts wetl ands i n the past
coupl e of centuri es.
The report "Securi ng I ndi a' s Future: The Fi nal Techni cal Repor t of the Nat i onal Bi odi versi ty Strategy and
Acti on Pl an" rel eased was ori gi nal l y supposed t o have been an offi ci al report of t he Uni on Envi ronment and
Forests Mi ni stry. I t was made publ i c as a ci ti zen' s report si nce the Mi ni stry had fai l ed to act on i t for a l most
two years.
Ci ti ng ha bi tat destruct i on, hunti ng and over-expl oi tati on as the i mmedi ate causes of bi odi versi ty l oss, the
report sai d that behi nd these factors were an unsustai nabl e and i nsensi ti ve model of ' devel opment, ' brea k­
down of tradi ti onal management practi ces and i nsti tuti ons, central i sati on of deci si on- maki ng powers i n the
government, seri ous soci al and economi c equi ti es, changes i n moral and cul tural val ues and l ack of recogni ti on
of the ful l val ue of bi odi versi ty i n economi c pl anni ng. The scenari o was worsened by gl obal i sati on, it sai d. I n
January 2000, the Mi ni stry faci l i tated the NBSAP process, starti ng wi th the unusual step of gi vi ng i ts techni cal
coordi nati on to Kal pvri shk, worki ng i n conj uncti on wi th a 1 5- member techni cal and pol i cy core group. The
proj ect wa s funded t hrough the Gl oba l Envi ronment Faci l i ty ( GEF) by the Uni ted Nat i ons Devel opment
Programme. The fi nal report was submi tted to the Mi ni st ry i n 2003. Unt i l then , the Mi ni stry had i ndi cated
that i t woul d be the nati onal pl an.
Stressi ng on more decentral i sed governa nce and admi ni strati on, i t sai d there was a need for a nati onal l and
and water use pl an besi des re- ori entat i on of agri cul ture, i ndust ry, i nfrastructure and other devel opment
sectors. I t hi ghl ighted the need for central i nvol vement of communi ti es most dependent on bi ol ogi cal resources
and expansi on of a reas a nd speci es under conservati on. (50 % forests l ost, says report, TH. D, 05. 1 0. 05,
E01 a)
Si x countri es i ncl udi ng I ndi a and Chi na wi l l form an Asi a Paci fi c i ni ti ati ve as a ' paral l el to the Kyoto protocol
and wi l l meet i n Sydney next month to di scuss effecti ve methods to reduce green house gas emi ssi ons.
Ca l l i ng the Kyoto protocol a fai l ure, Austra l i a' s i ndustry mi ni ster I an Macfar l ane sai d the new Asi a Paci fi c
forum · i ncl udi ng Austral i a, I ndi a, Chi na, Uni ted States, Japan and South Korea - wi l l be more effective i n
reduci ng greenhouse gas emi ssi ons.
The groupi ng, whi ch represent hal f the worl d's economy' , wi l l meet for the fi rst partnershi p on cl ean devel opment
and cl i mate di scussi ons. (Si x countri es i n bi d to form pa ral l el to Kyoto, FE. B, 3 l . 1 2. 05, E01 a)
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Document at ion Updat e |
EOlb Envi ronmental I ssues
A new wave of i ndust ri al i sati on threatens to make the peopl e of Ori ssa envi ron mental refugees i n thei r own
l and. The State' s ai r, water, wi l dl ife and peopl e' s l i vel i hoods a re bei ng destroyed by the so·cal l ed i ndustri al
bl i tzkri eg, accordi ng to envi ronmental i sts. Spurred by t he spi ra l l i ng demand for steel and a l umi ni um i n the
i nternati onal market, several congl omerates have come forward t o set up metal producti on uni ts to expl oi t
t he mi neral resources of the State. The i ndustri al i sati on boom i s expected to resul t i n massi ve envi ronmental
degradati on si nce the l ocal envi ronment has a l i mi ted "carryi ng capaci ty" to a bsorb and a ssi mi l ate effl uents
and wastes produced due to such gi ga nt i c producti on faci l it i es bei ng squeezed wi thi n a very s hort t i me.
(, I ndustri al i sati on wi l l harm Ori ssa's ecol ogy greatl y' , Praful l a Das, BL. C, 07. 06.05, E01 b)
EOlc Forests
The efforts of a band of women to conserve and devel op mangrove forests are creati ng a revol uti on i n the
hi nterl and of Chettuva . Wi th the support of the Habi tat Sci ence Teachi ng Communi ty, Department of Soci al
Forestry, Gymkhana Cl ub and li ttl e Fl ower Col l ege, t he women pl ant t he sapl i ngs a round ponds i n t hei r
houses and re· pl ant them, after a few months, i n t he mangrove forest at Azhi mukhom i n Kadappuram panchayat,
25 km from Thri ssur. Thi s is perhaps the fi rst t i me in the country that a group of vi l l age women is taki ng an
i nterest i n conservi ng mangrove forests. (A women' s revol ut i on i s on; Conservat i on and devel opment of
manfrove forests, K. Santhosh, TH. C, 1 4. 04. 05, E01 c)
The Envi ronment Mi ni st ry pl ans to adopt a "mul ti ·sta kehol der' a pproach to i mprove pri vate parti ci pati on to
i ncrease forest cover i n the country. An i nter· mi ni steri a l consul tati on i s requi red wi t h vari ous mi ni stri es to
i ron out i ssues l i ke the extent of f i nance that the Gover n ment woul d be wi l l i ng to extend and the revenue
share between the Government and pri vate parti es.
Whi l e the Mi ni stry i s fi nal i si ng i t pl ans, i t woul d soon seek feedback from vari ous i ndustri es, non·governmental
organi sati ons ( NGOs), researchers and other mi ni stri es. Whi l e the proposal is at a prel i mi nary stage, i t may
entai l changes i n the Forest Conservati on Act, dependi ng on the fi nal i sed pl ans, sai d offi ci al s. Meanwhi l e, the
country l ost 26, 245 sq km of dense forests between 2001 and 2003, though the overal l forest cover i ncreased
by 2, 795 sq km. As much a s 3, 90, 564 sq km of the count ry' s geographi ca l a rea was u nder dense forest
cover, whi l e open forests covered 2,87, 769 sq ki n, accordi ng to the ' State of Forest Report -2003' (SFR·
2003) rel ea sed by the Forest Survey of I ndi a. A tot al of 6, 78, 333 sq km or 20. 64 % of a rea i s under forest
cover. Asked about the loss i n dense forests, Mr Raja attri buted it to vari ous i ndustri al , devel opmental and
mi ni ng projects bei ng undertaken across the country. The Government rul es sti pul ate that those undertaki ng
such projects have to compensate for the l oss of forests by pl anti ng trees on doubl e the forest l and used for
the purpose. (Mi ni stry to adopt ' mul ti - stakehol der' approach to i ncrease forest cover; To seek feedback from
i ndust ry, NGOs, BL. B, 20. 07. 05, E01 c)
The Cent re recentl y approved d i versi on of forest l and under Secti on 2 of t he Forest (Conservat i on) Act,
1 980 to certai n government departments for devel opment acti vi ti es. However, approval wi l l be granted for
two years, endi ng December 3 1 , 2006, and wi l l be subj ect to revi ew thereafter. Accordi ngly, rel axati on of
rol es cover acti vi ti es such as constructi on of school bui l di ngs, di s pensary and hospi ta l s, el ectri c and
tel ecommuni cati on l i nes, dri nki ng water, rai nwater harvesti ng structures, mi nor i rri gati on canal s, structures
of non· conventi onal sources of energy, putt i ng up ski l l devel opment and vocati onal t ra i ni ng centres, power
substati ons, communi cati on posts, pol i ce stati ons, outposts, border outposts and watch towers i n sensi ti ve
areas.
The Centre, i n i ts gui del i nes, stated that devel opment and conservati on shoul d go hand i n hand. Awareness,
however, among the peopl e i s bound to come from wi thi n, provi ded other necessi ti es such as food, cl othi ng,
educat i on, heal t h, a nd communi cat i on a re sat i sfi ed. The Centre i s commi tted to expedi te i ts efforts for
devel opment acti vi ti es i n forest a reas, coveri ng the tri ba l peopl e and others l i vi ng i n the forest.
The Centre i s ready to t ackl e the probl ems of sensi ti ve a reas on the soci o- economi c f ront . I t i s set to
faci l i tate speci al execut i on of essent i al devel opment acti vi ti es. But, t he Govern ment wa nts to ensure a
bal ance between economi c a nd devel opment consi derati ons on one hand and ecol ogi cal consi derati ons on
the other. I t i s i mperati ve that for creati on of t hese faci l i ti es i n forest and i ts fri nge a reas, most of the l and
| DocIl ment ation Updat e | 2 0 05 - 0 6
requi rement wi l l have to be met from forest l and. The general approval of t he Centre i s bound by certai n
condi ti ons. Forest l and di verted for speci fi c devel opment works shoul d be l ess than one hectare i n each case
and cl ea ra n ce from the Centre i s subj ect to the condi t i on that i t i s need based. ( Forest Act rel axed for
devel opment, Jeevan Chi nnappa, TH. B, 28. 08. 05, EOl c)
EOld Wi l dl i fe
Stunned by the fate of t i gers at Sari ska i n Raj ast han, Forest offi ci al s at Bandi pur a re on a n al ert a nd wi l l
strengthen t he anti · poachi ng camps t o deal wi th t he cri si s pl agui ng the stri ped beauty whi ch i s totteri ng on
the bri n k of ext i nct i on. Strengt heni ng such camps i s now percei ved to be an a rea of pri ori ty ever s i nce the
count r was hi t by the t ragedy at Sari ska where poachers wi ped away the magni fi cent creatures forci ng the
Pr i me Mi ni ster to express concern over the fate of wi l dl i fe and the Central Bureau of I nvesti gat i on (CBI )
stepped i n for i nvesti gat i on. There a re 3 1 a nt i · poachi ng ca mps i n t he Bandi pur Nat i onal Pa rk a nd 24 i n
Nagarahol e. The authori ti es have sought permi ssi on t o create 30 more camps for the forest protecti on work.
However, some non·governmental organi sat i ons worki ng on conservati on i ssue say that strengtheni ng the
ant i · poachi ng camps i s a wel come devel opment, but the Depart ment of Forests shoul d t ake care of the
personnel posted to such camps. The average age of a forest guard i s reckoned to be 50 wi th maj ori ty of
them sufferi ng from hypertensi on or di abetes, a nd t hus unfi t for the ri gours of t he forest protecti on task.
(Forest staff gea r up to prevent a Sari ska i n Bandi pur, Kri shna Kumar, TH. B, 02. 04. 05, EOl d)
Al l may not be wel l wi th the ti gers, but there i s good news for ani mal l overs from Gi r, the only natural habi tat
of the Asi ati c l i on i n the worl d. Accordi ng to a l i on census carri ed out at Sasan Gi r i n the Saura shtra regi on of
Guj arat , the l i on popul at i on i n the nati onal park has c l i mbed to 359 compa red t o 327 i n 2001 . The Gi r
Nati onal Park i s , i n fact, overfl owi ng a nd the l i ons have spi l l ed over to adj oi ni ng a reas. A few years ago, a pri de
of l i ons had moved to the coast near Veraval , a town a bout 35 km from Sasan Gi r. That was the fi rst t i me the
l i on was found to be adapt i ng i tsel f to a coastal envi ronment. Guj arat i s, however, sti l l not wi l l i ng to rel ocate
the l i ons i n any other par t of the country. Wi l dl ife experts have been demandi ng that the l i on popul ati on
shoul d be spread out to i mprove i ts s urvi va l , i n case an epi demi c stri kes Gi r. Madhya Pradesh has been
request i ng that some l i ons be moved to i ts forests. (Wi l l Guj arat' s ' pri de' hurt Gi r? Gaurav Raghuvanshi ,
BL. B, 0 1 . 05. 05, EOl d)
Yea rs before savi ng the ti ger became a ragi ng nati onal concern , one man had made it hi s sol e mi ssi on. He
devoted hi s enti re I i fe to savi ng I ndi a's bi g cat , whi ch way back i n t he 70s di d not face the ki nd of t hreat i t
faces today. That man i s Bi l l y Arj an Si ngh, I ndi a' s ori gi nal ' ti ger man' . He chose to set up home on t he edge
of the Dudhwa Nati onal Park i n UP so that he coul d protect the ti ger a nd l eopards i n the forest. Now a s the
88·year·ol d l ooks back, he feel s he was successful despi te bei ng a persona non·grati s for the government and
the l ocal goons. He cl ai ms t here a re not more than 20· 25 ti gers today i n Dudhwa and they survi ved chi efl y
because the Park i s the onl y one boasti ng of bi o· di versi ty.
That apart, there i sn' t much about the state of t i gers i n I ndi a that Si ngh feel s cheerful about. Even the recent
a ppoi ntment of the Ti ger Task Force by the Pri me Mi ni ster i s not musi c to hi s ears. "The wrong person i s
headi ng i t. Sun i t a Narai n cal i s hersel f an envi ronmental i st , whi ch I feel i s a mi x of one or another. And as such,
one i s not gi vi ng pr i or i ty to the cause. They shoul d have a ppoi nted someone l i ke Ul l as Karat or Val mi k
Thapar" he says. (Wrong person i s headi ng t iger panel : Bi l ly Arj an Si ngh, Meenakshi Kumar, TOI . M, 1 5. 08. 05,
EOl d)
The tussl e between the Tatas and the turtl es has taken a new twi st wi th the recent asserti on from Tata Steel
offi ci al s that Dhamra Port Company Ltd (Tata Steel · L& T JV) woul d go a head wi th t he port at Dhamra , Ori ssa
even before the envi ronmental study i s over.
The envi ronmental assessment of the port assumes cri ti ca l i mporta nce a s i t i s l ocated i n the i mmedi ate
vi ci n i ty of t hi s fragi l e zone of Ol i ve Ri dl ey sea t ur t l es a nd any such act i vi ty poses a t hreat to t hi s rare
speci es.
The envi ronmental study for the proposed port, whi ch i s currentl y bei ng carri ed out by Bombay Nat ura l
Hi story Soci ety ( BNHS) a n d other NGOs, i s not expected t o get over by Apri l · May, 2006. Tat a Steel has
stated t hat the work on the project woul d commence by January 2006. I n response to a n ema i l query Tata
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
Steel offi ci al s stated, Tata Steel and L& T are not the type of compani es who woul d go ahead wi th a project
agai nst the i nterest of envi ronment and ecol ogy i n t hi s case the habitat of the turtl es.
However, a ccord i ng to another study carri ed by out Wi l dl i fe I nsti tute of I ndi a vi a satel l i te, al l the sampl e
turtl es have a tendency t o move towards t he north of Dhamra. Four turtl es were tagged wi t h satel l i te chi ps
and thei r movements were moni tored vi a satel l i te. The report of t he Central Empowered Commi ttee, appoi nted
by the Supreme Court, had ear l i er suggested the port needs to be re· l ocated as i t t hreatens the exi stence
of Ol i ve Ri l ey turtl es. (Tatas' tussl e wi th turtl es t akes new twi st, Proposed Por t Company Poses Ri sk to
Ol ive Ri dl ey Turtl es, Manoj i t Saha, FE. D, 29. 09. 05, E01 d)
The Forest Department has deci ded t o engage 1 200 el ephants for promot i ng nature touri sm i n nat i onal
parks i n Assam. The Forest Mi ni ster, Pradvut Bordol oi , sai d that the Government woul d organi se el ephant
festi val s to sensi ti se peopl e a bout co· exi st i ng wi th the pachyderms to mi ni mi se the growi ng man- el ephant
conf l i ct. The destructi on of el ephant habi tats has l ed to t hi s confl i ct . Usi ng t he el epha nts for promot i ng
touri sm woul d hel p thei r owners to generate the i ncome requi red for mai ntai ni ng them. The Forest Department
had engaged el ephants owned by i ndi vi dual s i n the recently hel d Kazi ranga Nati onal Park centenary cel ebrati ons
and al so arranged for thei r heal th check· up. Mr. Bordol oi sai d that an el ephant vi l l age woul d be set up by the
Depa rtment i n col l aborati on wi th tour operators at Ran i on the outski rts of the ci ty. ( El ephants to promote
nature touri sm, Sushanta Tal ukdar, TH. B, 20. 02. 06, E01 d)
E12 Natural and Common Resources
A Congress MLA i s a mong si x l andowners who have encroached on vari ous stretches of J uhu beach. The
encroachments on the beach, whi ch extends from Juhu Kol i wada i n the south to Moragaon near Versova ,
came to l i ght l ast month when suburban deputy resi dent col l. ector G M Bodke fi l ed a n affi davi t i n the Hi gh
Court l i sti ng out the powerful peopl e and establ i shments that have grabbed expensi ve pi eces of Juhu's rea l
estate.
The affi davi t was fi l ed as part of the ongoi ng publ i c i nterest l i ti gati on demandi ng the i mpl ementati on of the
Juhu beauti fi cati on scheme and shows a map i ndi cati ng that Congress MLA from Shi rpur i n di stri ct Dhul e,
Amr i sh Patel ' s fami l y whi ch owns pl ot no. 1 7 a t Juhu beach, has encroached on a secti on of t he beach.
Accordi ng t o t he l i st submi tted, a cl uster of fi ve bungal ows owned by Juhu Property Pvt Ltd has usurped a
whoppi ng 46, 000 sq mts on the northern end of the beach. Hotel Hori zon has encroached u pon 900 sq mts
of the beach. (Cong MLA, hotel among encroachers at Juhu beach; Juhu Property Pvt Ltd usurped a whoppi ng
46, 000 sqm, Cl ara Lewi s, TOI . M, 02. 05. 05, E 1 2)
Mul ti nati onal s for rural water supply
We may have to pay a pr i ce even
1 0. 05. 05, E 1 2)
Medha Patkar crushed a bottl e of packaged d ri nki ng water to symbol i cal l y l aunch t he campai gn agai nst
pri vati sati on of water suppl y. Envi ron mental i st and soci al acti vi st Medha Patkar was to l aunch the Karnataka
l eg of the nati onwi de campai gn spearheaded by the Nat i onal Al l i ance of Peopl e' s Movement. Ms. Patkar
| Docllmcntation Updat e | 2 0 05 - 0 6
al l eged that the state governments a re bei ng pressured by mul ti rati onal compani es and the Worl d Bank to
pri vati se water suppl y i n one form or the other a nd the i ncreased marketi ng of bottl ed water i s the evi dence
of t hi s. C. Bal akri shnan, convenor of the al l i ance, sai d: "Many of these bottl es are fi l l ed wi th contami nated
water resul ti ng i n heal th hazards. The poor are den i ed thei r ri ght u nder the Consti tuti on to free supply of safe
dri nki ng water. "Ground water is fast getti ng depl eted, and the l ack of state i ni ti ative and publ i c i nvestments
to col l ect and preserve rai nwater i s addi ng to an unprecedented water cri si s i n many parts of the country. "
(Campai gn agai nst pri vat i sati on of water suppl y l aunched, TH. B, 25. 1 0. 05, E 1 2)
Many a re toyi ng wi th the i dea of commerci a l i si ng water. The Worl d Bank has been vi gorousl y campa i gni ng
si nce the 1 990s and t hey have made i nroads i n Andhra Pradesh, Ori ssa, a nd al so Del hi . Bangal ore i s not far
behi nd. They have al ready i denti fi ed the soft targets and are sl owl y unl eashi ng the pl an. Hence the protest of
c ivi l soci ety organi sati ons to thwart thi s attempt i n Bangal ore recentl y i s not wi thout reason . Fresh water i s
a sca rce resource. Onl y 0. 008 % of t he pl a nets' water i s ava i l a bl e for human consumpt i on. A ci ty of one
mi l l i on uses approxi matel y 625, 000 metri c tons of water everyday. Pol l uti on of rivers and oceans i s i ncreasi ng.
I t i s easy to ta ke cl ean water and regul ar access for granted i n the devel oped nati ons.
Water pri vati sati on exacerbates the exi st i ng gl oba l i nequal i ty of a ccess to water. Countri es that a re now
sufferi ng severe water short ages are home to the poorest peopl e on earth. To charge them for al ready scarce
suppl i es is to guarantee growi ng water di spari ti es. Hundreds of thousands of Bol i vi ans came i nto the streets
to protest when Bechtel , backed by the Wor l d Bank, doubl ed water rates.
Every art i cl e on t he subj ect of water sta rts wi th the remi nder of the popul at i on expl osi on and where i t i s
occurri ng. I mpl yi ng that "these peopl e" are responsi bl e for the l oomi ng water cri si s. But a mere 1 2 % of the
worl d's popul ati on uses 85 % of i ts water, and these 1 2 % do not l i ve i n the Thi rd Worl d.
The pri vati sati on of t hi s sca rce resource wi l l l ead to a two· ti er, t hose who ca n afford water and t hose who
can not. I t wi l l force mi l l i ons t o choose between necessi ti es such as water and heal t h care. I n Engl and, hi gh
water rates force peopl e to choose whether or not to wash t hei r food, fl ush thei r toi l ets, or even bathe. Water
as a fundamenta l human ri ght i s guaranteed i n the UN Uni versal Decl arati on on Human Ri ghts. ( Pri vati si ng
water i s to hi t the poor where i t hurts most, Somasekhar V K, VT. 03. 1 2. 05, E 1 2)
E20 Touri sm and Cri me
A 47 · year· ol d German touri st was al l egedl y raped by an a uto· ri ckshaw dri ver and hi s accompl i ce i n Jodhpur.
The two were a rrested a few hours l ater by the ci ty pol i ce. The touri st, an empl oyee of Lufthansa Ai rl i nes, was
raped on t he outski rts of the ci ty after the two abducted her from the heart of Jodhpur. The vi cti m' s screams
woke up peopl e i n a nearby haml et, who came to the touri st' s rescue. By then the accused had fl ed from the
scene. Nearl y t hree hours l ater, the a uto d ri ver Shankar Lal was i ntercepted by the pol i ce a nd ar rested.
(German touri st raped i n Jodhpur, I E. C, 1 3. 05. 05, E20)
Taki ng seri ous vi ew of t he rape of a Germa n touri st, the Raj asthan Hi gh Court has di rected the l ower court to
compl ete the heari ng wi thi n a mont h. The Court observed that thi s case was very seri ous as i t coul d tarni sh
the i mage of the count ry and a l so create a sense of fear a mongst forei gn touri sts. The Court made the
publ i shed reports i n newspa pers as base and i ssued noti ces to Home Secreta ry of the state, Di rector of
Touri sm Depa rtment a nd SP of Jodhpur to present t hei r a nswers before the Court wi th i n a week. Thi s,
perhaps, i s the fi rst of i ts ki nd of PI L i n the hi story of j udi ci ary where, the Hi gh Court has di rectl y · i ssued
noti ces to the government agenci es and di recti ves for the l ower court.
Meanwhi l e the touri st had shown her grati tude towards . the vi l l agers of Basni Veda who came to her rescue
and Jodhpur pol i ce. (Jodhpur rape case: HC tel l s l ower cour t to speed up, TOI . D, 1 5 . 05. 05, E20)
A l arge number of craft empori ums i n the ci ty of Taj a re known to cheat touri sts through credi t card frauds.
Taki ng seri ous note of the l a rge number of i nci dents i n whi ch touri sts were cheated i n Agra, Uni on Touri sm
Mi ni ster Renuka Chowdhary has asked the l oca l I ndi a Touri sm offi ce to co· ordi nate wi th the Agra authori ti es
and UP Touri sm Department to check credi t card scams that are gi vi ng a bad na me to the country' s touri sm
i ndustry.
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
Touri st I nformati on Offi cer Mr La l ta Prasad sai d he has recentl y received a l etter from an Ameri can touri st,
who had been defrauded of Rs 28, 000 by an Agra jewel l ery shop. The compl ai nt t hat was fi l ed by the touri st
t hrough her embassy had been forwarded to the Agra offi ce of I ndi a Tour i sm by Uni on Tou ri sm Mi ni ster
Renuka Chowdhary, seeki ng i mmedi ate acti on.
Mr Prasad sa i d Rachel Cal deron, a resi dent of Los Angel es, Uni ted States, has compl ai ned that she had
a rri ved i n Agra on November 1 1 l ast year and i mmedi atel y after a rri vi ng t o the ci ty was taken to Haml i ng
Col l ecti ons, a jewel l ery shop i n Sada r Bazar area of the town by a l ocal tout.

She purchased j ewel l ery worth $ 70 but when she returned to US after a few weeks, she found that i nstead
of $ 70, she had been charged $ 700 for t he j ewel l ery fol l owi ng whi ch she f i l ed a compl ai nt wi th the US
embassy.
Mr Prasad sai d such cases of credi t card frauds wi th forei gn touri sts are not new i n Agra and each year, the
I ndi a Touri sm office receives several compl ai nts from touri sts agai nst a sel ect few empori ums, whose names
recur i n the compl ai nts.
Now, acti ng u pon thi s compl ai nt forwarded recentl y by t he Uni on Touri sm Mi ni ster, the I ndi a Touri sm office has
asked the Agra Seni or Superi ntendent of Pol i ce Raj i v Kri shna, Di st ri ct Magi st rate Sanj ay Prasad & Joi nt
Di rector UP Touri sm, D K Burma n to i nvesti gate the rol e of Agra empori ums i n cheati ng touri sts.
He recommends that the touri sts shoul d make cash payments after maki ng purchases from Agra empori ums
and i f at a l l credi t cards a re used for the purchases, t hey shoul d i nsi st on the use of an el ectroni c card
veri fi cati on machi ne i nstead of a manual process as the el ect roni c method i s fool · proof to a l arge extent. I n
manual method, there are chances that the charge sl i ps mi ght be al tered by the empori um owner after the
touri st si gned i t. (Credi t ca rd sca ms a bound i n ci ty of Taj , Vi j ay Upadhyay, TPD, 1 9. 05. 05, E20)
Worri ed that r i si ng cases of rape and mol estat i on i n Del h i may affect the touri sm sector, Uni on Tou ri sm
Mi ni ster Renuka Chaudhury cal l ed pol i ce Chi ef K. K. Paul t o express concern and sought remedi al steps. The
Pol i ce Commi ssi oner had a 1 5· mi nute· l ong meeti ng wi th the Mi ni ster duri ng whi ch they di scussed ways to
i ncrease safety for women i n the ci ty. The meet i ng comes a day after a woman was raped at the Safdarj ung
Hospi tal and cl ose on t he heel s of the mol estati on of a young woma n who had come wi th her fa mi l y to have
di nner i n Connaught Pl ace. She sai d she had suggested that the touri st pol i ce force be converted i nt o a
dedi cated force and offered her Mi ni stry' s assi stance to "sensi ti se' i t . However the Mi ni ster sai d the pol i ce
al one coul d not be expected to curb such cases a nd common peopl e shoul d al so be sensi t i sed so t hat
offenders were soci al l y ostraci sed. ( I nci dents har mi ng touri sm, Paul tol d, HTD, 1 6. 09. 05, E20)
Di spl ayi ng commendabl e speed, a Jai pur sessi ons court a nd the Rajasthan pol i ce have combi ned to ensure
that a l ocal ri ckshaw pul l er was handed a court sentence wi thi n 36 hours of mol est i ng a forei gn touri st. Thi s
i s the fourth ti me that offenders have been brought to j usti ce speedi l y i n Raj asthan. The Vi dhayak Puri pol i ce
stat i on here · only the second i n the country to have I SO 9000 cert i f i cati on · recei ved a compl ai nt from a
touri st t hat she had been mol ested by a ri ckshaw pul l er whi l e l ooki ng for a hotel . Pol i ce i denti fi ed the ri ckshaw
pul l er, Vi jay Das, wi thi n two hours and over the next few hours a pproached the court wi th a charge sheet. On
the pol i ce' s request, the court began the t ri al i mmedi atel y and heard out some wi tnesses · i nteresti ngl y
t hree forei gn touri sts deposed as wi tnesses. The tri al resumed and the cour t a nnounced i ts j udgment by
eveni ng, handi ng Das a si x months' j ai l term and a Rs 500 fi ne. The court sai d i t was i mperative to hand out
puni shment qui ckl y i n such cases as the country's reputati on was at stake. (Jai l term i n two days for teasi ng
touri st, Sandi pan Sharma , I E. C, 27. 1 1 . 05, E20)
E21 Touri st Pol i ce and Securi ty
Securi ty agenci es at the Taj Mahal were aga i n faced embarrassment when a Korean touri st group staged a
song and dance show i nsi de the monument. I t was even recorded on a vi deo.
React i ng l ate, the Central I ndustri al Securi ty Force (CI SF), i n· charge of t he monuments securi ty, managed to
confi scate the vi deo camera of the touri sts and the tape was destroyed before a l l owi ng the touri sts to l eave
the monument premi ses. Thi s group, bei ng part of a cul tural troupe of Korea vi si ti ng the town, was al lowed to
| Documentation Updat e | 2 0 0 5 0 6
enter the monument after a perfunctory securi ty check. The touri st s proceeded towards the central t ank of
the monument and assembl ed on the tank i n the form of a choi r and began a song and dance sequence on the
pl atfor m that was bei ng fi l med by one of the touri sts from the group, sai d the Deputy Commandant.
Accordi ng to Ms Si ngh, the guards i mmedi atel y ca ptured the camera bei ng used by the touri sts and tol d
them that they had vi ol ated the rul es of the monument that prohi bi ted vi deo· shoots from the centra l tank.
The touri sts fei gned i gnorance of t he rul es and sai d that thei r l ocal gui de had tol d them i t was ok t o shoot t he
musi c vi deo at the monument.
She sai d that after i nterrogati ng the touri sts, i t was ascertai ned that t hey had i ndeed made a mi stake, bei ng
mi sgui ded by the l ocal gui de and they were al l owed to compl ete thei r tour of the monument, though thei r
vi deo camera was confi scated t i l l t hey returned from thei r tour. The ca mera was l ater handed back to them,
though the tape was destroyed. (Touri sts make mockery of Taj secur i ty, Vi j ay Upadhyay, TPD, 1 7. 02. 06,
E21 )
E22 Touri sm and Drugs
A ci ty court has refused the bai l appl i cati on of an I srael i nati onal accused of i nternati onal drug traffi cki ng and
money l aunderi ng worth 10 mi l l i on Euros, equi val ent to Rs 50 crore.
I ndi an i mmi grati on authori ti es apprehended El i sha, wanted i n the Netherl ands for over two years, i n February,
pursuant to a l ookout noti ce run by the I nterpol . Accordi ng to the warrant, El i sha i s gui l ty of i nvol vement i n
cri mi nal drug traffi cki ng acti vi ti es a nd l aunderi ng money from cri mi nal ori gi n i n Hol l and and New Zeal and. (No
to bai l for forei gn drug peddl er, TPD, 1 2. 03. 06, E22)
E40 Sex-Touri sm
A hi gh- profi l e prosti tuti on racket was unearthed by the Del hi pol i ce and two women, i ncl udi ng a Bol lywood
starl et, a nd an al l eged pi mp were arrested. The a l l eged pi mp was a cl ose associ ate of Del hi 's "fl esh trade
ki ng" Kamal j i t Si ngh. Vi mal Thapa a nd the two women were hel d by the pol i ce a l ter a rai d on a star hotel i n
South Del hi . Thei r network was spread over Del hi , Mumba i , Jai pur, Chandi garh, Uttaranchal a n d other states.
( Sex racket busted at a posh hotel , AA. D, 03. 1 0. 05, E40)
Thomas Cook i s runni ng fami l y tours of Amsterdam's red l i ght di stri ct. Thomas Cook cl ai ms the tour, offers a
fasci nati ng i nsi ght i nto the ol dest professi on i n the worl d. But fa mi l y campa i gners and MP' condemned the
company for offeri ng the Wal ki ng Tour· Dark Amsterdam. The outi ng i ncl udes a bri ef i ng on the haunt by a
former prosti tute a nd a gui ded tour. I t' s s i mpl y not good enough every decent parent a nd fami l y wi l l be
a ppal l ed that tours of t hi s nature a re bei ng offered not onl y to adul ts but al so to i mpressi onabl e chi l dren.
Thomas Cook cl a i ms i t offers t he tour i n i t s 2006 Si gnature Ci ti es and Short Breaks brochure speci al i st ar m
of t he mai n f i r m i n response t o feedback from cl i ents. A press rel ease on t he two- hour tour says i t l eaves at
8pm and wi l l take vi si tors deep i nto t he famous red· l i ght di stri ct , accompani ed by a rel i abl e and trustworthy
gui de. (Travel Co offers fami l y tour of Amsterdam's red· l i ght di stri ct , Beth Hal e, TOI . B, 1 7. 1 1 . 05, E40)
E41 Prost i tuti on and Traff i cki ng
The agents i nvol ved i n fl esh t rade are transport i ng ba r gi rl s of Mumbai t o va ri ous pl aces of western Uttar
Pradesh ( UP). They a re l ooki ng for new faces. Some agents have even fi nal i sed the deal . After Maharashtra
Government' s deci si on to cl ose i ts numerous qan ce bars. many bar gi r l s have l ost thei r j obs. The state has
about 1 500 da nce bars empl oyi ng more than 1 00. 000 women who mostl y da nce Bol l ywood numbers.
Unempl oyed, the bar gi r l s have started movi ng to other I ndi an ci ti es to eke out thei r l i vi ng. Some of them
have shi fted t o Meerut. The l ocal agents have thei r network spawned i n s ma l l er ci t i es -Muzaffa r nagar
Bi j nore Baghpat and Sharanpur. (Western UP: New desti nati on for Maha bar gi rl s, Al oke Sharma, TPD, 07. 05. 05.
E41 )
The j obl ess women of Mumbai 's dance bars may turn thei r i re towards the U S Consul ate si nce Washi ngton
supports the cl osure of the i nfamous ' dance bars. An offi ci al report rel eased by Secretary of State Condol eezza
Ri ce a ppl auds the Maharashtra Home Mi ni ster' s order to cl ose down dance bars. "Many of t hese served as
20 0 5 - 0 6 | Document at ion Update |
prosti tuti on and t raff i cki ng outl ets. " the state department report sa i d. The US hopes that the cl osure of
dance bars may check a new trend of traffi ckers favouri ng thi s "more sophi sti cated and conceal ed format for
sel l i ng vi cti ms traffi cked for the pu rpose of sexual expl oi tati on over more bl atant brothel · based traffi cki ng".
The annual exerci se of tracki ng human traffi cki ng throughout the work does not go i nto soci al a nd economi c
reasons for thi s gl oba l mal ady but US researchers a re wel l i nformed a bout the red l i ght di stri cts i n far away
Mumbai .
The report does not expl a i n t he reasons f or the shi ft away from brot hel · based t raffi cki ng t o hi gh · cl ass
prosti tuti on. Reports from I ndi a often suggest t hat economi c l i beral i sati on and i ncreased busi ness travel a re
partl y responsi bl e for expensi ve fi ve- star prosti tuti on.
I ndi a i s al so a growi ng dest i nati on f or sex touri sts from Europe, t he US and other Western countri es, t he
report note studi es show that majori ty femal es i n t he I ndi an commerci al sex i ndustry a re currentl y vi cti ms of
sexual servi tude. (Traffi cki ng: I ndi a under US' watchful eye, L K Sha rma, DH. B, 05. 06. 05, E41 )
Warni ng that traffi cki ng i n human bei ngs has become an organ i sed transnati onal cri me generati ng profi ts of
more than $ 8- 1 0 bi l l i on a yea r, chai rperson of the Nati onal Human Ri ghts Commi ssi on ( NHRC) Justi ce A. S.
Anand sai d there were enormous gaps i n the I mmoral Traffi c ( Preventi on) Act that need to be addressed.
Del iveri ng the keynote address at a semi nar on Traffi cki ng i n Human Bei ngs, he sai d that i nstead of prosecuti ng
the traffi ckers under Secti ons 3, 4, 5 and 6 of I TPA, most prosecuti ons take pl ace under Secti on 8, vi ct i mi si ng
traffi cked persons.
Noti ng that efforts to combat traffi cki ng have resul ted i n j ust i fyi ng repressi ve measures agai nst vi cti ms of
sexual expl oi tati on i n the name of thei r protecti on, he sai d anti ·traffi cki ng measures must take i nto account
the rol e of traff i ckers and steps to protect the ri ghts of the sexual l y expl oi ted. (Ca l l for cha nges i n l aw on
human traffi cki ng, TH. B, 29. 1 0. 05, E41 )
Now, i f a woman checks i nto a ny hotel i n New Del h i wi thout l uggage, she wi l l b e noti ced by the pol i ce.
Accordi ng to the pol i ce i n the New Del h i a rea, the hotel s i n the area are frequented by prosti tutes, who check
i nto rooms wi thout any l uggage. Deputy Commi ssi oner of pol i ce ( New Del hi ) Ani ta Roy sai d that t hi s i s the
onl y way to bust prosti tuti on rackets runni ng i n the area. Thi s new way to curb prosti tuti on wi l l be appl i cabl e
i n al l hotel s, i ncl udi ng the fi ve-star hotel s i n the ci ty. The pol i ce have a l so sai d that al l hotel s i n New Del hi have
been given i nstructi ons to i nform the pol i ce about women checki ng in wi thout baggage. However, the pol i ce i s
yet to bust any prosti tuti on racket a n d al though t he hotel s are cooperati ng wi th the pol i ce, many have f i l ed
counter-compl ai nts agai nst the pol i ce. (Cops to check 5- star hotel 'guests' , Syed Asi m Al i , AA. D, 29. 1 0. 05,
E41 )
E42 Chi l d Prosti tuti on / Chi l d Sex Abuse
I t i s the educated, hi gh profi l e and hep ci ti zens of Bangal ore who are the worst chi l d a busers.
The Chi l d Wel fa re Commi ttee (CWC) rescues at l east 12 chi l dren from Bangal ore homes every week from
domestic abuse and majority of the empl oyers are government offi ci al s, top offi ci al s i n mul ti - nati onal compani es,
pri ests a nd even doctors.
Stati sti cs
• Dur i ng the l ast ei ght months, the commi ttee has recei ved 80 cases of chi l d l abour, 75 of whi ch were
chi l dren empl oyed as domest i c workers. Of t hi s, 95 % were bel ow the age of 1 4 yea rs.
• Of the 80 cases, 60 were gi rl s a nd 20 were boys.
• 1 3 cases of chi l dren who were severel y a bused have been referred by the commi ttee to the l abour
court.
( Educated el i te top the chi l d a busers' l i st, Seethal akhsmi S, TOI . B, 1 1 . 07. 05, E42)
¸ Documentation Update |
The Supreme Court cancel led the bai l of Swi ss paedophi l e coupl e Wi l hel m (62) and Li l e Marti (60) -convicted
i n March 2003 by a Mumbai Sessi ons Court and asked t he Ma ha rasht ra pol i ce to i ssue a non· ba i l abl e
warrant agai nst them, and get the Centre' s hel p on extradi ti ng them. The court was heari ng a speci al peti ti on
moved by Maharashtra fol l owi ng reports i n " Express' on Apri l 2 and 3 that the Swi ss coupl e -nabbed i n a
subu rban hotel a busi ng mi nor street gi rl s fl ed the country i n November 2004, thei r passports sti l l i n a
l ocal court' s possessi on. Thei r escape was i n di rect vi ol ati on of a Supreme Cour t order that had gra nted
them bai l i n Apri l 2004 but ba rred them from l eavi ng the country. ( Supreme Court ca ncel bai l of Swi ss
paedophi l es, Get Centre' s hel p for extradi ti on, pol i ce tol d, Chi trangada Choudhury, I E. C, 1 7. 08. 05, E42)
I t i s i mperati ve that the present provi si ons under the cri mi nal l aw, deal i ng wi th chi l d sex a buse and expl oi tati on,
are amended and speci al courts establ i shed to deal wi th such cases, sai d A P Shah, Chi ef Justi ce of Madras
Hi gh Court.
He suggested that a j oi nt i nvesti gati ng team compri si ng a pol i ce off i cer, a physi ci an and a psychi at ri st be
formed to deal wi th chi l d a buse cases. Stati ng that chi l d abuse had assumed monstrous proporti ons, he sai d
that chi l dren were bei ng traded l i ke a commodi ty t he worl d over. Mi l l i ons of gi rl s and boys a re bei ng used i n
fl esh t rade, pornography a n d other forms of sexual a buse a n d expl oi tat i on, h e sai d, addi ng t hat sexual
expl oi tati on of chi l dren had become a mul ti · bi l l i on dol l ar i ndustry of i nternati onal di mensi ons.
However, reports of cri mes agai nst chi l dren, Shah sai d, "are on the i ncrease i n the country." He added that
i t was a matter of concern that 20 percent of the vi cti ms of rape were chi l dren a nd that the rel evant
provi si ons i n t he I PC were i n adequate t o deal wi t h t he cases of personal vi ol ence agai nst chi l dren. (Amend
l aw to tackl e chi l d sex abuse: CJ, I E. C, 1 7. 2. 06, E42)
E61 Women Workers i n Touri sm
A recent Worl d Economi c Forum study on gender gap has ranked I ndi a 53 among 58 countri es i n terms of
the status of women i n soci ety. Paki st an at 56 and Brazi l at 5 1 gave I ndi a company. Sweden ran ked fi rst
whi l e France stood at 1 3, a step a head of t he US ( 1 7).
What pl aces I ndi a i n such a di smal posi ti on? Accordi ng to the WEF achi evi ng gender equal i ty i s a gri ndi ngl y
sl ow process, si nce i t chal l enges one of the most deepl y entrenched of al l human atti tudes. The study whi ch
compared the gl obal gender gap across fi ve para meters economi c parti ci pati on, economi c opportuni ty,
pol i ti cal empowerment , educati onal attai nment a nd heal th and wel l - bei ng-gave I ndi a a score of 3. 27 i n a
scal e of 1 to 7, wi th 7 representi ng maxi mum gender equal i ty.
Al though the I ndi an Consti tuti on ensures equal r i ghts for women i n the workforce, wi th equal pay for equal
work, the ground real it i es a re very di fferent. Across the country, women are pai d l ower wages than men i n the
formal sector, and i n the organi sed sector, women a re mai nl y confi ned to certai n types of work whi ch cal l for
repeti tive tasks, si tt i ng at one pl ace for l ong hours, or so- cal l ed softer opti ons l i ke teachi ng or nursi ng. For
t hose women who have the courage to breach the i nvi si bl e barri ers and ta ke up ' a man's j ob whi ch woul d
requi re more deci si on- maki ng or networki ng, t he gl ass cei l i ng prevents them from reachi ng the pi nnacl es of
power.
Empl oyment of women i n the organi sed publ i c and pri vate sector has gone u p whi ch is evi dent for the fact
that i n 1 990, there were 227. 09 1 akh mal es and 36. 49 1 akh femal es, out of a total workforce of 263. 53 I akh.
I n 2002, the empl oyment of mal es went down to 222. 71 akh and femal e empl oyment rose to 49. 35 l akh i n a
total workforce of 272. 06 I akh, accordi ng to the Economi c Survey 2003-04.
The hospi t al i ty sector i s another exa mpl e. Hotel s have tradi t i onal l y been a major empl oyer of women, but
t hese al so gi ve the opportuni ty to women to cl i mb the corporate l adder. Accordi ng to I TC Hotel s, 45% of
thei r empl oyees across di fferent properti es are women. "We have women empl oyees at the top rungs too.
Our corporate pol i ci es encourage more women to a ppl y and try for the top posts, " says a company offi ci al .
(Worki ng women get a raw dea l , Banashree Purkayastha, FE. B, 29. 05. 05, E61 )
Thanks t o the current boom i n t he avi at i on i ndustry, al l i ed sectors l i ke hospi tal i ty a n d restaurant s a re
experi enci ng a surge, l eadi ng to a sudden ri se i n dema nd for wel l ·groomed hostesses. Hospi tal i ty sources
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
say that most of t hese women are bei ng hi red for guest rel ati ons and sal es executi ves. And fi ni shi ng school s
l i ke Ai rhostess Academy and the El i te Model Management School , whi ch offer a range of personal i ty
devel opment and vi sual groomi ng programs, a re fl ooded wi th offers from the hotel sector.
Whi l e the El i te Model School ma i ntai ns t hat they do not send out t hei r model s for hotel assi gnments, a
company source sai d that young gi rl s from the groomi ng and pl acement progra mmes are bei ng "accommodated"
i n l ifestyl e· rel ated jobs such as hi gh·end retai l stores and five· star restaurants. However, many i n the restaurant
busi ness bel i eve that l ooks a re not the sol e cri teri a a nd ski l l s a re as i mporta nt. (Model s for Hotel s, Nami ta
Kohl i , I E. D, 06. 1 0. 05, E61 )
Even a s the Centre proposes pol i ci es to downsi ze the bureaucracy, the l atter fi nds ways of spri ngi ng back i n
ful l force. Thi s ti me, the bureaucracy has found ways of empl oyi ng "i dl e wi ves" of servi ce offi cers goi ng by the
scheme to be l aunched by the Touri sm Mi ni stry.
Project Pri yadarshi ni , an i ni ti ative of the Touri sm Mi ni stry, i s an endeavour to bri ng women i nto the core area
of the servi ce sector, a nd take advantage of the touri sm boom i n the country.
Addressi ng a press conference, Touri sm Secretary A K Mi shra outl i ned the projects where women coul d be
empl oyed from dri vi ng taxi s to runni ng a taxi service, restaurants, i nformati on and faci l i tati on ki osks, cafeteri as.
Mi shra sai d the Touri sm Mi ni stry woul d wel come wi ves of servi ce offi cers wi th speci al ski l l s l i ke knowl edge of
forei gn l anguages to act as "premi um gui des. " So even as the mi n i st ry' s t ra i ni ng progra mme for touri st
gui des l angui shes, it has deci ded to co· opt women to act as speci al gui des for hi gh· end vi si tors "for tours as
wel l as shoppi ng". Wi th Project Pri yadarshi ni , t he Touri sm Mi ni stry wi l l al so faci l i tate sel f· empl oyment for
women under vari ous schemes of the Mi ni st ry of Urban Devel opment a nd a l so Poverty Al l evi at i on. ( I dl e
wi ves as gui des, vri nda Gopi nath, I E. C, 09. 1 2. 05, E6l )
Yet another mal e basti on i s a l l set to crumbl e. Ai r I ndi a (AI ) , whi ch so far had onl y mal e i n·fl i ght supervi sors,
wi l l now al l ow femal e crew members to take up what t i l l now was an excl usive mal e domai n. The order al l owi ng
femal e crew members to be consi dered for the post of i n ·fl i ght supervi sor was si gned by the Cha i rman and
Managi ng Di rector, Mr V Thul asi das.
An i n·fl i ght supervi sor i s a person to whom al l the crew of the a i rcraft report. Genera l l y, cabi n crew who have
put i n 25·30 years of servi ce a re consi dered for the post of i n·fl i ght supervi sor. I ndi an Ai rl i nes al ready fol l ows
t hi s system and has fema l e i n · fl i ght supervi sors. (Femal e i n·f l i ght supervi sors to ma ke debut on Ai r I ndi a,
Ashwi n i Phadni s, BL. B, 29. 1 2. 05, E61 )
Usheri ng i n a major change i n the Capi tal ' s hospi tal i ty i ndustry l i fted t he restri cti on on women servi ng l i quor
at publ i c pl aces. Del i veri ng the order, whi ch al so appl i es to men under 25, a di vi si on Bench set asi de curbs
i mposed by the Punj ab Exci se Act, 1 91 4, whi ch i s a ppl i ca bl e i n Del hi . "We decl are that Secti on 30 of the
Punj ab Exci se Act, 1 91 4 i s vi ol ati ve of Art i cl e 19 ( 1 ) (G 14 and 1 5 and unconsti tuti onal and i noperati ve to
the extent that i t i mposes restri cti ons upon the empl oyment of women i n any part of the l i censed premi ses
i n whi ch l i quor or i ntoxi cati ng drugs are consumed by the publ i c, " the Bench rul ed.
The court, however, made i t cl ear that ' no women empl oyee woul d be compel l ed to serve i n a bar i n case she
has objecti ons i n doi ng so. '
Al l owi ng t he peti ti on fi l ed by three hotel management graduates, al ong wi t h t he Hotel Associ ati on of I ndi a,
the Bench termed Secti on 30 as an "anti thesi s to the contempora ry era " .
On the ri si ng popul ari ty of the hospi tal i ty i ndustry as a career choi ce among women, the court sai d, "I ncreasi ng
numbers of femal e candi dates appear and pass i n the ent rance exami nati ons conducted for admi ssi ons to
vari ous hotel management courses. Equal number of femal e and mal e candi dates can be found i n cl ass
rooms of a reputed i nsti tuti on offeri ng courses i n Hotel Management. Thi s shows the enthusi asm of women to
take on any chal l enge shown up by the hotel i ndustry". (Women can serve l i quor i n hotel s: HC, Tanu Sharma,
I E. B, 1 3. 01 . 06, E61 )
| Documentation Update j . 6
E63 Women Touri st
Keepi ng i n mi nd the two thi ngs that women travel l ers l ook for most safety and pri vacy, t hese new al l - women
rooms wi l l have femal e staff and speci al servi ces for women.
I TC Grand Central Sheraton i n Mumba i , for i n sta nce, has i ntroduced 15 excl usi ve rooms for women. The
Oberoi group and the Bharat Hotel s are conducti ng a feasi bi l i ty study, whi l e The Leel a group wi l l al so i ntroduce
a women only fl oor' i n i ts new Chennai property and other forthcomi ng projects. Hotel s that do not offer these
fl oors are maki ng u p wi th extra attenti on in terms of safety a nd addi ti onal ameni ti es for l uxury and comfort.
These rooms are stocked wi th an array of up- ma rket ameni t i es cater i ng to the needs of the busy woman .
Beyond speci al care and attenti on, the ameni ti es provi ded are pri vacy- a nd- safety-focussed securi ty systems,
l i ke door vi deo phone, separate l ifts, i n· room check- i n , and workout stepper, val ue addi ti ons at Spa servi ces
l i ke massages. faci al s , mani cures, and body t reaments besi des sepa rate room servi ce men u. The other
ameni ties i ncl ude ful l · l ength mi rrors, magnifyi ng two-si ded round makeup mi rrors, up- market bathroom toi l etri es
besi des soft col our scheme i n the rooms wi th s peci al bathroom l i ghti ng. Guests on these fl oors are served by
femal e staff. The pri ce tag for such premi um rooms range between Rs 7, 000- 8, 000 per ni ght. ( Hotel s dress
up for fai rer sex, Rumi Dutta Hardasmal ani , TOI . D, 1 7. 05. 05, E63)
E71 Nati onal Parks and Sanctuari es
At dusk, the State Transport bus di sgorges peopl e returni ng from work i n Khatkal i vi l l age i n t he Mel ghat Ti ger
Reserve. 'We go everywhere l ooki ng for work, " says Gamba Bel sa reo
Every year, wi th dwi nt i l i ng j obs, the peopl e of Khatkal i cl ear forestl and and pl ant some crops. Very few have
l and ri ghts_
Nea r the core a rea: Li vi ng i n the forest has probl ems too. Peopl e have to stay u p a l l ni ght to ensure that
a ni ma l s do not destroy t hei r crops. I f cl eari ng forests i s an i ssue i n Khatka l i . t hen i n Dha rgad i t i s the
poi soni ng of deer. Thi s vi l l age has been settl ed si nce 1 964 and i t i s near the core a rea of the Reserve. "The
Forest Depa rtment gave us l and and bui l t homes for us to stay here and l ook after the forest. They a l so gave
us work. But after t hi s t i ger proj ect , there i s not hi ng for us. We have to steal f i rewood and cl ear l a nd for
agri cul ture. We are treated unj ustl y, " says Pundal i k Bal i ra m Godmal e.
The peopl e feel t hey have bi gger probl ems. They don' t u nderstand why the Forest Depa rtment does not
permi t the k i l l i ng of wi l d boar, whi ch destroys thei r crops. Bot h Khatkal i and Dhargad a re part of the 19
vi l l ages, whi ch are to be rel ocated from the Mel ghat Ti ger Reserve i n Maharashtra' s Amravati di stri ct. Three
vi l l ages have a l ready been moved out and there are mi xed reacti ons a mong the rel ocated peopl e.
I n Dhargad they have al ready been shown l and, whi ch peopl e have a pproved. "We a re qui te keen on l eavi ng
the forest. The Forest Department suspects us of ki l l i ng ani ma l s_ Now t hey even have mi l i ta ry men to keep
vi gi l on us, " sai d Godmal e. However, Vatsal a Deokar fea rs that i f they l eave the forest, they may have to pay
for many t hi ngs they now take for granted.
Reserve i s understaffed: The Reserve, whi ch has a bout 70 ti gers, i s u nder staffed wi th 206 gua rds and 72
foresters agai nst a sancti oned strength of 600_ Of l ate t he prey base i s t he i ncreasi ng target. One of t he f i rst
ni ne Ti ger Reserves i ncl uded i n Project Ti ger i n 1 973, the 1 , 676 sq. km. Reserve compri ses the Gughamal
Nati onal Park, whi ch i s t he core area, t he Mel gl i at Ti ger Sa nctuary and a denoti fi ed a rea of 500 sq km area
cal l ed the mul t i pl e use a rea. ( Uneasy exi stence, Meena Menon, TH. D, 1 1 . 09. 05, E71 )
.
2 0 05 - 0 6 j Documentation Update j

• G - COASTAL REGI ONS .
GIO Mari ne and CRZ Acts, Rul es and Laws
The nat i onal ma r i t i me pol i cy i s yet to be fi nal i sed, even though i t was framed i n August 2004. I n fact the
pol i cy was pasted on the websi te of the Mi ni stry of Shi ppi ng, Roads and Hi ghways and after i ncorporati ng
the i nputs from vari ous stakehol ders a modi fi ed draft was agai n put up on the si te i n February 2005. However
mi n i st ry offi ci a l s say t hat opi ni ons a re sti l l bei ng sought on t he pol i cy, and soon i t woul d be ready i n i ts
enti rety. Once the mi ni stry prepares a fi nal draft, i t woul d be sent for the Cabi net' s cl ea rance. However, t here
seems to be no cl ear reason, as to why t he pol i cy has not been fi ne· tuned. The mari t i me pol i cy i s bei ng
consi dered as a si gni fi cant step towards provi di ng better coordi nati on wi th other modes of transport a nd
al so assi sti ng i n the devel opment of shi ppi ng and port i nfrastructure. ( Nati onal mari ti me pol i cy yet to fi nd an
anchor, Ani mesh Si ngh, FE. B, 03. 01 . 06, G1 0)
The Mi ni stry of Envi ronment and Forests wi l l shQrtl y put i n pl ace a Coasta l Zone Management Pl an. I t wi l l
repl ace the Coastal Regul ati on Zone (CRZ).
The new pl a n , whi ch wi l l take effect i n a few months. wi l l be based on the concept of vul nerabi l i ty l i ne.
Vul nerabi l i ty l i ne wi l l be the set back l i ne demarcated al ong the coast. I t wi l l be based on the hazard assessment
of each coastal a rea. The Space Appl i cati ons Centre, Ahmedabad, wi l l be the nodal agency for mappi ng t hi s
l i ne. The map and data woul d be i n t he publ i c doma i n once i t i s cl eared by the Mi n i stry of Defence and
sui tabl e amendments were made t o t he l egi sl ati on.
The Mi ni st ry set up the Swami nathan Commi ttee i n 2004 to review the CRZ and the report was submi tted i n
February 2005. ' the commi ttee feel s that the current practi ce of fi xi ng CRZ based on hi gh ti de l i ne i s not the
best of pract i ces and i s l ess sci enti fi c. I t has al so wi dened the scope of defi ni ti on of a coastal zone.
The coasta l zone i s to now i ncl ude "an a rea from terri tori al l i mi ts ( 1 2 nauti cal mi l es). i ncl udi ng i ts sea· bed to
t he admi ni strati ve boundari es or the bi ol ogi cal boundari es dema rcated on the l andward si de of the sea
coast. The coastal zone management wi l l al so "i ncl ude the i nl and ti dal water bodi es i nfl uenced by ti dal acti on
a nd the l and a rea al ong such water bodi es. " Most of the commi ttee recommendati ons have been accepted.
The Mi ni stry has had consul tati ons wi th the Survey of I ndi a and other organi sati ons to fi nal i se the vul nerabi l ity
l i ne.
Seven parameters: The Commi ttee has recommended seven parameters for mappi ng the vul nerabi l i ty l i ne
and has i ssued gui del i nes for t hi s. The pa rameters are el evati on, geol ogy, geomorphol ogy, sea l evel trends,
hori zontal shorel i ne di spl acement, t i dal ranges and wave hei ghts.
Un l i ke the CRZ, the pl an wi l l be ori ented towards managi ng resources, devel opment and regul at i on. The
Commi ttee has proposed 4 Coastal Management Zones (CMZ). CMZ I woul d consi st of a reas desi gnated as
ecologi cal ly sensi tive. CMZ I I woul d i ncl ude areas i denti fi ed as Areas of Parti cul ar Concern such as economi cal ly
i mportant areas, hi gh popul ati on areas and cul tural ly/strategi cal ly i mportant a reas. CMZ· I I I woul d i ncl ude of
al l other open areas, i ncl udi ng the coastal areas, excl udi ng those areas cl assi fi ed as CMZ· I , CMZ· I I I and CMZ
· I V. CMZ · I V pertai ns to the Andaman and Ni coba r I sl ands and Lakshadweep. (Coastal Zone Management
Pl an to repl ace CRZ, A Sri vat hsan, TH. B, 1 2. 03. 06, G1 0)
G30m Tami l Nadu
Even though t he Government has ordered peopl e l i vi ng al ong t he tsunami · affected coast t o bui l d houses 200
metres away from the ocean, fi sher men are sti l l stayi ng cl ose to the sea. They say that they do not have an
opti on as t hei r l i vel i hood i s at ri sk.
| Documentation Update | 2 a 0 5 - 0 6
The Gover nment Order No. 1 72 l uci dl y provi des gui del i nes for construct i ng houses. The GO states t hat
accordi ng to t he Coastal Regul ati on Zone (CRZ) notifi cati ons, ful l y damaged houses wi thi n 200 metres of the
hi gh ti de l i ne wi l l have to be constructed beyond the 200· metre zone. I f not the Government wi l l not provi de
any assi sta nce.
Several peopl e whose l ivel i hood depends on the sea express seri ous di spl easure agai nst the GO. "We do not
fear the onset of a nother tsunami . We need to stay near the ocean, because even the change i n the col our of
the sea or the nature of the wi nd al ong the coast l i ne hel ps us i denti fy what sort of fi sh we wi l l catch that day.
(Fi shermen say they can' t hel p GO vi ol ati on , Tami l Nadu Govt has pl ans of expandi ng the fi sheri es sector,
Anupama Jayaraman, I E. B, 06. 1 0. 05, G30m)
G43 Ports
The 0 ri ssa government has deci ded to handover the l oss· maki ng Gopa I pu r fai r·weather port to Ori ssa Stevedores
Li mi ted (OSL) for i ts devel opment. The deci si on to pri vati se the Gopa l pur port was taken at a cabi net sub·
commi ttee on i nfrastructure devel opment chai red by Chi ef Mi ni ster Navi n Patnai k. As per the deci si on, OSL
woul d i nvest nearl y Rs 750 crores i n two phases for the devel opment of the port under bui l t, operate, own,
share a nd transfer (BOOST) basi s. (OSL to devel op Gopal pur port, Akshaya Kumar Sahoo, AA. B, 27. 02. 06,
G43)
2 0 05 0 6 | Documentation Update |
• H - HI LL AND MOUNTAI N REGI ONS .
HIO Hi l l Touri sm
As temperatures i n the pl a i ns a re headi ng skywards, there' s onl y one pl ace that peopl e a re headi ng to beat
the heat -h i l l s. But there' s a sl i ght di fference t hi s t i me. Whi l e Ooty, Kodai kanal and Munnar a re sti l l hot
favouri tes, thei r appeal has been decl i ni ng wi th commerci al i sati on and l arge crowds. I nstead, travel l ers are
expl ori ng some of the state's own nature desti nati ons. Some of them are sti l l u nexpl ored and most of them
do not have many touri sts so peopl e seem to prefer them.
Accordi ng to i ndustry sources, though hi gh· end travel l ers prefer to go out of the country duri ng the summer
vacati on, a host of other domesti c travel l ers, especi a l ly from North I ndi a, choose to come down South. For
Bangal oreans, Nandi hi l l s conti nue to be a favouri te week· end dest i nat i on, despi te t he bad faci l i t i es. For
l onger hol i days, i t' s ei ther Kodagu or Chi kmagal ur are the preferred desti nati ons, fol l owed by the Western
ghats. (Ooty, Kodai passe, state' s hi l l s beckon touri sts, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 1 9. 05. 05, H l O)
H20 Ni l gi ri s
The a nci ent and pi ct uresque Ni l gi ri hi l l s here have come al i ve t o t he sounds thousands of merry maki ng
touri sts. But ca n i ts fragi l e ecosystem bear the brunt? That i s the questi on envi ronmental i sts were aski ng as
a summer fest ki cked off i n t hi s hi I I resort a nd was offi ci al l y expected t o attract 1 . 5 mi I I i on vi si tors. The
number i s more than doubl e the 700, 000 popul ati on i n the enti re Ni l gi ri s di stri ct, extendi ng across 3, 000 sq
km. Thi s year especi a l l y due to the December 26 tsuna mi , peopl e have chosen to stay away from the coast
and the Ni l gi ri resorts are overfl owi ng. (Can Ni l gi ri s bea r brunt of touri sm? Papri Sri Raman, AA. D, 1 6. 05. 05,
H20)
Why and how shoul d hi l l stati ons/areas l i ke the Ni l gi ri s be devel oped and for whom? These seemi ngl y rhetori cal ,
but vi tal and rel evant, questi ons came up for l ively del i berati ons at a recent semi nar on "Pl anni ng for Devel opment
wi th Conservati on i n Hi l l Stati ons/Areas: A Case Study of Ni l gi ri s" sponsored by the Uni on Pl anni ng Commi ssi on
and organi sed by Save Ni l gi ri s Campai gn (SNC) at Udhagamandal am. The semi nar conveyed a si mpl e message
Mountai n a reas a re d i fferent from the pl a i ns and, therefore, deserve to be t reated di fferentl y; otherwi se
di saster, whi ch wi l l affect the pl a i ns al so, i s bound to fol l ow.
I ncl usi ve pl anni ng: Dr. Jakka Parthasa rathy, Di rector, Tri bal Research Centre, Udha ga mandal am, sai d that
whi l e tri bal s i n t he Ni l gi ri s had access to modern housi ng, educati on and l oa ns from banks, t hey sti l l faced
probl ems l i ke l a nd a l i enat i on, i ndebtedness, depri vati on of ri ghts over forest produce, and l ack of basi c
ameni ti es l i ke dr i nki ng water, el ectri ci ty and heal th faci l i ti es.
Suggesti ng "sustai nabl e l i vel i hood" for i ncl usi ve pl anni ng, M. K. Prasad, Co·ordi nator of Envi ronment Centre,
Keral a Sastra Sahi tya Pari shad (KSSP), sai d thi s concept i s an advance from "susta i nabl e devel opment".
Li nk wi th pl ai ns
" Hi l l areas, catchments areas, water storage and retenti on areas and the watershed areas of pl ai ns associ ated
wi t h h i l l stat i ons a l l need to be vi ewed as one conti guous feat ure for hol i st i c pl a n n i ng, " s he argued. I t i s ,
therefore, necessary t o i denti fy the extent of the area i mpacted by the hi l l s, and pl ans for hi l l stati ons must
be drawn up keepi ng i n mi nd thi s i nterconnectedness.
Soci ol ogi st Si ddhartha Kri shnan, however, cal l ed for a speedy sol uti on to the l ong· pendi ng Janmam l and/
forests di sputes i n t he Gudal ur a rea keepi ng i n mi nd t he aspi rati ons of t he encroachers/farmers i nvolved and
the concerns of conservati on.
"The real probl em i n the Ni l gi ri s l i es i n 40 % of the a rea, of whi ch 90 % i s occupi ed by the tea i ndustry, now
i n deep cri si s, " sai d Kri shnan. Ni l gi ri s i s home to some 65, 000 smal l tea growers. Moreover, al most al l bel ong
to the Badaga communi ty, whi ch i s the s i ngl e l argest i ndi genous group i n the di stri ct
| Docwnentation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
Loomi ng cri si s
Dr. Madhu of Central Soi l and Water Conservati on Research and Trai ni ng I nsti tute (CSWCRTI ) warned that
another cr i si s was l oomi ng i n the tea i ndust ry. Accordi ng to hi m, whi l e tea i s a far better soi l bi nder on the
hi l l s compared to vegetabl es l i ke potato, tea gardens i n the di stri ct a re prone to frequent l andsl i des because
of the l ack of proper d rai nage. I nadequate i nfrastructure, prol i ferat i on of s l u ms, i napl J ropri ate touri st
i nfrastruct ure, l ack of l i qui d and sol i d waste management systems, l ack of coordi nati on and conf l i ct i ng
i nterest of government agenci es pl ague the di stri ct even after 140 years of admi ni st rati on. A zero·tol erance
approach to untreated waste and non· bi odegradabl e materi al s wi l l ensure the protecti on of fragi l e ecosystems
l i ke the Ni l gi ri s, added Tara Mural i . Most speakers ci ted the recent successful ban on har mful pl ast i c bags i n
t he di st ri ct .
Touri sm
Stati ng that a di st ri ct so dependent on touri sm does not have a ny i dea about how to promote i t, Dr. Raza k
cal l ed for a Touri sm Devel opment Pl a n so that the touri sm potenti al of the di st ri ct c a n be tapped profi tabl y
i n consonance wi th the needs of the envi ronment.
Sai d Tara Mural i , "The day touri st i s often a person seeki ng amusement and who contri butes l i ttl e to the l ocal
economy . . . . he i s a l so a maj or pol l uter because of the number of buses and other motori sed vehi cl es that
come up the hi l l s. Tour i sm faci l i t i es avai l abl e i n h i l l areas must be restri cted to those conformi ng to eco·
touri sm and for the di scerni ng eco·touri st. "
Dr. Sathyanarayanan of the Anthropol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a, however, cauti oned that eco· touri sm coul d not
succeed wi thout l ocal part i ci pati on. Ci ti ng the expl oi tati on of the Todas i n the name of cul tural touri sm, he
sai d, "Great i nterference and cul tural i nj ury have been caused to thei r pri vacy. " ( Ni l gi ri s: An acti on pl an to
save the hi l l s, Dharmal i ngam Venugopal , TH. B, 02. 1 0. 05, H20)
H30 Hi mal ayas
A group of Asi a n and European mountai neers wi l l c l i mb Mount Everest t hi s spr i ng t o cl ean up tonnes of
garbage l eft on sl opes of the worl d' s hi ghest mountai n. The mountai neers from South Korea, Japan, France,
I tal y and Austri a, hel ped by Nepal ese Sherpa gui des, pl an to begi n thei r mi ssi on i n Apri l , duri ng the popul ar
spri ng cl i mbi ng season.
The tea m pl ans to cl i mb to the South Cot at 8, 000 meters, the l ast camp before the push to the 8, 850
summi t. Al though esti mates vary, some say there are 50 tonnes of trash on the Nepal ese si de of the mountai n.
The tea m members are al l vol unteers who wi l l be fi nanci ng thei r own tri ps. (Cl eani ng up Mount Everest, BL. B,
06. 03. 06, H30)
They trekked through the Hi mal ayas for weeks at a t i me, gatheri ng l ocal l ore, surveyi ng the l andscape a nd
wi l dl i fe and harvesti ng ornamental touches for thei r vi l l age from arti sans i n the Kathmandu Val l ey.
After fi ve tri ps to Chi na and Nepa l , thei r worl d sta rted to come a l i ve i n the for m of Serka Zong, a myt hi cal
Nepal ese mountai n vi l l age i n the heart of Wal t Di sney Worl d's Ani mal Ki ngdom theme par k i n Fl ori da . Serka
Zong i s the "preambl e" to Ani mal Ki ngdom' s newest attracti on, Expedi ti on Everest, whi ch offi ci al l y opens on
Apri l 7 » Vi si tors strol l through Serka Zong, wi th its real museum and make· bel i eve I nternet cafe and trekki ng
suppl y store, on t hei r way to a rol l er coaster ri de t hrough the mountai n and an encounter wi th a creat ure
known as the Yeti , the mountai n's legendary protector. The settl ement i s much l i ke a vi l l age i n Nepal . surrounded
by l ush greenery, wi th bui l di ngs adorned wi th wood carvi ngs one woul d see i n the Hi mal aya s. ( Hi mal ayas i s
Di sney' s newest attracti on, BL. B, 19. 3. 06, H30)
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
• K - KARNATAKA •
Kll Pl anni ng
The Karnataka Government wi l l enforce an acti on pl an to check and prevent i l l egal traffi cki ng i n chi l dren and
women i n some parts of the State, the Mi n i ster f or Women and Chi l d Devel opment, T Bhagi rathi
Marual usi ddanagouda, tol d the Legi sl ati ve Counci l . The Government has formul ated the acti on pl an after
hol di ng many workshops on the i ssue i n associ ati on wi th several non·government organi sati ons and wi th the
support of the UNI CEF
The act i on pl an has emphasi sed the need to const i tute watchdog commi ttees at di stri ct , tal uk a nd vi l l age
l evel s to prevent i l l egal traffi cki ng i n chi l dren and women. Besi des, the Government i n i ts order on May 30,
2005, has formed watchdog commi ttees to protect and rehabi l i tate such chi l dren and women. I t has a l so
consti tuted a State· l evel advi sory commi ttee. (Acti on pl an aga i nst traffi cki ng i n chi l dren, women ready, TH. B,
1 9. 07. 05, K1 1 )
K12 I nfrastructure
Ami dst the boom i n avi ati on, fal l i ng a i r fares and the ai r l i nes' tempt i ng seasonal offers, i t l ooks l i ke the smal l
ci ti es, too, can f i nal l y enj oy thei r pl ace under the sky.
I n Karnataka a l one, the hal f· dozen mi nor ai rports are set to l and i nvestments of Rs 200· 250 crore duri ng
2005 and 2006, for ei ther facel i ft or to bui l d brand new connecti vi ty.
Mangal ore's Baj pe i s goi ng to be made i nternati onal cl ass by mi d·2006. I n Mysore, a new operati onal runway
wi l l gi ve a fresh l ease of l i fe to the i dl i ng ai rport, and that shoul d some what unshackl e i t from Bangal ore a nd
open up new upcountry l i nks for i t. Tradi ng hub Hubl i has a l so got ni ght l andi ng faci l i ti es, whi ch coul d get an
a i r· l i nk wi th Mumbai or touri st hotspot Goa . At heri tage centre Hampi , t he State Government i s convert i ng
J i ndal Vi j ayanaga r Steel Ltd' s pri vate a i rport operator' s l i cence i nto a publ i c one. As a bonus, i t recent l y
cl i nched a pproval s for two Greenfi el d projects, at Gul ba rga and Hassan. Then there i s Bel gaum wai ti ng for a
facel i ft ; there i s al so Bi j apur. (Avi ati on boom: Ai rports i n smal l ci ti es reapi ng benefi ts, Madhumati D S, TH. B,
26. 08. 05, K1 2)
K34 Bangal ore
The Taj Group pl ans to add two more hotel s i n Bangal ore i n the busi ness cl ass and l uxury category to
i ncrease i ts room i nventory from the current 393. The Tata Group' s hospi tal i ty ar m, whi ch operates t hree
hotel s i n the busi ness cl ass and l uxury segment, pl ans to set up one at the I nternati onal Technol ogy Park i n
Whi tefi el d and another near the proposed Banga l ore I nternati onal Ai rport a t Devanahal l i . The Taj Group was
a l so pl anni ng to promote Bangal ore as a l ei sure dest i nat i on, as the ci ty att racts l a rgel y busi ness vi si tors.
(Taj group pl ans 2 more hotel s i n Bangal ore, BL. B, 03. 05. 05, K34)
The prevai l i ng accommodati on crunch i n the premi um hotel category i n Bangal ore may soon be a thi ng of the
past. About 3, 500 l uxury hotel rooms a re due to be created over the next two to t hree years i n the ci ty, a s
some of the bi ggest gl obal brands a re prepari ng to set up properti es here. The ci ty currently ha s 1 , 600· odd
rooms i n the fi ve· star category but these have proved to be tota l l y i nsuff i ci ent . Real estate pl ayers have
sensed a huge busi ness opportuni ty i n the sector and a re bui l di ng worl d cl ass properti es for i nternati onal
brands. Bi g pl ayers l i ke Shangri · La, Marri ott, Hi l ton, and the Carl son Group (wi th the brand Country I nns &
Si tes) wi l l make thei r presence fel t soon.
Hi l ton wi l l establ i sh a 300·room l uxury hotel on Ul soor Road, Marri ott i s putt i ng u p a 250· room hotel UB Ci ty,
whi l e Hong Kong·based Shangri · La wi l l set u p three hotel s i n Bangal ore, al l i n the premi um bracket. Radi sson
j DOClimen ta tio 11 Update j 2 0 05 - 0 6
.
too i s arri vi ng wi th a 350- room hotel . Bangal ore hotel s today enj oy same of the hi ghest tari ffs i n the country
but two years down, i t coul d be a di fferent story_ The customer coul d then be enjoyi ng fi ve sta r faci l i ti es at
rates far more afforda bl e.
And the a ct i on i s not j ust l i mi ted to the fi ve- star segment. There a re t hree- sta r and four- star properti es
comi ng up as wel l , wi th standards better than those avai l abl e today. ( Ba ngal ore to get pl atter of new hotel s;
Over 3, 500 Luxury Rooms May Put An End To Accommodat i on Woes, Dar l i ngton Jose Hector & Suj i t John,
TOI . B, 20. 05. 05, K34)
I nternati onal vi si tors are i ncreasi ngl y prepared to pay more for hotel rooms i n I ndi a, reflected i n the hospi tal i ty
i ndustry' s growi ng forex earni ngs. Bangal ore, despi te fewer star rooms than Del hi or Mumba i , i s generati ng
far hi gher dol l ar yi el ds from each guest. I n fact, i ts hospi tal i ty busi ness i s sai d to often spi l l i nto nei ghbouri ng
Chenna i due to room shortage and h i gh rates. I n the l ast 1 2 months (Jul y 04 to June 05), the hospi tal i ty
i ndustry i n I ndi a's si l i con capi tal has earned more forex ($20. 7 mi l l i on) from gl obal di stri buti on system (GDS)
sal es than Del hi ($1 5.8 mi l l i on), Mumbai ($1 5. 2 mi l l i on) or Chennai ($3.2 mi l l i on). Bangal ore's bi ggest advantage
i s the l arge communi ty of i nternati onal tech corporate who regul arl y fl y i nto the ci ty and patroni se i ts hotel s.
At l east 'for now thi s stream of busi ness shows no si gns dryi ng up, and i s i n fact sai d to be onl y growi ng, year
on year. ( B' l ore tops i n hospi ta l i ty dol l ar earni ng, Gi ri sh Rao, EIB, 30. 07. 05, K34)
The l argest amusement park i n the country ' Wonder· l a ' , nestl ed i n the pi cturesque Bi dadi vi l l age on the
Bangal ore Mysore nati onal hi ghway, 29 km from Bangal ore, wi l l be opened to the publ i c from October 1 . Mr
Kochouseph Chi tti l api l ly sai d that after the success of Veega Land, an I SO 1 4001 certi fi ed amusement park
at Kochi , the V-Guard group had sel ected Bangal ore to pl ay host to ' Wonder- I a' . He sai d the park, comi ng up
i n a sprawl i ng 88 acres of l a nd, was bui l t at an esti mated cost of over Rs 77 crore i n the fi rst phase.
Constructi on work started i n August 2003 a nd was compl eted wi t h a work force of over 1 , 400, i ncl udi ng
engi neers and technocrats. (V· Guard's a musement park 'Wonder- l a' to open i n Bangal ore, BL. B, 22. 09. 05,
K34 / D20b)
K4 Touri sm Pol i cy and Pl ans
The Touri sm Department i s i n the process of const i tuti ng a n expert commi ttee t o l ook i nto ways and means
of i mpl ementi ng t he project, whi ch i ncl udes a ropeway at an a l ti tude of 1 , 478 metres at Nandi Hi l l s . Joi nt
Commi ssi oner, Karnataka State Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on (KSTDC), S N Gowri shankar, sai d t hat the
commi ttee woul d i ncl ude secretari es of vari ous departments i ncl udi ng horti cul ture and touri sm, and woul d
be headed by the Chi ef Secretary The commi ttee wi l l l ater submi t a feasi bi l i ty report t o t he government. A
Nandi Hi l l s Devel opment Author i ty woul d a l so be set u p, a proposal for whi ch has been forwarded to the
gover nment. ( Nandi Hi l l s ropeway on way, Tour i sm department to set up commi ttee soon, S Praveen
Dhaneshkar, VIB: 21 . 06. 05, K40)
Karnataka has drawn up pl ans to i mprove the Hampi heri tage touri sm centre and the coastal areas i n the
State to i mprove the i nfrastructure to attract more forei gn touri sts. The Government has approached both
the Japan Bank for i nternati onal Cooperati on (JBI C) and the Centra l Government to rai se Rs 1 , 200 crore for
the proposed projects to be i mpl emented over fi ve years. The State had al so sought a Rs 61 5 crore assi stance
from the Centre for i mprovi ng a nd strengtheni ng coastal touri sm by provi di ng adequate i nfrastructure i n the
3 1 5- km l ong coastal areas of the State. (Karnata ka draws pl ans to i mprove touri sm, TH. B, 28. 07. 05, K40)
Al though the Karnataka government has i denti fi ed more than 1 50 touri sm desti nati ons i ncl udi ng the famous
Mysore, Hampi and Bangal ore, onl y few attract touri sts around the year. Competi ti on from the nei ghbouri ng
states has, however, forced the state government to gi ve a facel i ft to the l esser known touri s m spots i n the
state. I t i s devel opi ng i nfrastruct ure i n l esser known dest i nati ons l i ke Mel ekotte (where the Chal ukyas had
constructed a fa mous Chel uvaraya Swamy t empl e), Bel ur and Hal ebi du (the pl aces known for anci ent
scul ptures), Badami , Ai hol e, Pattadakkal and Mahakutta . A project, I ntegrated Devel opment of Chi tradurga
Fort, i s al so on i n south Karanataka. Gomateswar Templ e i n Sravanabel agol a has been i ncl uded i n the Ci rcui t
Devel opment Programme. The government pays speci al attenti on here as the Gomateswar festi val i s cel ebrated
once i n 1 2 years and att racts l akhs of J ai ns from across I ndi a. Devel opment work i s bei ng undertaken at
Kokkrebel l ur, under Rural Touri sm Devel opment programme. St Mary's I sl and, Mal pe, Ul l al l and Ma ravante
' :, ) r) | J()cul 1 wnl ul imz l Tpdu[ c |
beaches and Kodachandri hi l l s are other pl ace that i s bei ng devel oped. (Karnataka wakes up to competi ti on,
Jai shankar Jayarami ah, FE. D, 04. 09. 05, K40)
There i s a need to revi ew the taxati on system i n the State to hel p promote touri sm, sai d P K Mohan Kumar,
Regi onal Di rector of t he Taj Group of Hotel s. He sai d a s i ngl e for tax payment has to be put i n pl ace of
mul ti pl e l evi es l i ke sal es tax, l uxury tax and entertai nment tax.
Sett i ng up a touri sm pol i ce pl atoon i n Karnataka on the l i nes of the ones i n Goa, Rajasthan and Keral a woul d
al so proe to he of hel p. Devel opment and upgrading of i nfrastructure i n major ci ti es across t he state woul d
boost touri sm, besi des categori s i ng i nto medi cal , shoppi ng, weekend, cri cket, spa and spi ri tual touri sm, he
sai d. (Taxati on revi ew, a must t o i mprove touri sm, VTB, 1 7. 09. 05, K40)
The Karnataka Hi gh Court has uphel d the amendment i n l uxury tax for the rooms of cl ubs whi ch provi de hotel
type comforts. Justi ce 0 V Shai l endra Kumar, who heard the peti ti on of several Ci ty· based cl ubs l i ke Century
Cl ub, Bowri ng I nsti tute, Bangal ore Cl ub, Bangalore Gol f Club, sai d that the State Goernment has the ri ght to
levy l uxury tax. The Karnataka Luxury Tax Act 1 977 was amended in 2000, whi ch brought i n the proi si on to
extend the l uxury tax to the cl ub rooms whi ch was appl i cabl e to the hotel rooms. Accordi ngly, a 5 % tax was
l evi ed on rooms i n the Rs 1 50· Rs 200 category, 1 0 % for rooms wi th a tari ff of Rs 200· Rs 400 and a tax of
1 2 % for t hose above Rs 400. ( Luxury tax for cl ubs u phel d, VTB, 1 0. 1 1 . 05, K40)
Karnataka government expects touri st fl ows i n the state to doubl e wi thi n next 3·4 years hel ped by i ncreasi ng
partnershi p wi th the pri vate entrepreneurs to promote touri sm i n the state. The a nnual tou ri st f l ow i n the
state duri ng l ast year stood at 45 l akh s, 1 0% of whi ch compri sed of forei gners. A beach resort i s comi ng up
by the end of next month at Karwar whi ch i s a pri vate i ni ti ati ve to promote beach touri s m i n the state. The
government i s al so consi deri ng the methodol ogy by whi ch l ands woul d be offered to the private entrepreneurs
for the devel opment of i nfrastructure whi ch, in turn, wi l l hel p the growth of to touri sm i ndustry.
I n fact, the state tour i sm department has changed i t s theme f rom ' Theatre of I nspi rati on' to ' One State,
Many Worl ds' i n a bi d to promote Karnataka as a major touri st desti nati on i n the country. The total revenue
of Karnataka State Touri sm Corporati on of I ndi a stood at Rs 22 crore for the fi nanci al year 2004· 05. (K' taka
banks on PPP model to enhance touri st i nfl ow, Somasroy Chakraborty, FE. C, 30. 1 1 . 05, K40)
The State Government wi l l for mul ate heri tage regul ati ons on t he conservat i on and protect i on of heri tage
bui l di ngs i n the State. The draft prepared by t he authori ti es wi l l be tabl ed before the l egi sl ature i n March, for
approval . It wi l l gi ve control over al l heri tage structures.
The Regul ati on of Heri tage Structures Act wi l l del egate powers to the government to deci de on the renovati on
and protecti on of heri tage structures. Heri tage commi ssi oner K. R. Ramakri shna sai d the government had
pl anned to bri ng Bi dar, Gul ba rga, Bi japur, Ki ttur, Mysore and Sri ranagpatna, Kudal asangama, Kagenal e a nd
other areas under the heri tage areas.
He di sclosed that the documentati on of al l heri tag bui l di ngs wi th detai l s on style, status, hi storical i mportance
apart from conservati on t i ps for i ndi vi dual heri tage bui l di ngs wi l l al so be conducted. (Govt to formul ate
Heri tage Act, I E. B, 06. 1 2. 05, K40)
The Karnataka Government woul d set up a ' thi n k tank commi ttee' i nvol vi ng experts i n touri sm busi ness to
strengthen the campa ign to attract touri sts i nto the State. The proposal was awai ti ng cl earance the Mi ni ster
for Touri sm, Mr D. T Jayaku mar, sai d t he commi ttee woul d meet once i n three months to gi ve di rect i on to the
i ndustry.
The Mi ni ster sai d that though the budgetary al l ocati on ( pl an and non· pl an) of Rs 75 crore was i nadequate,
efforts woul d be made to have proper coordi nati on between vari ous depart ments.
Pl an detai l s: Gi vi ng detai l s of the proposal s, the Touri sm Secretary, Ms Shanta Kumari , sai d the department
had embarked upon a "touri sm mi ssi on" and i t woul d involve the pri vate sector, muni ci pal i ti es, publ i c works
department etc. The l i st of roads, whi ch needed i mmedi ate attenti on, had been sent to the publ i c works
department. The department had demarcated ni ne new touri st ci rcui ts to enhance touri sm i n Karnataka and
| Document at ion Upc/at e | . 0 6
entrepreneurs woul d be provi ded l and at reasonabl e rates (Ka rnataka to set u p commi ttee to strengthen
tour i sm campai gn, BL. B, 14. 01 . 06, K40)
At a brai nstormi ng sessi on, i nvol vi ng entrepreneurs and government off i ci al s and moderated by ' brandi ng'
speci al i st Hari sh Bi j oor, Tour i sm mi ni ster D T Jayakumar sai d the department pl ans a publ i c· pri vate ' thi nk
tank' or advi sory commi ttee t o moni tor t he sector.
New pl ans: Thi s stress on ' pr i vati si ng' the sector found echoes i n the vi ews of Jungl e Lodges and Resorts
(JLR) MD Vi nay Luthra a nd pri nci pal secretary touri sm, Shanta kumar i . She sai d the department i s formi ng
ni ne touri sm ci rcui ts: l i ke Mal nad Coastal Karnataka and Hampi · Badami · Pattadakal ·Ai hol e. Luthra sai d J LR
and I nfrastructure Devel opment Corporati on of Karnataka, wi l l i n a month' s ti me, fi nal i se a study of unopened
wi l derness i n Karnataka. "We wi l l categori se pl aces i nto A, B and C zones. Onl y JLR wi l l operate i n 'A' zone;
i n ' B, ' we wi l l set up i nfrastructure but outsource management and i n ' C' , we wi l l acqui re the l and a nd gi ve i t
to pri vate parti es, " he added. (Touri sm on rebrandi ng mode; Karnataka wi l l Cash i n on i ts Many Desti nati ons,
TOI . B, 14. 01 . 06, K40)
The Karnataka Government, whi ch has pl an ned vari ous touri sm devel opment acti vi ti es, has submi tted a Rs
61 1 ·crore proposa l to the Centre. Mr D.T Jaya kumar, sai d that the devel opment of Maravanthe and Mal pe
beaches i n Udupi di stri ct, Panambur beach i n Da kshi na Kan nada di st ri ct, a nd Goka rna beach i n Utta :a
Kan nada di stri ct i s i ncl uded i n thi s proposal .
He sai d t hat t he project proposal s a re l i kel y t o be i ncl uded i n t he forthcomi ng Budget. The Government has
requested t he Centre to rel ax coastal regul ator zone nor ms i n t he State, a s they have come i n t he way of
beach touri sm devel opment. He sai d some private parti es have shown i nterest i n beach touri sm. The Mi ni ster
sai d that t hree houseboats a re ready for i naugurati on at Devbagh i n Karwar of Uttara Kannada di stri ct. Rs
61 1 crore proposal al so i ncl udes the devel opment of adventure touri sm i n the State. (Karnataka submi ts Rs
61 1 · cr tour i sm proposal to Centre, BL. B, 1 0. 02. 06, K40)
Buoyed by the enhanced budgetary a l l ocati on for touri sm (from Rs. 1 6 crores to Rs. 52 crores), the Touri sm
Department has chal ked out several progra mmes t o f i rm u p publ i c· pri vate partnershi ps. Confi r mi ng t hi s
strategy at "Con nect ' 06· Ka r nataka Tou ri sm" organ i sed by t he department, Deputy Chi ef Mi ni ster B. S.
Yedi yurappa and Touri sm Mi ni ster B. Sri ramul u sai d fi nance wi l l not be a constrai nt t o tap the touri sm potenti al
of Karnataka.
Whi l e the pri vate sector l i sted out roadbl ocks i n devel opi ng, touri sm i n the State, government offi ci al s, l ed by
Pri nci pal Secretary L. Shanta kumari , hel d out promi ses, stati ng that these cha l l enges have to be overcome
together. Acknowl edgi ng the stumbl i ng bl ocks i n touri sm, Ms. Sha ntaku ma ri sai d the Government wi l l come
up wi th a road ma p that wi l l be pro·acti ve. The depa rtment has i denti fi ed 700 km of roads l eadi ng to va ri ous
touri st desti nati ons and these wi l l be repai red/upgraded by zi l l a panchayats and the Publ i c Works Department
at a cost of Rs. 50 crores. Ms. Shantakumari sai d the other chal l enges i ncl ude strengtheni ng publ i c· pri vate
partnersh i p, upgradi ng touri sm· rel ated i nfra structure, cl eara nce of projects by si ngl e wi ndow agency, i mprovi ng
a i r and road connecti vi ty, rel axati on of taxati on pol i ci es such as exempti on from entry tax, and power and
water subsi dy for hotel s.
She sa i d t he department has devel oped ei ght ci rcui ts coveri ng 98 touri st desti nati ons. They are Bel gaum
( 1 1 desti nati ons) , Madi ker i ( 1 1) , Mal na d ( 1 9) , Bi j apur ( 1 7), Mai dan ( 1 2), Southern I ( 7) and I I (6), and
Coastal ( 1 5) .
At these desti nati ons, t he devel opment wi l l be at three level s: strengtheni ng basi c faci l i ti es, provi di ng ameni ti es
for budget travel ! ers and setti ng up three· star and fi ve star accommodati on. For the budget travel l er, i t wi l l
i nvi te pri vate entrepreneurs t o devel op a nd operate touri st compl exes, restaura nts a n d amusement parks.
(Road map to devel op touri sm on the cards, TH. B, 26. 03. 06, K40)
K50 Touri sm I ssues
The wave of new economy i s set to rouse Mysore i nto ful l wakeful ness wi th a touri sm expert panel suggesti ng
more active ni ghtl ife that wi l l i nject a booster shot to the ready·to·soar touri sm i n the ci ty. An expert commi ttee,
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whi ch i s studyi ng Mysore under the ' Desti nati on Touri sm' project for the l ast two days, sai d the ci ty "l acks
vi brancy". "Very l ittl e of l ate eveni ng and n ight acti vi ty" sai d Neeraj Bachkethi . V· P (consul tancy and busi ness
devel opment), I ndi a Tour i sm Devel opment Corporati on . The commi ttee hel d a meet i ng wi th the ci vi c
stakehol ders to boost touri sm sector. The ci ty has been swal l owi ng up suburban outback i n i ts growth i n the
l ast two decades, but ni ghtl i fe i s con spi cuous by i ts near· absence. Al so, the commi ttee suggested
strengthen i ng of tour i st i nfrastruct ure, for whi ch funds a ren' t a probl em, accordi ng to the panel chi ef. The
panel wi l l submi t i ts report i n t hree weeks and the project i s l i kel y to be sancti oned by August, 05.
Fl oati ng restaura nt: The commi ttee a l so suggested a ' fl oati ng restau ra nt' at Dalvoy Lake and fountai ns wi th
i l l umi nati on at Kukkarahal l i Lake to gi ve a boost to touri sm i n Mysore. ( Mysore, ti me to rock! I TDC Suggests
Ni ghtl i fe, Bazaars, TOI . B, 1 9. 04. 05, K501 B31 )
Interview with Mahendra Jain, Tourism Commissioner, KSTDC
Q. Why has Karnataka been u na bl e to attract a s many touri sts as has Keral a?
A. I n overa l l terms, our a rri val s a re onl y margi nal l y l ess than Keral a 's , both domesti c and
forei gn. However, consi deri ng t hat Karnataka i s f i ve t i mes bi gger, i n t er ms of s i ze and
popUl at i on, t he numbers wi l l not seem i mpressi ve. Besi des, Keral a began consci ousl y
promoti ng touri sm 20 years a go, whereas we began l ess than a decade back. However, our
efforts have begun yi el di ng resul ts much faster.
Q. When i nfrastructure i s the key, why hasn' t Karnata ka real i sed thi s?
A. That' s not true. Over the l ast few yea rs, the state gover nment has underta ken projects to
provi de basi c i nfrastructure to key desti nati ons.
R
oads and waysi de faci l i ti es have been set·
up i n many pl aces. But we need pri vate partners to set up hotel s and restaurants. I n Pattadkal ,
our other heri tage si te, there i s no hotel at al l . I t i s t hi s a rea that we a re worki ng on.
Q. When t he real i sati on i s there, why a re budgetary al l ocati ons not matched?
A. Each state sets i ts own pri ori ti es. Unl i ke Keral a, Karnataka has other strong sectors l i ke
I T and BT whi ch have brought the state revenues a nd name. For Keral a, touri sm i s the mai n
i ncome· generati ng sector and so i t i s a pri ori ty for them. For us, there a re other pri ori ti es and
hence a l l ocati ons a re based on pri ori ti es. We have Rs 16. 5 c rore for 2005· 06 whi l e they
have Rs 76. 25 crore. We have a bout Rs 1 crore for publ i ci ty and promot i on whereas they
have more t han Rs 1 2 crore.
(Karnataka touri sm, a tri p tease? Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 29. 04. 05, K50)
Touri sm a rri val s i nto Karnataka went up by a bout 20 percent i n t he year of the coal i ti on government. But that
was not due to the new di spensat i on. I n fact, Ka rnata ka i s probabl y the onl y state i n the country whose
touri s m al l ocati on has gone down. From Rs 17 crore i n 2004·05, i t was cut to Rs 1 6. 5 crore for the current
year.
Wi th l ess than a crore for publ i ci ty and promoti on l ast yea r, Karnata ka touri sm fa i l ed to even publ i ci se i ts
tour i st potenti al . Much of rest of the al l ocati on has gone towards meet i ng admi ni strati ve expenses, l eavi ng
very l i ttl e for i nfrastructure.
Worse sti l l , the state gover nment has been u nabl e to meet t he promi ses i t made i n i ts budget. Though
touri sm appeared to be l ow on the coal i ti on government' s pri ori ti es, Deputy Chi ef Mi ni ster Si ddara mai ah
announced hi s (the government' s) i nterest i n preservi ng the state's heri tage i n hi s 04·05 budget.
Mysore was decl ared a heri tage ci ty, whi l e fi ve others Sri rangapatna, Bi dar, Bi j apur, Gul ba rga and Ki ttur ­
were desi gnated heri tage towns, t he post of heri tage commi ssi oner was created, a seni or l AS offi cer was
' DOCll 1 l l ent ai ion ( · | 0 0 ' 0 ,)
posted a nd was given al l of Rs 3 crore. But l i ke a l l good t hi ngs, it was short l ived. Barel y weeks l ater, the
offi cer was out. The heri tage pi a n i s sti l l bei ng formul ated, whi l e nobody has accounted for the Rs 3 crore.
Fortunatel y for Karnataka, the Centre dra mati cal ly i ncreased fundi ng a nd provi ded the state over Rs 40 crore
l ast yea r, whi ch enabl ed the government to i mprove faci l i ti es at many pl aces. These i ncl ude expansi on of
some eco·touri sm acti vi ti es, i ncl udi ng the preparati on of a feasi bi l i ty report, devel opment of Bannerghatta
Nati onal Park, devel opment of Kodagu a nd a Kodava heri tage centre i n Madi keri , i ntegrated devel opment of
Chi tradurga Fort, devel opment of the northern and southern ci rcui ts, devel opment of the Bhadra wi l derness
camp a nd a few other touri st centres. ( Monumental negl ect of touri sm, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 20. 05. 05,
K50)
The proposed entry of Bri ti sh Ai rways, Northwest Ai r l i nes, Ai r France a nd addi ti onal f l i ghts from Lufthansa
i nto Bangal ore has thrown some fresh busi ness opportuni ti es and greater pressure on rooms of fi ve· star
hotel s. Accordi ng to market sources, Le Meri di en has managed to corner the l argest share of crew busi ness,
fol l owed by the Leel a a nd Oberoi . An est i mated 4, 200 seats a week ( 1 9 f l i ghts) wi l l he a dded to the ci ty's
i nventory from thi s November. Even i f a fi fth of t hem opt for star hotel rooms, the addi ti onal demand· suppl y
gap wi l l be at l east 840 rooms weekl y. Fi nal l y, there may not be enough rooms to expl oi t t hi s busi ness
opportuni ty.
Whi l e the crew busi ness does not necessar i l y guarantee the hi ghest room tari ff, i t defi ni tel y promi ses fi xed
uti l i sati on through the year for the hotel s. I t i s however sai d by sources that Bangal ore crew occupancy rates
are hi gher than other metros l i ke Mumba i or Del hi gi ven i ts hi gher average room real i zati ons. Bangal ore has
1 , 600 odd fi ve star rooms -a number whi ch fal l s short by a l most 1 00% duri ng peak season. The fi ve star
hotel s i n Bangal ore a re expected to regi ster occupancy i n excess of 88% thi s wi nter. Si nce weekends taper
out, i t mea ns dur i ng week days there may be over 1 00% occupancy or more t han one set of guest/guests
stayi ng a nd vacati ng the room on the same day_
I nci denta l l y, the c i ty's a i rport i s a l ready faci ng t remendous pressure wi th i t s l i mi ted space. The a i rport
handles a round 57 i nternati onal fl i ghts i n a week now, whi ch wi l l be raised to 76 from November ( More ai rl i nes
spel l money for upmarket hotel s, Gi ri sh Rao, ETB, 20.08. 06, K50 / K34)
The Mysore di stri ct admi ni strati on has i ntroduced a "Home Stays Programme" to accommodate more far-off
touri sts dur i ng the Navaratri festi vi ti es. The programme, al so known as Ati thi , has been i ntroduced for the
fi rst t i me to meet the shortage of accommodati on at hotel s a nd guest houses.
The Home Stays programme has al so i nvited appl i cati ons from Kari gatha i n Sri rangapatna, Hootagal l i , Dattagal l i
a nd Bel avadi on t he outski rts and ol d l ocal i ti es l i ke Fort Mohal l a and Kri shnaragavanam. Some resi dents
have vol unteered to host touri st s a nd serve mal l ige i dly, masal a dosa, Mysore pak.
Houses wi l l be categori sed as A, B and C groups and tari ff fi xed accordi ngly. Any harassment to touri sts wi l l
be sternl y deal t wi th. Offi ci al s wi l l l i st Mysorean fami l i es el i gi bl e to extend ' Home Stays' . A brochure wi l l be
publ i shed enl i sti ng detai l s of the houses; phone numbers and the tariff to enabl e touri sts fi nd homely stays.
( Mysore homes open for tou ri sts, BY K Shi vakumar, I E. C, 22. 09. 05, K50)
A touri sm park wi l l be set up i n 1 00 acres of l and nea r the i nternati ona l a i rport comi ng up at Devanaha l l i ,
near Banga l ore, at a n est i mated cost of Rs. 50 crores, Mi ni ster for Tour i sm D. T. Jaya cha ndra ha s sa i d. A
master pl an has been prepared for the park, whi ch i s proposed to be devel oped by the Centre a nd the State
Government. I t wi l l offer packaged tours coveri ng l eadi ng touri st centres i n the State.
Fou rteen Jungl e Lodges and Resorts a re bei ng given a face· l i ft. I t has been deci ded to hand over 18 hotel s
mai ntai ned by the Karnataka State Tou ri sm Devel opment Corporati on (KSTDC) to ONGC to devel op them on
a Bui l d·Own·Operate a nd Transfer (BOOT) basi s. (Rs. 50- crore tou ri sm park on the cards, TH. B, 18. 01 . 06,
K50)
.
Mysoreans a re of l ate bei ng dubbed as the wrong peopl e i n the ri ght pl ace. For, they have mi serably fai l ed i n
pl ayi ng host to the fl ow of touri sts, whi ch has touched an al l ·ti me hi gh i n recent ti mes. The home· stay concept
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i ntroduced by Touri sm Department has met wi th col d response from the l ocal s. I ntroduced duri ng l ast Dasara,
at present j ust two househol ds i n the enti re city i s offeri ng home·stay faci l i ty.
I nteresti ngl y, the concept has worked out wel l i n the nei ghbouri ng di st ri ct of Kodagu. Here, nearl y 400
househol ds are runni ng the busi ness, even posi ng a threat to l ocal hotel s. (Stay· home touri sm fai l s to i nterest
Mysoreans, P M Raghunandan, DH. B, 07. 02. 06, K50)
I n a j udgment of far· reachi ng consequences, the Supreme Cour t has hel d runni ng a hotel i n a resi denti al area
i s i mpermi ssi bl e. A Di vi si on Bench com pri si ng Justi ce S B Si nha and Just i ce P K Bal asubramanyam hel d
such change of l and use (to hotel s) cannot be permi tted under the provi si ons of Town and Country Pl anni ng
Act.
The r ul i ng was gi ven i n a case where a person had purchased a house i n Jayanagar, a resi denti al area. He
appl i ed wi th the BOA for change of l and use, whi ch was subsequentl y granted. However, when he started a
restau rant on the l and, resi dents of Jayanagar 5th Bl ock chal l enged the same.
The Kar nataka Hi gh Court, however rejected, thei r peti ti on sayi ng objecti ons had been cal l ed for from the
Wel fare Associ ati on whi ch had sai d i t had no objecti on.
Aggri eved resi dents then approached the Supreme Court. The Apex cour t , whi l e sett i ng asi de the Hi gh
Court order, hel d that r unni ng a hotel i n a resi denti al area i s not per mi ssi bl e havi ng regard to the zoni ng
regul ati ons.
Change i n Land use
• Secti on 1 4·A of the Town and Country Pl anni ng Act states change i n l and use
• Shoul d be one i n publ i c i nterest
• Change shoul d not contravene any provi si ons of the Act
• Proosed changes shoul d be i nti mated i n one or more dai ly newspaper
(No hotel s i n resi denti al areas, VT. B, 08. 03. 06, K50)
K51 Coastal Touri sm
Udupi MLA K. Raghupathi Bhat has opposed the move to pri vati se Ma/ pe Beach i n the name of tour i sm
devel opment. Bhat sai d at a news conference that promoters of Paradi se I sl e Beach Resort, devel oped at
Mal pe Beach, have been t ryi ng to take possessi on of t he beach depri vi ng the publ i c of t he ri ght t o use i t .
They have al so been pressuri ng the Government t o vacate fi shermen' s houses from t he vi ci ni ty, al l egi ng CRZ
vi ol ati ons. Bhat opposed the move of bi o fenci ng the beach and al l otti ng the beach area to a pri vate par ty.
( Privati sati on of Mal pe Beach opposed, I E. B, 06. 04. 05, K51 )
The Mi ni ster for Touri sm, D.T. Jayakumar, has sai d that the government i s pl anni ng to promote beach touri sm
i n a bi g way i n the State. Addressi ng presspersons, Mr. Jayakumar sai d the State has 3 1 5 km of pri st i ne
beaches i n Uttara Kannada and Dakshi na Kannada di stri cts. The Government i ntends t o bui l d a road cl ose to
the coast under its "Mari ne Drive" project. The Government wi l l approach either the Worl d Bank or the Asi an
Devel opment Bank (ADB) to fi nance t he devel opment of the mari ne drive. The potenti al of beach touri sm i n
the State i s i mmense, he sai d.
States such as Goa and Keral a have promoted beach tour i sm i n a bi g way. There are more than 1 8, 000
rooms by the si de of the beaches i n Keral a and nearl y 30, 000 i n Goa. Si nce the Coastal Regul ati on Zone
(CRZ) norms make i t diffi cul t to bui l d hotel s near the seashore, the Government wi l l encourage fami l i es havi ng
beachsi de houses to bui l d addi ti onal rooms.
Thi s wi l l sol ve the probl em of room shortage and al so generate addi ti onal revenue for the fami l i es concerned,
besi des hel pi ng touri sm i n the State. Towards thi s end, the Government wi l l promote the concepts of "fami ly
touri sm" and "vi l l age touri sm. " The cooperation of the peopl e i s essenti al for the success of touri sm, he sai d.
| Documentat ion [ lpdal e | . a 0 5 - 0 6
Sea erosi on: O n tacki ng sea erosi on, the Mi ni ster sai d the mari ne dri ve project mi ght a l so hel p sol ve the sea
erosi on probl em i n some a reas of the coastdl di stri cts. Sea erosi on i s a recur ri ng probl em. Efforts wi l l be
made to fi nd a l asti ng sol uti on to i t, Mr. Jayakumar sai d. (Karnataka to promote beach touri sm, TH. D, 05. 06. 05,
K5 1 )
The former Chi ef Mi n i ster of Ka rnataka , Mr Veerappa Moi ly, has sai d that i ndust ri a l i sts have not come
forward to establ i sh a ny i ndustry i n the coastal di stri cts of Ka rnataka for t he l ast several years due to
resi stance by envi ronmental i sts. He sai d that envi ronmenta l organi sati ons are opposi ng the i mpl ementati on
of smal l , medi um and l arge i ndustri es i n the name of envi ronment protecti on. The di stri ct admi ni strati ons of
Dakshi na Kan nada and Udupi shoul d t ake stri ct acti on to prevent any i nconveni ence to i nvestor s. C Eco
acti vi sts i mpedi ng i ndustri al acti vi ty i n coastal Karnataka' , TH. B, 29. 08. 05, K51 )
The Ka rnataka Hi gh Court ordered the removal of a l l i l l egal encroachments a nd constructi ons o n Mal pe
beach i n Udupi , whi ch vi ol ated the coastal regul ati on zone (CRZ) noti fi cati on.
I n i ts order, a Di vi si on Bench, compri si ng Just i ce B. Padmaraj and Justi ce V Jagannathan, sai d the beach wi l l
have t o be kept cl ean and that the CRZ noti fi cati on had been i ssued t o protect the ecol ogy a n d envi ronment
i n coastal a reas. Constructi ons rai sed i n vi ol ati on of such regul ati ons coul d not be condoned and al l such
structures woul d have to go.
The Bench passed the order on publ i c i nterest l i ti gati on ( PI L) peti ti on by Murthy K. of Bangal ore seeki ng a
di recti on to remove encroachments, i l l egal structures and s l ums on t he beach. (Cl ear encroachments on
Mal pe beach, says court, TH. B, 1 9. 1 1 . 05, K51 )
K53 Heri tage Touri sm
The Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) and t he Karnataka State Road Transport Corporati on (KSRTC) a re
l i kel y to si gn a MoU on pl yi ng buses wi t hi n the Wor l d Heri tage Si te of Hampi . The proposal i s a i med at
provi di ng transportati on t o touri sts t o go from one hi stori cal monument t o another. The i dea, i f i mpl emented,
wi l l prevent the movement of pri vate vehi cl es wi thi n the heri tage si te to a great extent . The pl a n i s to pl y
buses between Vi rupaksha Templ e and the Vi jaya Vi thal a templ e compl ex, vi a ' Kadl eka l ' , and ' Sasi vekal '
Ganesh i dol s, Ugra Na rasi mha, Queen's bath, Mahanavami Di bba, Lotus Mahal , the el epha nt stabl es, and
Hazara Rama Templ e. The tou ri sts ca n board these buses, whi ch wi l l make ci rcui t tri ps, and a l i ght at t he
pl aces of thei r choi ce before movi ng on to another monument. ( Pl an to make touri sts' Hampi vi si t memorabl e,
M Ahi raj , TH. B, 08. 04. 05, K53)
The worl d' s ta l l est monol i thi c statue, toweri ng 58 ft i nto the sky, i s the cynosure of al l eyes i n thi s cel ebrated
pi l gri mage centre a s i t awai ts the grand Mahamastakabhi sheka i n February 06.
Whi l e t he authori ti es draw u p pl ans t o handl e mi l l i ons of peopl e expected t o a rri ve i n t he days l eadi ng t o the
mai n event, the Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ), Bangal ore Ci rcl e, has taken up conservati on measures
on the 1 , 000- yea r· ol d Gomateshwara statue atop the I ndragi ri Hi l l s whose beni gn smi l e seems t o be
appreci ati ve of t he work i n progress.
Conservati on measures: The Superi ntendi ng Archaeol ogi st of the ASI , Bangal ore Ci rcl e, S. V. P Hal katti sai d
the statue i tsel f i s i n good condi t i on, but the support i ng structures need to be strengthened i n vi ew of the
massi ve turnout expected from a l l over I ndi a and the wor l d.
The ASI has fol l owed sci enti fi c conservati on pri nci pl es i n t he process. Tradi ti onal constructi on materi al s that
went i nto the maki ng of the monument and i ts surroundi ng structures have been used, " he sai d. The ASI has
outsourced some of the services and roped i n conservati on a rchitects speci al i si ng i n restorati on of monuments
and heri tage structures. Dr. Hal katti sai d conservati on efforts were undertaken by the department i n the
past, but now there a re speci al i sts who understand the pri nci pl es of heri tage conservati on and a re a bl e to
meet our requi rements. (Shravanabel agol a bei ng spruced up fast by ASI , R. Kri shna Kumar, TH. B, 14. 06. 05,
K53)
A comprehensive vi l l age devel opment project i n a l i ttl e vi l l age cal l ed Anegundi , a stone' s throw from Hampi ,
i s al l set t o become t he nati on' s model for r ur al touri sm. Constantl y under Hampi 's shadow, Anegundi has
:�) C ( , - : J C, | nocl / ment at ion Updae |
never gai ned promi nence. However, the l i ttl e vi l l age i s a home to numerous templ es and a rchi tecture whi ch
pre·date Hampi . As part of the central government sponsored rura l touri sm, Anegundi i s now gai ni ng i mportance
on i ts own steam.
" I n a ssoci at i on wi th a l ocal NGO Ki shki nda Trust, mul t i faceted devel opment has been taki ng pl ace. Apart
from essenti a l i nfrastruct ure, a l ot of ski l l s and empl oyment generati on programmes have been l aunched.
Local women have been t aught to ut i l i se l ocal l y avai l a bl e mater i al to ma ke a vari ety of a rt i cl es a nd sel l
them, " Touri sm Commi ssi oner Mahendra Jai n.
However, more novel s are the concept of converti ng a nci ent houses i nto guest roams for touri sts, whi ch a re
mai nta i ned and managed by the l oca l s. I n t andem, the Trust has u ndertaken a vari ety of conservat i on
measures encompa ssi ng both archi tecture and cul ture. and showcased for touri sts. Anegundi i s a mong fi ve
rural touri sm projects that the central government has chosen for fundi ng i n Karnataka. Of the other four i n
Karnataka, Banavasi near Si rsi and Nal aknadu pal ace i n Kodagu are bei ng taken up as a rchi tectural l ocati ons.
The remai ni ng two desti nati ons a re eco·touri sm spots: Kokkarebel l ur near Mandya and Atti veri bi rd sanctuary
i n Uttara Kan nada di stri ct. ( Rural touri sm to change Anegundi ' s face, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 1 9. 07. 05, K53
/ K54)
The dangers of pol l uti on are hoveri ng over the Hampi worl d heri tage si te. 'The Central government funded Rs
2, 1 00 crore Bel i ary Ther mal Power Stati on i s bei ng set up on NH· 63 near Thora naga l l u on 1 , 767 acres of
l and. The fi rst phase of t hi s 500 mega watt power pl ant i s schedul ed to be compl eted by October 2006.
Envi ronmental i sts are of the opi ni on that once the power pl ant i s i n pl ace, the vari ous gases emi tted from the
pl ant , such as sul phur oxi de, ni tri c oxi de and other gases wi l l si l entl y pol l ute the Hampi si te.
Karnataka Power Corporati on Li mi ted Executi ve Di rector Jayaprakash has, however sai d that a l l measures
a re bei ng taken to ensure that the Hampi si te i s not affected by the sett i ng up of the power pl a nt. He sai d
that RS. 600 erore has been spent towards thi s and as per the Centre rul es; the c hi mney i s bei ng set up at
a hei ght of over 275 metres.
No i mpact study done: The State Archaeol ogy Department has not shown any attenti on to the possi bl e harm
that may be caused to the Hampi rui ns by the emi ssi ons of the thermal power stati on. A seni or offi ci al of the
department sai d that a n i mpact study' on the har m to Hampi by the power pl ant has not yet been done.
State Archaeol ogi cal Department Deputy Di rector' Chi kkamaregowda sai d that fol l owi ng compl ai nts by
concerned ci t i zens a bout the possi bl e har m to Hampi , the repercussi ons a re bei ng l ooked i nto. Hampi
Devel opment Authori ty Chai r man and Bel l ary Deputy Commi ssi oner Arvi nd Sri vastava sai d t hat t he enti re
project has to he revi ewed before it i s executed. CHampi faces da nger ! Thi s t i me from thermal pl ant, M T
Shi vakumar, DH. B, 02. 08. 05, K53)
The Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) has formul ated a major pl an to conduct an � i mpact study' of mi ni ng
on hi stori cal monuments i n and a round Hampi . The draft pl an cal l ed ' ri sk preparedness' i s ready for
i mpl ementat i on. Archaeol ogi sts of nat i ona l and i nternati onal repute wi l l conduct a t horough research on
damage caused t o monuments by fl oods i n the Tunga bhadra , natural cal ami ti es, mi ni ng and other causes.
They wi l l then submi t a det ai l ed report on the steps to be taken towards conservi ng the Ha mpi monuments
to the Central government through the AS! . Thi s measure i s sai d to be one of the rarest acti ons taken by the
ASI i n protect i ng hi stori cal monuments.
Most of the struct ures i n Hampi are weakeni ng after bei ng exposed to the el ements for centuri es together.
The Vi jaya Vi tthal a templ e has devel oped hundreds of cracks fol l owi ng enemy attacks and arson. The ASI has
support beams and pi l l a rs to protect the monument. But a smal l acci dent i s a l l i t takes to ca use grave
damage to the templ e.
Apart from t hi s, hundreds of smal l templ es, mantaps, bast i ons et al a re i n danger of col l a psi ng. Most of
them s port shrubs growi ng out of the crevi ces, nooks and corners. Though l ack of protecti on for centuri es
together i s sai d to be the mai n cause, i t maybe noted here that mi ni ng has a l so contri buted maj orl y to the
si tuati on. Mi ni ng i s carri ed on at Sandur and Hospet whi ch are cl ose by; l arge amount of expl osi ves are bei ng
used on a dai ly basi s. Even bui l di ngs of t he Hampi Kan nada Uni versi ty have not escaped the damage caused
by these expl osi ons, a ccordi ng to Vi ce· Chancel l or Dr BA Vi vek Rai .
I f the ri sk preparedness pl an ki cks off, experts wi l l be abl e to gi ve sui tabl e opi ni on and gui dance on vari ous
topi cs, i ncl udi ng regul ati ng mi ni ng, sci enti fi c conservation of the structures, cl eari ng the encroachments i n
several monuments etc. (Study on mi ni ng i mpact i n Hampi , M T Shivakumar, DH. B, 2 1 . 1 1 . 05, K53)
I f thi s materi al i ses, then the heri tage of Sri rangapatna, renowned for its tryst wi th foreign powers under Ti pu
Sul tan i n hi s fi ght agai nst the Bri ti sh, wi l l receive a thrust from the automobi l e major Mercedes·Benz. It is sti l l
earl y days, but the l egenda ry car manufacturer i n the l uxury segment wi th an envi abl e heri tage of i ts own,
has expressed i nterest i n restorati on of the heritage sites i n Sri rangapatna. Si mi l arly, experts from Engl and
and France are keen to revive the heritage of Sri rangapatna as both the countri es have a hi stori c associ ati on
wi th the i sl and. (Auto major keen to restore heritage of Sri ranga patna; Mercedes·Benz expresses i nterest i n
conservati on efforts i n Ti pu Sul tan's capi tal , TH. B, 06. 1 2.05, K53)
Buddha i s on the rocks agai n: the Centre has upbraided Karnataka for i ts di ametrical l y opposite vi ews on the
proposed statue of Buddha at Ramanaga ram . .
Di d ecol ogi cal wi sdom dawn on the state government by acci dent? That i s the sti nker the Centre has sent to
the state. I n a l etter dated December 6, 2005, the Uni on Mi ni stry of Envi ronment and Forests has l ambasted
the state's forest, environment and ecol ogy department for changi ng its stance overni ght on ecol ogical i ssues
vi s· a· vi s the 7 1 2·foot Buddha statue to be carved out of the Handi gondi rock.
Do thorough fi el d veri fi cati on rather tha n take superfi ci al stands that can be al tered at a l ater date, i s the
Centres' parti ng shot. For now, on paper the Buddha project i s si mpl y off because the state whi ch had
approved the behemoth pl an reversed i ts stance on the project and recommended that it be shel ved. Sources
i n the Sanghamitra Foundati on, the organi sati on that has been fi ghti ng to seethe project take off, say they wi l l
fight i t out i n the court.
Whi l e forwardi ng the Buddha project proposal to the Central govern ment, authori ti es certi fi ed that "the
project woul d not affect any monument of hi storical , rel i gi ous, archaeol ogi cal or recreati onal i mportance . . .
The project woul d not cause any envi ronmental damage . . .
Thi s approval was granted i n November 2004. I n August 2005, the very department that granted unconditi onal
approval di d a 360 degrees shi ft and wrote to the Centre seeki ng withdrawal on grounds of "anti quity of the
rock, i ts archaeol ogical and heri tage val ue, l arge vari ety of fl ora and fauna, cri ti cal l y endangered bi rd and
mammal species". (Buddha statue row gets l i fe, Centre Sends Sti nker to State for Changi ng Stance Overni ght,
Smitha Rao, TOI . B, 1 2. 1 2. 05, K53)
The Gul barga fort i s fighting unsuccessful ly to keep the encroachers at bay. The approach road to thi s hi stori cal
pl ace has been reduced to a pothol e fi l l ed cart·way. Even though the fort and i ts bui l di ngs have been recogni sed
as nati onal monuments by the Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a and is on the touri st map, nothi ng has been
done by the ASI to protect thi s ' magni fi cent bri dge' , except hoards procl ai mi ng that these bui l di ngs are
gui ded by The Anci ent Monu ments and Archaeol ogi cal Remai ns Act of 1 958 (24 of 1 958). Many have
encroached upon thi s l and now. Li nes of nea rl y 200 ' i ! ! egal ' houses dot the vast expanse of the fort area
wi thi n, i ncl udi ng kuccha· pucca, and RCC·roofed houses. (Gul barga fort now fights encroachment, Ananad V
Yamnur, DH. B, 09. 01 . 06, K53)
With many of the pi l gri ms and tourists attendi ng th mi l l enni um first Mahamastakabhi sheka at Shravanbelgoa
al so vi si ti ng Mysore to see its famos tourist spots, the l ocal Jai n Samaj i s gearng up to provi de free l odgi ng
and boardi ng for pi l gri ms passing throuh. More tn 40,00' pilgri ms visiting Mysore wil l be served traditi onal
Raj asthani di shes and south 1 ttn d�li caci es. In 2,[:1 , more thn 200 N'I's from USA, Germany and other
countri es vi si ted the ci ty and proceeded towards Sharavanbel gol a to take part i n the festi val . (Mysore pl ays
host to Jai n pi l gri ms, K Shiva Kumar, I E. B, 10. 01 . 06, K53)
The 700·foot tal l monol ithi c Buddha statue pl anned to be carved out of the rocks at Ramanagaram by the
Bangal ore· based Sangharnitra Foundati on, i s not l i kel y to materi al ise. A year ago, the foundation hel d a major
fund rai si ng programme featuri ng Bol l ywood actors. When detai l s of the statue project came to l i ght, it was
i mmedi atel y opposed by envi ronmental i sts. The statue was to come up at Handi gondi , where a number of
these gi ant rock formati ons stand. The foundati on had offered to buy 1 0 acres of l and around the rocks. The
2 0 05 - 0 6 | f)()lI11H' l l tul ioll Updat |
Uni on Mi ni stry of Envi ronment and Forests i s reported to have wi thdrawn the permi ssi on gi ven for the statue
to be carved out. The Uni on Mi ni stry has al so asked the State Govern ment to consi der decl ari ng the area a
wi l dl ife sanctuary. (Buddha statue project dropped, Uni on Mi ni stry of Envi ronment a nd Forests wi thdraws
permi ssi on , TH. B, 18. 01 . 06. K53)
A team f rom Uni ted Nati ons Educati onal , Sci enti fi c and Cul tural Organi sati on ( UNESCO) i s l i kel y to vi sit the
Hampi Worl d Heri tage Site. The purpose i s to review the i mpl ementati on of suggesti ons a nd gui del i nes i ssued
by UNESCO after Hampi was pl aced i n the " Li st of Worl d Heri tage Si tes i n Danger". The team wi l l di scuss the
steps taken to f i nal i se the I ntegrated Si te Management Pl an ( I SMP) prepared for the management of the
Hampi Worl d Heri tage Si te and gui del i nes bei ng prepared for vi l l ages i n the heri tage si te a rea.
Hampi i s the onl y World Heri tage Si te i n the country to have an I SMP for conservati on, protecti on, management
and devel opment. The I SMP has been prepared by a tea m of experts from t he School of Pl ann i ng and
Architecture, New Del hi , headed by Nal i ni Thakur. The draft I SMP was di scussed at the stake· hol ders' meeti ng
i n Hospet l ast year. Representati ves of U NESCO par t i ci pated i n the meet i ng. ( UNESCO tea m to i ns pect
Hampi thi s mont h, TH. B, 05. 02.06, K53)
Wi th onl y two days to go for the Mahamastakabhi sheka to begi n, al l rooms i n hotel s a nd l odges i n the di stri ct
headquarters are f ul l . Jai n pi l gr i ms from north I ndi a had booked hotel rooms two months i n advance.
Wi th accommodati on bei ng l i mi ted i n and a round Shravanabel agol a, tour i sts and pi l gr i ms have chosen to
camp i n Hassan, whi ch i s about 50 km from the pi l gri m town. Wi th the KSRTC depl oyi ng addi ti onal buses to
Shrava nabel agol a from Hassan, many peopl e feel commuti ng woul d not be a probl em.
Hoysal a Vi l l age on the outski rts of the ci ty has 33 rooms, and they had been booked i n November i tsel f sai d
Sabu Varghese, manager of the resort The si tuati on i s si mi l ar i n Southern Star. The hotel management has
reported ful l occupancy for three days from February 8th. Rooms had been booked some si x months ago. The
hotel has h i red peopl e to cook Jai n food for enti re February.
Accordi ng to sources i n Mahamastakabhi sheka Commi ttee ( MMC), Shravanabel agol a i s a s ma l l town
admi ni stered by the gram panchayat and i t has gai ned a semi - urban stat us by vi rtue of bei ng a pi l gr i m
centre and a touri st desti nati on. Though i t has good accommodati on faci l i ti es wi th guesthouse i t i s diffi cul t t o
provi de accommodati on for everyone. The satel l i te towns that have come u p are expected to accommodate
more than 30, 000 vi si tors. Efforts have been made to provi de al l faci l i ti es i n these towns. There has been a
del ay i n compl et i ng t he work on the fi ve types of cottages. The cottages a re expected to accommodate
nearl y 300 peopl e. But the del ay i n compl eti on of the work has created probl ems for t he MMC. However, the
commi ttee i s hopeful of getti ng at l east 10 cottages ready. ( Hotel s report f ul l occupancy of rooms, TH. B,
06. 02 .06, K53)
J i ndal South West Fou ndati on, the CSR arm of the JSW Steel Ltd. , has taken up the restorati on of the Worl d
Heri tage Si te, Hampi i n Vi jayanagar. The restorati on work has begun wi th the Sri Chandramoul eshwara templ e
l ocated on the north east of Hampi , on t he banks 0 of the ri ver Tungabhadra whi ch i s on the i sl and of
Ri shi kmukh.
The Hampi Foundati on , the phi l anthropi c ar m of the J SW, was formed i n 2000. I t si gned a MoU wi th the
Gover nment of Karnataka l ast November. The Foundati on i s worki ng wi th Gl obal Heri tage Fund (GHF) i n San
Franci sco and the Worl d Monuments Fund i n New York. The restorat i on process wi l l be done i n two phases.
The f i rst phase i nvol ves condi ti on ma ppi ng, the struct ural consol i dat i on of the templ e a n d the stone
emba nkments, and a l so the a rchi tectural restorat i on of stones, bri ckwork and l i me stucco. The second
phase i nvol ves the i l l umi nati on of t he t empl e a nd t he si te. The whol e process i s l i kel y to be f i ni shed i n two
years. The company i s spendi ng approxi matel y Rs 1 , crore i n t he restorati on project. ( Rai s i ng a ci ty from
rui ns, Sul ekha Nai r, FE. D, 1 9. 02. 06, K53)
Sri kantadatta Narasi mharaja Wadi yar wants to convert heri tage properti es i nto fi ve-star hotel s i n Keral a and
Kar nataka. Wadi yar, who owns the Fer nhi l l Pal ace i n Ooty a nd the u nder· renovati on Raj endra Vi l as Pal ace,
has i denti fi ed a few heri tage properti es that can be converted i nto hotel s i n Leh, Munnar, Koval am, Kochi a nd
Coorg i n South I ndi a.
| Documentation Upciate | 2 0 0 5 0 6
He has al so pl ans to adopt few properti es i n Raj asthan, Guj arat , Pune and other States. The Wadi ya rs have
purchased Woodcock Hal l , a heri tage property, Pal ace of Hyderabad, and Pri me Mi ni ster Sol argi um i n Ooty.
The heri tage property spreads over 2. 5 acres and has 25 rooms wi th wooden fl oori ng. The Regency Vi l l a i s
al so owned by the royal fami l y, Wadi ya r di scl osed t hat t he renovated heri tage properti es i n Keral a a re very
popul ar among touri sts. There are pl a ns to i nvest $90 mi l l i on i nc l udi ng $50 mi l l i on on the ai rl i nes project and
$40 mi l l i on to convert heri tage properti es i nto hotel s, whi ch woul d add another 800 rooms i n the next three
years. Wadi ya r sa i d that he has appl i ed for ' No Dues' certi fi cate and wi l l fi l e wea l th tax wi t hi n a coupl e of
weeks. He has al so sought resi denti al certi fi cate from Home Mi ni stry to apply for l i cence to run ai r servi ces
wi thi n a year. Hi s wi fe Promada Devi wi l l redesi gn the heri tage hotel s and the i nteri ors of the ai rcraft. (Wadi yar
t o convert heri tage si tes i nto hotel s. , I E. B, 22. 03. 06, K53)
K55 Eco and Wi l dl i fe Touri sm
I ndi an Peopl e' s Tri bunal (l PT), a non governmental organi sati on ( NGO) dedi cated t o the cause of envi ronment
and human ri ghts, has urged both central and state governments to cancel the enti re Kudremukh nati ona l
pa rk project i n the best i nterest of the t r i ba l s of the regi on. Bri efi ng reporters about the contents of the
report, Suresh sai d the genesi s of a l l the t roubl es faced by the t r i bal s and the unrest i n the Mal nad regi on
was the conversi on of forest area i nha bi ted by the tri bal s i nto the nati onal pa rk. ( NGO dema nds scrappi ng of
Kudremukh nati onal pa rk, VTB, 20. 04. 05, K55)
Country Cl ub ( I ) Ltd (CCl l) has acqui red i ts fi rst wi l dl i fe property ' Bush- Betta ' l ocated i n the Bandi pur
wi l dl i fe nati onal par k nea r Mysore. The acqui si ti on of t he wi l dl i fe resort l ocated on a 20- acre expa nse was
announced by Mr Y Rajeev Reddy, Chai rman and Managi ng Di rector of CCl l. The company has i nvested Rs
20 crore both for acqui si ti on and renovati on of the property. The ' Country Cl ub Bush- Betta Resort' currentl y
has 60 cottages. Country Cl ub pl ans to add another a bout 1 00 rooms i n the Bush- Betta resort i n the next
two yea rs.
To propel i ts growth i n t hi s boomi ng wi l dl ife touri sm, Country Cl ub woul d be i nvesti ng Rs 1 00 crore i n the next
two yea rs. It pl ans to add si x more properti es i n Ooty, Goa , Kha ndal a, Koda i ka na l , Shi ml a a nd Kera l a. I t
woul d soon open i ts offi ces i n New Yor k, UK, a nd maj or ci t i es i n northern I ndi a t o ma rket i ts ti meshare
properti es. (Country Cl ub acqui si ti on, Bl. B, 04. 05. 05, K55)
Devel opi ng touri sm i n Kodagu to boost i ts economy, otherwi se dependent on coffee, has been the favouri te
rhetori c wi th the di stri ct admi ni st rati on, touri st operators, and touri sm authori ti es. No seri ous effort has
gone i nto ma ki ng Kodagu a commerci al l y vi abl e touri st desti nati on, i rres pecti ve of opposi ti on from some
qua rters t hat commerci a l i sm can spoi l the regi on. let hargy and l ack of response have l eft the i ssue of
touri sm devel opment i n Kodagu remai n onl y on pa per.
Systemi si ng trekki ng: The proposed moves of the Jungl e lodges and Resorts (JlR) to systemati se trekki ng
i n the chosen l ocati ons of the Western Ghats, appear to be the ri ght deci si on to attract nature l overs to the
di stri ct. The J lR has reportedl y asked the Forest Depa rtment to prepare a pl an to sta rt t rekki ng operati ons
i n a systemati c manner and to consti tute vi l l age forest commi ttees compri si ng vi l l agers and Forest Department
personnel i n Nal adi , Yavaka padi and Kunj i l a vi l l ages for popul ari si ng trekki ng i n Kodagu.
I n the absence of Government- sponsored touri sm and unresponsi ve pri vate operators, home stay concept
has become very popul ar i n Kodagu. However, home stay fac i l i t i es coul d come under the sca nner of the
di stri ct admi ni st rati on i n the comi ng days beca use some have sta rted expressi ng reservati ons over thei r
functi oni ng. (Attracti ng nature lovers to ' God' s own paradi se' , TH. B, 02. 09. 05, K55)
The Ban nerghatta Nati onal Pa rk, parts of whi ch i s now desi gnated a Bi ol ogi cal Park, i s goi ng to get a facel i ft.
An average of 5000 touri sts a nd l ocal s vi si t Bannerghatta every day and a round 30 % more on weekends.
Wi th such a l arge number of vi si tors throughout the year, the park authori ti es face the probl em of di sposi ng
of pa per, pl asti c and other i norga ni c waste. Wi th few good eateri es in the vi ci ni ty, most vi si tors bri ng pi cni c
l unches wi t h pa per and pl ast i c pl ates. Accordi ng to Forest Depa rtment offi ci al s, the waste l yi ng around
poses a seri ous hea l th haza rd to ani mal s. (Facel i ft for Ban nerghatta Park soon, TH. B, 25. 1 2. 05, K55)
.? 0 0 5 0 6 j Document at io1 l Udat e |
The t hi ck forest area i n Chamaraj anagar di st r i ct , ear l i er under the "control " of Veerappan, i s now bei ng
devel oped i nto a touri sm hot spot by the State Government a nd i s expected to draw the attenti on of touri sts
i n a big way. The Government l aunched the ambi ti ous project " Mystery trai l s" with the l ocal Gi ri j ans roped i n
t o serve as gui des t o the touri sts. An d wi th a nomi nal fee of Rs . 400 per day towards t he trekki ng, the ri ch
Chamaraj anagar forests a re expected to be a bi g draw not merel y to the l ocal touri sts but al so those from
a broad who enj oy t rekki ng i n the Wester n Ghats. Fi rst t i me i n over 25 years that the Gover nment had
deci ded to promote Chamaraj anagar tour i sm desti nati on. (Chama raj a nagar forest a rea to be devel oped as
touri sm hot spot, TH. B, 03. 01 . 06, K55)
Karnataka i s taki ng a l ead rol e i n devel opi ng eco-touri sm i n the country by gui di ng other states a bout the
ni tty-gritty of the projects. The government has set up a separate wi ng under the umbrel l a of the Karnataka
Touri sm Department cal l ed Jungl e Lodges and Resorts (JLR) to offer the conSUl tancy servi ces to other states
to devel op eco-touri sm. Currently, J LR i s provi di ng consul ta ncy servi ces to Ori ssa and Jammu & Kashmi r,
whi l e north easter n states and Madhya Pradesh are i n the pi pel i ne. (Karnataka to hel p other states i n eco­
tour i sm, Somasroy Chakraborty, FE. B, 20. 01 . 06, K55)
The Forest Department i s pl an ni ng to bri ng Bi l i gi ri Rangana Hi l l s once part of the forest bri gands' a rea of
operati on, under the purvi ew of Project Ti ger. The department has proposed to l aunch what i t cal l ed Bi l i gi ri
Rangana Templ e Wi l d Li fe Sanctuary ( BRTWLS) and i s opti mi sti c about the proposal bei ng made part of the
forthcomi ng t i ger census. Karnataka has al ready three -Nagarhol e Nati onal Par k, Bandi pur and Bhadra
ti ger reserve - out of a total 28 t i ger reserves i n the country and al l three were i ncl uded under Project Ti ger.
Accordi ng to offi ci al s, ti ger reserve has a speci al status wi th i ts protecti on and mai ntenance as wel l as the
sal ari es of the staff bei ng met by the Central Government. (BR hi l l s may be i ncl uded i n Project Ti ger, Subhash
Chandra, VT. B, 1 9. 02. 06, K55)
I n order to protect the water bi rd popul at i on i n Bangal ore, the department has mooted an i dea of decl ari ng
certai n wetl ands i n the c i ty a s bi rd conservati on zones. The i dea, a fi rst of i ts ki nd, wi l l not only hel p i n
i mprovi ng the bi rd habi tat i n the Ci ty but enabl e bi rd l overs t o parti ci pate i n conservati on programmes. The
Forest department has al ready begun work i n thi s di recti on. Work on the mappi ng of the wetl ands where the
bi rds arri ve, has begun , whi l e bi rd- ri ch areas l i ke Madi val a l ake, Puttenhal l i Lake, Jakkur and Byramangal a
l ake whi ch attract thousands of bi rds are bei ng moni tored. Once the water bodi es are decl ared as conservati on
zones, they wi l l be brought under the l egal provi si ons and devel oped to protect the l andscape and the f l ora
and fauna of the l akes and surroundi ng areas. (Proposal to convert wetl ands i nto bi rd conservati on zones,
Subhash Chandra , VTB, 27. 03. 06, K55)
K56 Nagarahol e
I t ' s a cl assi c exampl e of how t he I ndi an bureaucracy works duri ng a cri si s and what i t does when t he cri si s
i s past. For once t he ti ger cri si s' whi ch shook t he country van i shed from t he medi a spot l i ght, t he Project
Tiger Di rectorate has resumed i ts ol d ways of functi oni ng.
Not hi ng coul d prove the poi nt better than the i ssue of tri bal resettl ement from Nagarahol e Nati onal Park.
Though 300 tri bal fami l i es are keen on avai l i ng of the rehab scheme and the Forest Department has al ready
bui l t over 1 05 houses, the Project Ti ger Di rectorate has decl i ned to rel ease funds for the resettl ement.
The resettl ement scheme for tri bal s of N agarahol e and Bhadra found a menti on i n the Ti ger Task Force
consti tuted by the Pr i me Mi ni ster to l ook i nto the t i ger cr i si s. The Task Force had a l so recommended that
such model s coul d be emul ated i n other areas as wel l . But, the Di rectorate i s taki ng shel ter behi nd the fact
that the f unds were not compl etel y used duri ng t he l ast f i nanci al yea r and i s t hus thwar t i ng the ent i re
resettl ement process. The tri bal s who have regi stered for the reha bi l i tati on scheme are feel i ng l et down by
the Government.
The onl y t hi ng t he Department i s wai ti ng for i s Central f unds as i t has to gi ve Rs. one l akh i n cash to the
fami l i es whi ch want to move out. The tri bal s shoul d have moved l ast March. Si nce the constructi on of houses
nod the i denti fi cati on the l and was del ayed, the Rs, 1 , 55 crore received from the Centre, whi ch was earmarked
for t hi s purpose, was sent back. Now, the repeated pl eas of the Forest Department have fai l ed to move the
Project Tiger Di rectorate whi ch has not released the money. ( Red tape stal l s Nagarahol e tri bal s' resettl ement,
Vi nay Madhav, I E. B, 1 3. 1 1 . 05, K56)
| Documentat ion Updat e | 2 0 0 5 0 6
K57 Hi l l Touri sm
Chi kmagal ur' s di stri ct admi n i strati on i s a f i r m bel i ever i n the sel f- hel p concept , at l east where tou ri sm i s
concerned_ Mi ffed by the l ow i nterest l evel s i n Chi kmagal ur, especi al ly the l ack of focussed promoti on, the
di stri ct i s attempt i ng an a mbi ti ous campai gn on i ts own, l i nki ng up wi th i nternati onal travel operators and
agents_ The emphasi s wi l l be on nature and wi l dl ife. Chi kmagal ur has breathtaki ngly beauti ful range of mountai ns
studded wi t h coffee pl antati ons. He agreed that mi ni mum faci l i ti es were l acki ng i n some of the desti nati ons.
but i ndi cated that efforts are on to address those i ssues i n phases. (Chi kmagal ur set to l ure gl obal touri sts,
Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 22. 06. 05, K57)
Asi a's l argest coffee pl antati on company Tata Coffee Ltd. has di versi fi ed i nto the hospi tal i ty sector wi th the
l aunch of "Pl antati on Trai l s, " a cl uster of hol i day homes i n Kodagu, set ami dst i dyl l i c coffee growi ng estates
i n and around Pol l i betta, once renowned for i ts hi gh yi el di ng and fi ne fl avoured Coorg mandari ns that were
grown a s a n i nter crop.
Tata Coffee' s hol i day homes are ori gi nal estate homes or bungal ows that were occu pi ed by the pl anters of
Tata Coffee Ltd. i n Kodagu. ' Pl antat i on Trai l s wi l l be i ni ti al ly confi ned to 36 rooms spread over ei ght estates
i n Kodagu. (Tatas l aunch ' Pl antati on Trai l s' , I t wi l l i ni ti al ly be confi ned to 36 rooms i n ei ght estates i n Kodagu,
TH. B, 23. 02. 06, K57)
K59 Gol f Touri sm
Thi s ci ty i s i dea l l y si t uated t o devel op a green bel t of gol f courses a l l around i t , says one of t he wor l d's
l eadi ng "gol f archi tects. " Gol f courses wi l l create j obs for hundreds a nd ear n some hard currency for the
gover nment, says Ronal d W. Fream of the U. S. based Fream and Dal e Gol f Pl an, whi ch provi des gol f course
archi tecture. Apar t from vi si tors, the c i ty has hundreds i n the hi gh- i ncome bracket for whom gol f can be
recreati on, l ifestyle and even a status symbol . Another suggesti on he has i s for gol f courses to be devel oped
as pa rt of the tech parks. ( Bangal ore i deal for golf touri sm: expert, TH. B, 06. 09. 05, K59)
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation C Tpdate |
. L - KERALA .
Ll0 Pol i cy, Economy
The Keral a Gover nment has drawn up an acti on pl an wi th an outl ay of Rs 1 3, 495 crore to i mpl ement the
projects i denti fi ed for i ts 'Vi si on 201 0' programme. The Governor, Mr R. L. Bhat i a, sai d that fi ve task forces
had i denti fi ed the projects t hat woul d be i mpl emented over t he next fi ve years. The share of the State
Government i n the outl ay wi l l be 1 6 %, whi l e the Centre wi l l contri bute 6 %. I nvestments from pri vate sector
and fi nanci al i nsti tuti ons wi l l account for the bal ance amount. (Rs 1 3, 495- cr acti on pl an for ' Vi si on 201 0' ,
BL. B, 04. 02. 06, Ll O)
Lll Pl anni ng
Keral a woul d bri ng i n a comprehensi ve l egi sl ati on to ban chi l d l abour i n the state, Labour Mi ni ster Babu
Di vakaran sai d. The draft for the l egi sl ati on was bei ng consi dered by the cabi net, Mr Di vakaran sai d. Though
chi l dren under 14 years of age were nor engaged i n ' hazardous' j obs, as defi ned by the I nternati onal Labour
Organ i sati on i n the state, a ny ki nd of hard work i mposed on them woul d be ba nned u nder the new act, he
sai d. (Keral a mul l s Bi l l to ban chi l d l a bour, FE. B, 1 3. 06. 05, Ll 1 )
L12 I nfrastructure
The State Government wi l l seek f i nanci a l assi stance of Rs 528 crore from the Worl d Bank to compl ete the
Keral a State Transport project that envi sages devel opment of State hi ghways and other i mportant roads.
The Chi ef Mi ni ster, Mr Oommen Chandy, sai d after the Cabi net meeti ng that the Cabi net resolved to go ahead
wi th the proj ect, a s i t di d not make sense to abandon i t mi d-way. The Government. however, wi l l try to
compl ete the work wi thout I ncurri ng excess expendi ture. (Keral a to seek Rs 528 cr from Worl d Bank for road
proj ect, BL. B, 06. 1 0. 05, L l 2)
Leel a Ventures i s pl anni ng to set up an ai rport at Kannur i n Keral a whi ch woul d take shape wi thi n three yea rs.
"Kannur has a gar ment park, I T park and horti cul ture park and i t needs a n a i rport. Leel a wi l l be sett i ng up
t he project here whi ch wi l l be t he fi rst 1 00% pri vate a i rport i n t he country, " CP Kr i shnan Na i r, cha i rman ,
Leel a Venture sai d. Na i r stated that 300 acres of l a nd has a l ready been acqui red for the project i n north
Keral a and another 1 , 000 acre of l and woul d be acqui red after state l egi sl ati ve Assembl y el ecti ons schedul ed
i n May. " ( Leel a pl ans a i rport at Kan nur, FE, 04. 02. 06, L l O)
The Nat i onal Tran sportati on Pl anni ng and Research Centre ( NATPAC) has j ust concl uded a study for the
second phase of the hi l l hi ghway project, passi ng t hrough the hi gh ranges i n Keral a , suggesti ng that the
i mpl ementati on of the project be taken up i n stages due to l arge devel opment costs. The study poi nted out
that the devel opment of the second phase of the hi ghway for a route l ength of 627.40 km from Pal akkad to
Thi ruvananthapuram woul d cost around Rs 31 , 087 I akh. The order of pri ority woul d be devel opi ng the mi ssi ng
l i nks fi rst and then upgradi ng major di stri ct roads to State hi ghways standards. ( Hi ghway to devel opment , V.
Sajeev Kumar, BL. B, 1 3. 03. 06, L1 2)
The Cochi n Port i s fl oat i ng gl obal expressi on of i nterest (Eol ) to a ppoi nt consul tants for desi gni ng a worl d
cl ass c rui se termi nal on the port premi ses. Accordi ng t o port a uthori ti es, t he proj ect i s envi saged on a
publ i c- pri vate partnershi p and wi l l i ncl ude constructi on of a modem crui se j etty a nd a worl d cl ass crui se
termi nal compl ex- cum· publ i c pl aza . To make the project f i nanci a l l y vi abl e, the port i s pl anni ng to devel op
part of the ter mi nal compl ex a s an accessi bl e publ i c desti nati on, a range of fac i l i t i es for entertai n ment ,
hospi ta l i ty shop pi ng mal l s a nd busi ness and conferenci ng and trade exhi bi t i ons. (Cochi n Port seeks
consul tants for crui se termi na l , FE. B, 2 1 . 03. 06, L l 2)
| Documentation Update | 2 0 05 0 6
L20 Envi ronmental I ssues
The Hi ndusta n Coca- Col a Beverages (P) Ltd. was permi tted by a Di vi si on Bench of the Kera l a Hi gh Court to
resume producti on at i ts Pl achi mada pl ant i n Pal a kkad di stri ct, drawi ng ground water up to fi ve l akh l i tres
per day, the maxi mum l i mi t fi xed by a team of experts of the Centra l Water Resources Devel opment and
Management (CWRDM).
The company had not been functi oni ng as the Perumatty gram pa nchayat had refused to renew the l i cence
gra nted by i t on the grounds that the company was over-expl oi ti ng ground water resul ti ng i n water sca rci ty i n
the area, and was causi ng envi ronmental pol l uti on.
Di sposi ng of three wri t appeal s, the court sai d the panchayat was not j usti fi ed i n rejecti ng the appl i cati on for
renewal of l i cence before a sci enti fi c assessment of the ground water potenti al was made. The panchayat had
no l egal authori ty to ca ncel the l i cence for functi oni ng wi thi n the panchayat area for any of these reasons. The
pa nchayat was, therefore, di rected to consi der wi thi n two weeks the appl i cati on for renewal of l i cence for the
comi ng yea r, or any bl ock yea rs, i f such an appl i cati on i s recei ved i n two weeks.
The company has the obl i gati on to apprai se the panchayat that i t has l i cence i ssued under the Factori es Act
and cl earance from the Pol l uti on Control Board. I f the panchayat is sati sfied that the company is in possessi on
of these two documents, i t shoul d grant l i cence.
I t i s not wi t hi n the j uri sdi cti on of the panchayat to i nqui re a bout the deta i l s of the machi nery i nsta l l ed,
borewel l s etc, a s such matters fal l wi thi n the j uri sdi cti on of the enforcement offi cer under the Factori es Act.
After the granti ng of I i cence, the panchayat ca n make i nspecti ons so as to see whether a ny further l i cence
fee i s paya bl e. ( HC gi ves nod to Coke' s Pl achi mada pl ant, I E. B, 08. 04. 05, L20)
Susta i ned mul ti pl e assaul ts on envi ronment si gnal an emergi ng cr i si s for Keral a as l a rge a reas across the
State struggl e to cope wi th r i si ng pol l uti on l evel s, cl i mate change a nd i ncreased vul nera bi l i ty to natura l
di sasters. The fi rst ' State of the Envi ronment' report for Keral a whi ch i s schedul ed to be rel eased by Chi ef
Mi ni ster Oommen Chandy, provi des an i nsi ght i nto the st�ess factors responsi bl e for the i mpendi ng threats.
The report states that unpl anned urban growth, conversi on of wetl ands a nd fi el ds, coasta l erosi on and
i ncrea si ng consumpt i on of petrol eum products have pl aced t remendous pressure on t he l i mi ted natura l
resources i n the State. The report i s the cul mi nati on of a two-yea r progra mme l aunched by the Keral a State
Counci l for Sci ence, Technol ogy and Envi ronment (KSCSTE) wi th assi stance from the Mi ni stry of Envi ron ment
and Forests. (Keral a becomi ng wa rmer, says envi ronment su rvey, Touri sm growth posi ng threat to coastal
degradati on, T Nandakumar, TH_ B, 05. 06. 05, L20)
Last week the Perumatty panchayat refused, for a second ti me, permi ssi on to Coca Col a to draw water for i ts
Pl achi mada pl ant. As envi ronment stori es go, the one about thi s pl ant i n Keral a i s an i nternati onal favouri te
that refuses to fade away. The story i s one of both ground water depl eti on and surace pol l uti on that i s ma ki ng
the water i n wel l s i n the vi ci nity of the pl ant undri nkabl e. Coke says i ts di rect cul pabi l i ty i n the matter has not
been esta bl i shed.
The pl ant was cl osed after the pa nchayat ca ncel l ed the l i cence of Hi ndusta n Coca Col a Beverages Pri vate
Ltd to use groundwater from here i n March 2004. The panchayat has si nce rejected the company's appl i cati on
twi ce.
The Pl achi mada protest i s l ed by Dal i ts and adi vasi s. The pol l uti on comes from the sl udge Coke dumped i n
t he a rea surroundi ng i t s pl ant whi ch t he BBC tested and decl a red t o have a hi gh content of cadmi um and
ni ckel . Coke was passi ng it off as a ferti l i zer. (The Pl achi mada saga, Seva nti Ni nan, TH. B, 1 9. 06. 05, L20)
The Keral a Forest Depa rtment woul d promote a proj ect to devel op wooded a reas i n ci ti es and vi l l ages, the
Mi ni ster for Water Resources and Forests, Thi ruvanchoor Radha kri shnan, announced. At a press conference,
the Mi ni ster sai d the objecti ve woul d be to i ncrease the forest cover of the State by 5 percenti l e poi nts. He
sai d 28 % of the State' s terri tory was forests. Thi s needed to be i ncreased to 33 %. The Mi ni ster sai d that
the envi ron mental and other orga ni sati ons woul d be i nvolved i n the effort to use fa l l ow areas i n ci ti es, towns
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
and vi l l ages for pl anti ng. Around 20 l akh seedl i ngs woul d be di stri buted i n the fi rst stage of the afforestati on
programme. ( Project to devel op green cover i n Keral a ci ti es, TH. B, 29. 06. 05, L20)
La nd grabbi ng by ' the ri ch, the powerful and the i nfl uenti al ' i s conti nui ng unabated i n the Cardamom Hi l l
Reserves ( CHR) of I dukki di stri ct i n Keral a, accordi ng a recent report of the Centra l Empowered Commi ttee
( CEC) of the Supreme Court. The CEC submi tted i ts report to the Supreme Court l ast month acti ng on an
appl i cati on fi l ed before i t by an envi ronmental group cal l ed One Earth One Life seeki ng the court's i nterventi on
i n prevent i ng l arge· sca l e encroachment of forests i n the CHR wi t h the support of bureaucrats a nd
establ i shment.
Duri ng thei r probe, the CEC members came across a staggeri ng number of cases i nvol vi ng "i l l egal assi gnment
of l a nds and grant of ti tl e deeds . . . and consequent deforestati on" i n t he CHR, whi ch i s l egal l y ' reserved
forests. ' (Forest encroachment unabated i n I dukki , says panel report, P Venugopal , TH. B, 06. 1 0. 05, L20)
Keral a Mi ni ster for Water Resources Thi ruvanchoor Radhakri shna n sai d that the Government woul d not agree
to i nterl i nk the Pampa and t he Achancoi l ri vers to the Vypar i n Tami l Nadu under any ci rcumstances. The
Mi ni ster sai d Keral a had a l ready l ost water from fi ve rivers to Tami l Nadu. The Centre had no l egal powers to
ask the State that it shoul d al l ow further di versi on of i ts waters. Mr. Radhakri shnan sai d the Government had,
i n pri nci pl e, a pproved a proposal for the formati on of a ri ver devel opment authori ty. He sai d hi s department
was of the vi ew that i t s houl d have a say i n the use of the Ri ver Ma nagement Fund. The use of the Fund
shoul d not be l i mi ted t o constructi on works. Conservati on of water resources shoul d be t he focus. ( Keral a
not t o al l ow di versi on of ri ver waters, TH. B, 03. 1 2. 05, L20)
The State Government has proposed shifti ng the controversi al Coca·Cola bottl i ng pl ant at Prumatty i n Pal akkad
di stri ct to some other l ocati on where i t wi l l not encounter publ i c resi sta nce. The Gover nment made t hi s
proposal at a meeti ng convened by Pri nci pal Secretary for I ndustri es T Bal akri shnan. The meeti ng was part
of conti nui ng efforts to fi nd a sol uti on to the di spute over the Coca· Col a bottl i ng pl ant, whi ch remai ns cl osed
si nce March 2004 following publ i c agitation and court cases oer the al l eged overexpl oi tati on of the groundwater
resources of the a rea by the company. Accordi ng to i nformati on received by thi s newspaper on what transpi red
at the meeti ng, the compa ny' s offi ci al s di d not respond ei ther posi tively or negati vel y to the suggesti on. They
sai d they wanted t i me to study the proposal from a l l angl es. (Coke reserves res ponse on Government
suggesti on, TH. B, 04. 01 . 06, L20)
L30 Non-Touri sm I ssues
I t coul d be a smal l but si gni fi cant vi ctory for the green bri gade, vi ndi cati ng yea rs of struggl e. As the debate
rages whether tri bal s shoul d be granted resi dency ri ghts i n forests, Keral a coul d show the way. The Supreme
Court a ppoi nted Central Empowered Commi ttee i n i ts report sai d forest l and coul d be tra nsferred i f
compensated wi th afforestati on progra mmes. I n a report submi tted to the SC on Apri l 29, the commi ttee
sai d the State Government can transfer forest l a nd to tri bal s so that i t i s used only for forestry. I n effect, i t
has wa ived the earl i er condi ti on of payment of net present val ue of l a nd by the State Governments.
Keral a has been eager l y wai ti ng for the a pex courts deci si on. After a vi ol ent struggl e by tri bal s for thei r
tradi ti onal l i ghts, the State government i s maki ng efforts to resettl e 53, 000 tri bal fa mi l i es i n the forests of
Muthanga Sanctuary by transferri ng nearl y 7, 000 hectares of forest l and. If it comes through, thi s wi l l be the
fi rst victory for tri bal ri ghts i n the country. (Keral a l eads the way i n tri bal forest ri ghts crusade, Yoga Rangati a,
TPD, 03. 05. 05, L30)
L40 Touri sm Pol i cy and Pl ans
I n a seri es of roadshows Keral a touri sm i s attempti ng t o tempt t he domesti c travel l er wi th al l thi ngs that the
ti ny state i s famous for as wel l as some vi rgi n , offbeat desti nati ons. Last year forei gn a rri va l s i nto Keral a
stood a t 3. 25 l akhs whi l e domesti c touri sts crossed 60 l akhs.
| Documcntation Updat e | 2 0 05 - 0 6
Interview Kerala Tourism Principal Secretary E V Bharat Bhushan
Q. Keral a i s fami l i ar wi th tour i sts, so what a re you attempti ng wi th thi s campa i gn?
A. We are taki ng a di fferent l i ne thi s ti me. Our focus i s on sustai nabi l i ty because we bel i eve
unl ess touri sm can sustai n i tsel f; i t cannot provi de a n u nforgettabl e experi ence.
Q. Aren' t the two contradi ctory?
A. It may seem contradi ctory our campai gn to attract more touri sts and the s ustai nabi l i ty
l i ne but there i s no di chotomy. Onl y if i ts sustai nabl e can more touri sts enjoy the experi ence.
I t' s chal l engi ng but we' re gea ri ng for i t.
Q. How do you propose to do t hi s?
A. The Keral a Assembl y passed a l egi sl ati on recently provi di ng for demarcati ng touri st zones,
where the government wi l l have wi de- rangi ng control . Such i s the scope of the l egi sl ati on that
i t l ays down stri ngent gui del i nes for waste di sposal of houseboats and control of emi ssi ons_
Q. But why the strong focus on domesti c touri sts?
A. Because more a nd more I ndi a ns a re begi nni ng to travel , and we wa nt them to travel to
Keral a. I n addi ti on to al l the USPs, we are al so promoti ng some of the u nexpl ored terri tori es
for those domesti c touri sts who prefer sol i tude. The new set of commerci al s shot by Santosh
Si van a ptl y convey a l l that Keral a i s a bout.
( Keral a targets domesti c tour i sts, Ani ta Rao Kashi , TOI . B, 26. 04. 05, L40)
Keral a Touri sm has prepared a prel i mi nary set of gui del i nes for the conservati on and preservati on of the four
speci al touri sm zones i n the State. The draft gui del i nes for the conservati on and preservati on of Koval am,
Munnar, Kumara kom and Fort Kochi a re ava i l abl e for comment on the Keral a Tour i sm Websi te, sai d Mr B.
Suman, Di rector, Department of Touri sm, Government of Keral a . These four regi ons were recentl y decl ared
speci a I touri sm zones by t he State Government under the Keral a Touri sm (Conservati on and Preservati on of
Areas) Act 2005. Whi l e preservati on, conservati on a nd i ntegrated devel opment of the speci al touri sm zones
i s the mai n objecti ve, separate gui del i nes have been prepared for each zone. ( Keral a Touri sm prepares draft
norms for s peci al zones, Sankar Radhakri shnan, BLC, 03. 06. 05, L40)
Tel evi si on stars Smri t i I rani and Mona Vasu wi l l endorse Keral a as a hol i day desti nati on i n a seri es of ads to
be tel ecast on Sta r Pl us. Confi rmi ng the devel opment, Keral a Touri sm Mi ni ster Mr K.C. Venugopal sai d that
the promoti on i s part of Keral a Touri sm's efforts to promote the State i n the domesti c market. Keral a Touri sm
al so hopes t he adverti sements wi l l boost vi si tor i nfl ows duri ng t he ' off season' and strengthen the State' s
posi ti oni ng as a year- round tour i st dest i nati on. One adverti sement wi l l feature Mona Vasu, who acts i n the
seri al Mi i l ee, tal k about how ayurvedi c hol i days i n Keral a revi tal i se her and hel p her cope wi th a busy schedul e.
Accordi ng to a seni or touri sm offi ci al , the three- ad campai gn wi l l appear on Star Pl us i n a few weeks. The
campai gn i s part of an overal l medi a package wi th Star Pl us and has been shot by t he channel , he sai d. The
mai n objecti ve of the campa i gn i s to reach out to peopl e i n Northern I ndi a and al so i n states such as Guj arat
and Maharashtra , sai d the offi ci al . Research has shown that women i n these a reas have a si gni fi ca nt rol e i n
determi ni ng where the fami l y hol i days, h e expl ai ned. (TV stars to promote Keral a touri sm, BL. B, 24. 06. 05,
L40)
| Documentat ion Updat e |
Interview with B Suman, Director Kerala Tourism
Q. Wi th the boom i n ci vi l avi ati on thanks to the arri val of a number of l ow· cost ai r l i nes, has
there been an i ncrease i n the number of domesti c tour i sts comi ng to Keral a?
A. As of now there are no l ow· cost ai r l i nes fl yi ng i nto Keral a. However two l ow cost ai rl i nes,
Ai r Deccan a nd Paramount, a re schedul ed to fl y to Keral a i n September. I t i s a nti ci pated that
there wi l l be an i ncrease i n the domest i c touri st arri val s once they start fl yi ng i n.
Q. Keral a i s ri ght on top of every touri st' s i ti nerary. However, why i s t hat most pri vate ai r l i nes
are averse to flyi ng to Keral a?
A. Keral a i s wi thout doubt the most sought after tour i st desti nati on i n t he country. However,
Keral a's geogra phi ca l l ocati on of bei ng l ocated i n one corner of t he count ry i s to our
di sadvantage. Currentl y most of t he capaci ty i s f i l l ed by bus i ness travel l ers who fly t o Keral a
due t o t he hi gh pri ci ng that conventi onal ai rl i nes have at present. The l ei sure travel segment
i s qui te pri ce· sensi ti ve, un l i ke the busi n es s t ravel segment. Our d i sadvantage i s that the
hi gh p ri ci ng to an extent deters l ei sure travel l ers from fl yi ng i n.
Q. Hi gh cost i s one maj or factor t hat puts off domesti c touri sts. What a re you r strategi es to
address t hi s cruci al i ssue?
A. I t i s agreed that hi gh cost deters domesti c tour i sts. Keral a Tour i sm i s presentl y l ooki ng at
a host of pol i cy opti ons, whi ch coul d be used to i ncenti ves a i r l i ne a rri va l s i nto the state.
Some of them coul d be reduci ng the level s of taxati on on ATF subsi di si ng ground handl i ng
charges, etc. A deci si on on t hi s wi l l have to be taken at a hi gher l evel keepi ng i n mi nd the
trade· off between the l oss of reven ue a nd a nti ci pated gai ns i n doi ng so.
( ' Hi gh val ue touri sm i s i ntri nsi cal ly l i nked to ai r l i ne a rri val s' , FE. D, 27. 09. 05, L40)
As Keral a becomes a hot tour i st spot for more travel l ers from Europe, backwaters and ayurveda may not be
the only attracti ons to l ure them. The State Touri sm Department is pl anni ng to promote 'experi ence touri sm'
whi ch enabl e the touri sts to i nteract wi th the l ocal s and enjoy the ambi ence. The concept bri ngs i n addi ti onal
i ncome for the farmers. The state i s targeti ng hi gh· end tour i sts wi th experi ence touri sm. Al ong wi th that the
Touri sm Department i s goi ng to unl eash a touri sm p romot i onal campa i gn i n the US j oi ntl y wi th the Taj and
Oberoi groups i n March. Unl i ke Europeans, Keral a has not become must· see pl ace for the Ameri cans. The
touri st i nfl ow from the US i s sti l l l i mi ted. Another trend observed i n the current season i s t he ri se i n i ndi vi dual
touri sts. There i s l ess demand for preschedul ed and tai l or- made programmes. Al so the touri sts seem more
ori ented towards cul ture than beaches, perhaps because at the ti me of the booki ng around six months ago,
tsunami coul d have been at the back of thei r mi nds. (After backwaters a nd ayurveda, i t' s experi ence touri sm
i n Keral a, P K Kr i shna Kumar, I E. C, 07. 1 2. 05, L40)
Tour operators and t ravel agents wi l l soon have to shi ft t hei r base out of t he state or j ust shut s hop. The
Tour i sm Depa rtment i s i n the process of transfor mi ng i ts websi te www. keral atouri sm. org i nto a "one stop
shop" for al l touri sm needs. I f the i dea becomes a real i ty, a touri st can not onl y get i nfor mati on on the touri st
spots i n the state and but al so book hi s fl i ght ti ckets, ar ra nge hi s ai rport transfer, pl an hi s i ti nerary and even
book a seat i n a l onel y beach- si de restaurant through the 20· i nch frame of the websi te. ( keral atouri sm. org i n
for a maj or revamp, R Ayyappan, I E. C, 06. 02. 06, L40)
The Centre has given the green si gnal to the proposed ' Kadal ora Touri sm Ci rcui t' , a touri sm project connecti ng
beaches i n Keral a, the State Touri sm Mi ni ster, Mr K. C. Venugopal , sai d.
I n a wri tten repl y, he sai d t he Rs 7.98·crore project woul d be i mpl emented t hrough t he Keral a I ndustri al a nd
Techni ca l Consul tancy Organi sati on i n Sankumugham, Cherayi , Natt i ka, Payyambal am, Meenkun nu and
Muzhuppi l angad beaches.
| Documentation Update | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
Mr Venugopal sai d though the Government had not received any compl ai nts of sex touri sm, i t woul d exami ne
the matter and stern acti on woul d be t aken agai nst those i nvol ved. He sa i d empl oyment opport uni ti es
through touri sm was i ncreasi ng each year and accordi ng to the report by the Travel and Touri sm Counci l , 7.8
l akh j obs were created duri ng 2005-06 and by 201 3 i t woul d touch 22 l akh.
Forest protecti on: The State Forest Mi ni ster, Mr A. Suja napa l , tol d the Assembl y the Government proposed
to appoi nt speci al prosecutors for speedy settl ement of cases rel ated to forest protect i on. Mr Suj a napal
sai d three projects for forest protecti on had been i mpl emented wi t h Worl d Bank ai d. No outsi ders woul d be
engaged for forest protecti on and thi s work woul d be entrusted to tri bal s l i vi ng i n forest areas. Accordi ng to
ava i l abl e stati sti cs, there were 80, 000 tri bal s l i vi ng in forests. Mr Suja napal sai d not an i nch of forest l and
woul d be pri vati sed. The State and Centra l Govern ments' decl ared pol i cy was to protect forest. (Centre
okays Keral a coastal touri sm ci rcui t, BL. B, 1 5. 02. 06, L40)
As part of i ts efforts to promote responsi bl e touri sm, Keral a Touri sm has unvei l ed a set of gui del i nes for
t ravel l ers a nd tour operators i n the State. The gui del i nes are part of a mul ti - pronged strategy to move the
touri sm i ndustry i n Keral a towards responsi bl e touri sm based on conservati on a nd preservati on.
One aspect of the touri sm department' s responsi bl e touri sm strategy i s to work wi th the hotel i ndustry to
promote thi s concept. I n t i me, ecol ogi cal consi derati ons wi l l be i ncorporated i nto the hotel cl assi fi cati on and
i ncenti ves system currentl y fol l owed i n the State. As part of i ts responsi bl e touri sm strategy, Keral a Touri sm
al so pl ans to create a certi fi cati on scheme for tour operators.
Si mi l arly, the touri sm department pl ans to sensi ti se touri sts to the need for responsi bl e touri sm through an
i nformati on campai gn. The gui del i nes, whi ch are posted on the Keral a Touri sm Web si te, touch on a number
of si mpl e but effecti ve thi ngs that both touri sts and tour operators can do to promote responsi bl e touri sm.
(Keral a Touri sm unvei l s norms for touri sts, operators Sankar Radhakri shnan, BL. C, 22. 02. 06, L40)
Kera l a Touri sm has drawn up a Rs 5· crore project to devel op Vel i and Akkul am i n the ci ty i nto i mportant
desti nati ons for domesti c touri sts. The Keral a Touri sm Mi ni ster Mr. K. G. Venugopa l announced t hi s at the
i naugurati on of a new fl oati ng resta urant at the Vel i touri sm vi l l age. A secti on of the wal kway from Vel i to
Akkul am a nd a renovated proj ect at the Vel i touri sm vi l l age were al so i naugurated. Bui l t by the ci ty- based
Fl oatel s I ndi a Pvt Ltd, the two-storey fl oat i ng restaurant wi l l be run by the Kera l a Touri sm Devel opment
Corporati on. ( Fl oati ng restaurant, BL. B, 24. 02. 06, L40)
LSO Touri sm I ssues
Setti ng i tsel f up as a paradi gm for home-spun success, God's Own Country has regi stered a record number
of touri st arrival s. From January to December 2004, domesti c touri st arri val s touched a hi gh of 59, 75, 000,
whi ch i s more than 1 1 akh i n compari son wi th the audi ted fi gures of 2003. I nternati onal arrival s al so recorded
a growth of 1 6. 69 percent. Thi s woul d probabl y have gone up by another 4 to 5 percent had it not been for
the tsunami scare, sai d Keral a Touri sm offi ci al s. (Keral a regi sters record touri sts, I E. B, 27. 04. 05, L50)
The Keral a government wi l l steel i ts cl ai ms on Hal cyon Castl e, but the encroachi ng M- Far Group ( I ndi an arm
of Muscat- based Gul far Group) i s not hi ng l ess t han an honou ra bl e i nvestor; accordi ng to Chi ef Mi ni ster
Oommen Chandy. The state Cabi net deci ded to promul gate an ordi na nce to t ake over Hal cyon Castl e. A
di recti ve by Keral a Hi gh Court had overrul ed a speci al order by Keral a govern ment. To strengthen the cl ai ms
the Cabi net deci ded to go for an ordi na nce. I n the eye of a l ega l storm now, Hal cyon Castl e on Kova l am
sta nds has a hi stori c dazzl e that ra kes up bot h t he busi ness and t he heri tage memori es. The fi rst recent
controversy f l are· up was over the token pri ce ( reportedl y Rs 40 crore) for whi ch I TDC had transferred i ts
beach property to M· Far Group. The adj acent Hal cyon Castl e, ori gi nal l y a hol i day- home for erstwhi l e royal
fa mi l y of Trava ncore, i s now hotl y cl ai med as part of M- Far Group' s buy. (Ordi nance to ta ke over Hal cyon
Castl e, FE. B, 05. 05. 05, L50)
Keral a ayurveda i s desperatel y searchi ng for a good va i dya to cure i t of al l sedi mented i l l s. Thi s bra nch of
medi ci ne i s on a sl i ppery sl ope towards l osi ng al l i ts tradi t i onal respect a nd repute after bei ng pestl ed to
thrash i n the touri sm mortar. The fi rst si gns of i ts fast- l osi ng val ue are al ready vi si bl e wi th many i nternati onal
tour agenci es wri ti ng to the Keral a Government about mounti ng compl ai nts agai nst quacks and rank amateurs
who masquerade as professi onal masseurs.
2005 -06 | Documentat ion Updat e |
I n fact, a sampl i ng of feedback books i n resorts and houseboats refl ects how al l ergi c the backpackers are
towards t hi s whi ch automati cal l y found space on al l bi l l boards l uri ng forei gn travel l ers. Wi th no moni tori ng
mechani sm i n pl ace, capsul e ayurvedi c packages a re today seen as ni ght mari sh experi ences whi ch scare
vi si tors.
The government has a l ready prepared a draft Bi l l to tame mushroomi ng massage and ayurveda centres. Al l
centres wi l l b i nspected by a team of experts from Heal th a nd Touri sm Departments before they are accorded
'A: ' B' or ' C' certi fi cates. Sources sai d the draft Bi l l woul d be tabl ed i n t he Assembl y i n the next sessi on for
adopt i on. ( Keral a ayurveda on a sl i ppery sl ope; scares touri sts, I E. C, 1 4. 06. 05, L50)
Forei gners vi si t i ng For t Kochi i n the near future woul d have hel p comi ng i n the form of touri st-fri endl y
autori ckshaws dri ven by women. Spurred by the i ncreasi ng i nci dents of mi sbehavi our a nd fl eeci ng of forei gn
touri st s by a secti on of auto drivers, the Fort Cochi n Touri st Home Owners Associ ati on i s pl anni ng to operate
ri ckshaws that woul d charge onl y a reasonabl e fare. The women dri vers, of these vehi cl es woul d al so doubl e
up as gui des and provi de touri sts t he i nformati on they requi re. The Touri st Home Owners Associ ati on, whi ch
has around 35 members, was formed to serve the i nterest of susta i nabl e touri sm i n Fort Kochi . The other
objecti ves of the associ ati on i ncl ude preservi ng Fort Kochi as a heri tage zone and keepi ng i t cl ean. (Soon,
touri st-fri endl y autos i n Kochi , I E. C, 25.06. 05, L50)
The par t i ci pants at a semi nar on ' Cochi n Por t - A New Di recti on' organ i sed by the Cochi n Chamber of
Commerce and I ndustry suggested converti ng the Wi l l i ngdon I sl and i nto a ci ty centre of Kochi wi th faci l i ti es
for recreati on a nd shoppi ng. To push t hi s proposa l ahead, the chamber has deci ded to request the Uni on
Government to set up an empowered taskforce to study the i ssue and proi de-i th l and use recommendati on
to attract l ong-term i nvestments. The taskforce can have representati ves from the Mi ni st ry of Shi ppi ng, the
Keral a Government, the port and f rom t rade and commerce, the chamber sai d. (Pl ea to convert Wi l l i ngdon
I sl and i nto Kochi centre, BL. B, 1 3. 09. 05, L50)
After ayurveda touri sm a nd backwater touri sm, Keral a touri sm i s set to l aunch i ts farm touri sm product. The
project catapul ts a ny fa rmer wi th 1 0 acres cul ti vated l and hol di ng to the touri sm i ndust ry's ambi t.
Coffee and tea pl antati ons, goi ng t hrough deep gl oom because of WTO-dri ven ma rket depressi on, wi l l al so
be al l owed to spread t hei r i nvestment through pl antati on touri sm. The state government woul d gi ve subsi dy
support equi va l ent to 25% of the a mount the farmer i nvests i n hospi tal ity faci l i ti es. Thi s a mount wi l l be upto
Rs 5 l akh. Keral a Touri sm i s a l so worki ng out a credi t package wi th bankers to make l oans ava i l abl e for the
far m touri sm faci l i ty.
I n return for subsi dy and l oan support, the farmer i s expected to create a mi ni mum hospi tal i ty i nfrastructure,
conformi ng to Keral a Touri sm standards. A farm-touri sm domai n, accordi ng to the scheme, shoul d i ncl ude a
drawi ng room faci l i ty, s mal l restaurant, and smal l shoppi ng area, parki ng a rea and roads wi th rural ambi ence,
al l wi thi n the far m l and. There shoul d al so be gui de- arrangement to gi ve detai l s of pl anti ng methods of the
crop i n cul ti vat i on, speci a l i t i es of the crop var i ants and harvest i ng techni ques. ( Fa rmers to get a bi te of
Keral a touri sm pi e by J an, FE. C, 24. 1 0. 05, L50)
Keral a Touri sm i s worki ng on an i ni ti ati ve to gi ve a boost to medi cal touri sm i n the State. Accordi ng to Mr B.
Suman, Di rector of the State's Department of Touri sm, the avai l abi l ity of hi gh- qual ity heal thcare i nfrastructure
at reasonabl e pri ces makes Keral a an i dea l desti nat i on for medi cal touri sm. Keral a Touri sm i s wor ki ng on a
market i ng campai gn to promote the State as a medi cal touri sm desti nati on. On the a nvi l are promot i onal
events i n Sri Lanka, Mal di ves, Europe and i n West Asi a. The touri sm department i s al so worki ng on creat i ng
partnershi ps between hospi tal s i n Keral a and i nsurance compani es i n Europe, especi al l y i n the UK. (Move to
boost medi cal touri sm i n Kera l a, San kar Radhakri shnan, BL. B, 1 0. 1 2. 05, L50)
Wi th t he onset of Keral a brand of Ayurveda and newl y found cru i se touri sm, the state has been surgi ng
ahead by establ i shi ng a ni che for i tsel f i n t he gl obal touri sm map. Bl endi ng t he crui se and ayurveda touri sm
potenti al s of Kera l a, Ayurvoyages Pvt. Ltd i s venturi ng i nto a l onesome path by setti ng on sai l Ayur Nauka.
Ayur Nauka i s a uni que concept i n heal th touri sm, concei ved by the Thri ssur based Ayuryogashram. I t i s a
fl oat i ng heal th care centre offeri ng touri sts a pl ethora of faci l i ti es for a bl i ssful crui se i n the backwaters wi th
the accompa ni ment of ayurvecdi c rej uvenati on therapy. (A bl end of crui se and ayurveda, I E. C, 29. 1 2. 05,
L50)
| Documentat ion Update | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
Kochi · based Hi ghway Garden Pvt Ltd has emba rked on havi ng properti es i n the maj or touri sm dest i nati ons
l i ke Thekkady, Wayanad, Kumarakkom, Al appuzha and Kannur i n a year and a half. Company di rector KE Roy
sai d i n most pl aces the si tes had been i denti fi ed a nd negoti ati ons were i n the f i nal stages. The group was
setti ng up a four· star busi ness hotel at an i nvestment of Rs 15 crore i n Thi ruva na nthapuram. The group has
a resort i n Munnar cal l ed ' Forest Haven' . It had pumped i n Rs 3 crore to renovate and upgrade i ts Highway
Garden to a three· star hotel . ( Hi ghway Garden to acqui re new asset for touri sm ci rcui t, FE. C, 07. 01 . 06, L50)
Jose Domi ni c, managi ng di rector of Keral a· based CGH Earth group of resorts sai d, "The demographi cs of the
i nternati onal travel l er are undergoi ng a noti ceabl e change. The top end of the market i s getti ng more i nvol ved
wi th the l ocal communi ty at thei r desti nati on. The new crop of travel l ers i s thus setti ng a trend of responsi bl e
travel l i ng, tri ng t o l earn more about the soci ety around and seeki ng more ful fi l ment from thei r hol i day rather
than j ust headi ng for some beach. The pronounced shi ft towa rds such res ponsi bl e touri sm seems to have
caught on wi th a number of tour operators, travel agents and even the state government"
Perhaps the most si gni fi cant of the ventures ai med at touri sm promoti on wi th an emphasi s on communi ty
devel opment i s the Lul l aby· at- Varkal a project, a venture l aunched by l eadi ng tour and travel sector pl ayer
Keral a Travel s by promoti ng Pro·Chi l d, an NGO that works towards empoweri ng the chi l dren of an enti re area
in Varkal a. The project coers seven panchayats, one muni ci pal ity and 1 40 anganwadi s i n Varkal a, an emergi ng
beach desti nati on i n Keral a and i s empoweri ng not only the 3, 320 chi l dren attendi ng the a nga nwadi s, but
even the women i n fami l i es around them. (Tour i st s cost u p to Keral a vi bes, Joe A Scar i a, ETC, 25. 01 . 06,
L50)
Keral a has become one of the three fi nal i sts i n the Desti nati on Category for the Touri sm for Tomorrow Awards
2006 i nsti tuted by the Worl d Travel a nd Touri sm Counci l (WTTC). Keral a made i t to the l i st al ong with Greece
a nd Mexi co from out of 1 00 a ppl i ca nts from more than 30 countri es, a spokesman for Keral a Touri sm sai d.
The award wi l l recogni se ' the dedi cati on and success i n mai ntai ni ng a pol i cy of sustai nabl e management
i ncorporati ng soci al , cul tural , envi ronmental and economi c aspects of the dest i nati on. ' I n the next stage, an
on· si te eval uati on process wi l l be carri ed out t o sel ect t he number one desti nati on. A WTTC representati ve
i s cur rentl y i n the State to assess t he properti es fi rsthand a nd meet wi t h ma nagers, staff, communi ty
representati ves a nd others i nvol ved i n the proj ect Based on thi s, a f i nal report wi l l be made to the j udgi ng
commi ttee. ( Keral a makes i t t o t he fi nal l i st for WTTC award, BL. B, 06. 02. 06, L50)
I n Kochi , the mai n busi ness and touri sm hub of the state, l eadi ng bui l ders started off the concept of servi ce
apartments - a concept wi del y endorsed by the touri sm ci rcui t. However, a partments are now bei ng uttered
not j ust by bui l ders but even by the ordi nary i nvest i ng publ i c. I n fact, for the Non Resi dent Keral i tes (NRK' s),
who booked a pa rtments i n Kochi , the servi ce a partments have opened up a new i ncome stream. Today,
Kochi has some of the best servi ce a partments l i ke The Ri vi era Sui tes, Star Homes, a nd Mermai d Days I nn.
Many l ess known a pa rtments are a l so bei ng offered i n t he ci ty t o t he busi ness a nd l ei sure travel l ers. The
concept has been so wi del y accepted that even some of the tour operators have started offer i ng servi ce
apartments. Some hotel s are al so tyi ng up wi th apartment owners i n pri me local iti es to proi de accommodati on
for thei r customers. (Apartments at your servi ce, Tharun Kumar, TOI . B, 03. 03. 06, L50)
Keral a received ' best touri sm state' award whi l e the ' best hotel ' awards were bagged by Oberoi ' s Amarvi l l a
i n Agra a nd t he Taj Resi dency i n Ba ngal ore. Besi des wi nni ng the best perfor mi ng tour i st state award for
outstandi ng achievements i n the touri sm sector, Keral a al so won 'best mai ntai ned touri sm fri endly monuments'
award for its Sakthan Thampura n pal ace. ( Keral a recei ves best touri sm state award, FE. B, 1 8. 03. 06, L50)
L51 Coastal Touri sm
The l argest pri vate yacht wi th over 1 00 custom· desi gned resi dences a nd ameni ti es of a l uxury resort on
board, The Worl d, has anchored at Kochi Port. The vessel , arri ved for the fi rst t i me i n I ndi a, wi l l spend three·
days at Kochi before l eavi ng for Goa and Mumbai . Travel Corporati on of I ndi a, the travel agents for passengers
on board, has a rranged si ghtseei ng tours, backwater crui ses a nd vi l l age vi si ts for them.
Concei ved by a member of a Norwegi a n mari ti me fa mi l y, The Wor l d i s t he onl y resort communi ty
ci rcumnavi gati ng the gl obe. You ca n ei ther own a home on board the vessel or enj oy a vacati on at sea by
rent i ng a n apartment provi ded your pockets are deep enough. (The Worl d anchors at Kochi , BL. B, 02. 04.05,
L51 )
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentat ion Update |
The Keral a Cabi net has sancti oned Rs 4. 3 1 crore for constructi on of seawal l s to protect peopl e affected by
the recent swel l waves on the coastal a reas. The Chi ef Mi ni ster sai d that the peopl e l i vi ng on the coast of 9
di stri cts had been affected by the waves. Mr Chandy sai d that a forest stati on a nd pol i ce ai d post woul d be
set up at Kadavari Val sa petty to prevent ganja cul ti vati on . As the a rea was i naccessi bl e, concrete footpaths
and steps woul d be bui l t. ( Keral a Govt sancti ons Rs 4. 31 cr to bui l d seawal l s, I rri gati on Department entrusted
wi th the task, BL. B, 26. 05. 05, L51 )

An ocean park wi l l be set u p at Muzhi pi l angad, known as ' dri ve· i n· beach' , to gi ve a boost to t he i ntegrated
touri sm devel opment i n the North Mal abar regi on. The Touri sm Department had al ready submi tted a detai l ed
project report on Ocean Park wi th an esti mated cost of Rs 1 crore to the State Government for i ts approval .
A detai l ed survey for the setti ng u p of aquari um, mari ti me museum, chi l dren'S park, water s ports a n d a mi ni
oceanari um was a l so conducted. Mr Ravi ndran sai d t he ocean park i n t he Muzbi pi l angad· Dharmadom area
woul d be a major devel opment, bri ngi ng soci o-economi c changes through i ntegrated touri sm devel opment i n
the area. Muzhi pi l a ngad , a consol i dated beach whi ch ! s motora bl e even i n the severe monsoon mont hs,
attracts a l arge number of touri sts. A 4- km dri ve a l ong t he beach i s a n enthra l l i ng experi ence. (Ocean park
mooted i n Kannur, BL. B, 1 1 . 07. 05, L51 )
L51a Backwater Touri sm
To cater t o t he i ncreasi ng number of t he touri sts vi si t i ng Kumara kom and near· by touri sm s pots, Lakevi ew
House Boats has l aunched a houseboat named ' Pa l azhi ' wi th three- star faci l i ti es. The 6· hour Kumarakom
.
Al appuzha crui se provi des food, i ncl udi ng buffet l unch. The cost of the tri p i s Rs 650 a person. Thi s i s the fi rst
t i me that a l uxury cr ui se boat has been l aunched excl usi vel y to promote l a ke tour i sm wi th dai l y t r i ps to
touri sts s pots i n t he Kumara kom
.
Al appuzha bel t, sai d Mr Sreekumar, Managi ng Di rector of Lake Vi ew
House Boats. (Luxury boat l a unched, BL. B, 28. 1 0.05, L51 a )
Kumara kom i s once aga i n wi tnessi ng a heavy i nfl ow of touri sts, mai nly from Fra nce, Swi tzerl and, Germa ny
and Russi a. I n Coconut Lagoon , there i s u nusual rush as they coul d not even offer l uxury sui ts to those who
have not made any advance reservati on. For pool vi l l a and standard bungal ow they charge Rs 27, 000 a nd Rs
1 7, 000 respecti vel y. Kumara kom Lake Resort i s chargi ng Rs 9, 500 excl usi ve of tax for standard
a ccommodat i on. But for l uxury sui ts they charge u p to Rs 35, 000. There a re a l so resorts that charge Rs
50,000, i ncl usi ve of food, for a si ngl e day accommodati on. The touri sts who do not get accommodati on a re
s pendi ng the day and ni ght i n houseboats provi ded by the resorts. A day' s rent for houseboats ranges from
Rs. 5000 to Rs. 25, 000. Some a re compl ai ni ng about the exorbi tant rates charged by l eadi ng resorts. They
even descri bed it as ' expl oi tati on' and asked, " How many I ndi ans coul d pay such rates?" (Forei gners crowd
Kumara kom, Aravi ndan , BL. C, 28. 1 1 . 05, L51 a)
L52 Pi l gri m Touri sm
As part of i ts efforts to i mprove i nfrastructure i n touri st desti nati ons i n the State, Keral a Touri sm i s chal ki ng
out a pl an to upgrade faci l i ti es at i mportant pi l gri m s pots. The touri sm department, i n associ ati on wi th the
templ e, mosque or church management, wi l l i mpl ement thi s scheme to i mprove basi c ameni ti es at pi l gri mage
centres. Di st ri ct l evel commi ttees wi l l supervi se the operati on and mai ntenance of the faci l i ti es set u p under
thi s scheme.
Meanwhi l e, the touri sm department has i nvited a ppl i cati ons from pri vate entrepreneurs for i ts ' Vazhiyoram'
project to provi de basi c a meni ti es for travel l ers a l ong i mportant hi ghways i n t he State. Accordi ng t o t he
gui del i nes of thi s scheme, 250 Vazhi yoram uni ts wi l l be set u p across Keral a at a n est i mated Rs 61 crore. Of
the total i nvestment, the State Govern ment wi l l contri bute Rs 1 3 crore, whi l e the pri vate sector is expected
to i nvest the remai ni ng Rs 48 crore. Each 'Vazhi yoram' uni t wi l l have a range of faci l i ti es and servi ces such
as, restaura nt , toi l ets, tel ephone booths, souveni r shops and ATMs. The u ni ts wi l l be set up accordi ng to
desi gn speci fi cati ons provi ded by the Department of Touri sm. (Keral a Touri sm draws pl an to u pgrade pi l gr i m
spots, BL. B, 09. 06. 05, L52)
L52a Sabari mal a
The Uni on Government has a pproved the rel ease of 1 2. 675 hectares of forestl and for devel opment of t he
Sabari mal a hi l l shri ne. The Keral a Touri sm a nd Devaswom Mi ni ster, Mr K C Venugopa l , sai d the Supreme
| Documentation Update | 5 � 6
.
Court woul d have to a pprove the rel ease of forestl and. The rel ease of forestl and wi l l provi de a boost to the
devel opment of Sabari mal a. I t wi l l a l so hel p l aunch vari ous acti vi ti es connected wi th the Pamba Acti on Pl an,
he sai d. Al l devel opment i ni ti ati ves at Saba ri mal a wi l l be carri ed out as per eco·fri endl y norms contai ned i n
the master pl an prepared for the regi on. (Centre okays al l otment of forestl and for Sabari mal a, BL. B, 24. 05. 05,
L52a)
More faci l i ti es wi l l be provi ded for Sabari mal a pi l gri ms thi s year i n the l and made avai l abl e for the purpose at
Ni l akkal . A high· l evel meeti ng convened by Chi ef Mi ni ster Oommen Chandy t o review the arrangements bei ng
made for the pi l gri ms duri ng the comi ng season deci ded to provi de el ectri ci ty connecti on to Ni l akkal usi ng
underground cabl e, di g three bore wel l s and ponds to provi de dri nki ng water, const ruct 400 new toi l ets and
renovate the ol d ones and construct pa rki ng for 1 0, 000 vehi cl es. Fi fty cents of l and at Ni l akka l woul d be
made avai l abl e to the Ayyappa Seva Sa ngham for i ts acti vi ti es as part of the Master Pl an. (More faci l i ti es for
Sabari mal a pi l gri ms, TH. B, 1 4. 10. 05, L52a)
Hotel i ers, snack stal l owners and i nstant cofee vendors at Sanni dhanam and Pampa are fl eeci ng the pi l gri ms
to t he Lord Ayya ppa t empl e i n a bi g way. Often they hi ke the pri ces of coffee, tea and food i tems by 50
percent. They charge Rs 7 f or a cup of coffee and Rs 6 for a cup tea at Sanni dhanam though t he di stri ct
admi ni strati on al l ows them to charge onl y Rs 6 and Rs 5 respecti vel y. Though the hotel s/shop-owners are
requi red to show the pri ce l i st for the conveni ence of the pi l gri ms, most of them are not adheri ng to the rul e.
The expl oi tati on by hotel s between Laha a nd Vadasseri kara i s worse. ( Hotel i ers i n Sabari mal a f l eeci ng the
pi l gri ms, I E. C, 20. 1 1 . 05, L52a)
L54 Cul ture Touri sm
The Guruvayoor Templ e, I ndi a's second- ri chest shri ne after Ti rumal a Ti rupathi Devasthanam has revoked the
new dress code i t i ntroduced l ast month fol l owi ng pressure from devotees. Templ e rul es i ntroduced i n Apri l
sai d t hat for securi ty reasons, men woul d have to enter t he sanct um wi thout thei r shi rts. Ear l i er, ma l e
devotees were al l owed t o take off thei r shi rts a nd sl i ng i t over thei r shoul ders. Another templ e order banni ng
chi l dren above the age of five from weari ng short pants has a l so been wi thdrawn after protests from devotees.
Though femal e devotees have been demandi ng the ri ght to wear dresses of thei r choi ce, the templ e authori ti es
conti nue to i nsi st that they ei ther wear sari s or pavadas (l ong s ki rts) wi thi n the compl ex Pi l gri ms from other
parts of the count ry have regi stered compl ai nts about the uncomfortabl e dress code for women , but for the
moment, the status quo remai ns. (Templ e revokes dress code, TRD, 1 3. 05. 05, L54)
Cul tural and envi ronmental touri sm are the new growth areas gl obal ly, and Keral a i s wel l posi ti oned to capi tal ize
on t hi s t rend, sai d Ms Jenny Shi pl ey, former Pri me Mi ni ster of New Zeal and.
Ms Shi pl ey, who vi si ted Kera l a , recentl y, t ol d t hat touri sts today l ook for authenti c experi ences t hat hel p
t hem understand t he cul t ure and l i festyl es of di fferent nati ons. Thi s i s a great t hi ng, even i n forei gn pol i cy
terms, as i t enhances gl obal understandi ng. So, i nstead of tryi ng to be l i ke other touri st desti nati ons, Keral a
shoul d l ook at hi ghl i ght i ng what makes i t di fferent. ( , Keral a must promote cul t ura l , eco touri sm' , Sankar
Radhakri shnan , BL. B, 1 2. 07. 05, L54/ L55)
L55 Eco and Wi l dl i fe Touri sm
The Keral a's eco touri sm department wi l l soon start work on a new project at Chadayamangal am i n Kol l am
di stri ct. Cal l ed t he ' Jadayu Para Devel opment Project' , the venture takes its name from a huge rock formati on.
I n keepi ng wi th the rock· strewn nature of the project zone, the pl an i s to devel op i t wi th ' rocks' as the mai n
theme. At the same ti me, Jadayu Para wi l l al so be an eco·fri endl y touri st desti nati on. The total i nvestment i n
t he project i s expected to be Rs 2. 5 crore.
The eco·touri sm department wi l l desi gn a seri es of acti vi ti es that hi ghl i ght the natural features of the rock
formati on; wal kways that take vi si tors to the top of the rock and overni ght stay i n tents wi l l be a pa rt of thi s
experi ence. Si mul taneously, the eco-touri sm depa rtment wi l l devel op Jadayu Pa ra as a pi cni c spot. Al so on
the cards i s a proposal to devel op a tradi ti onal rura l marketpl ace wi t hi n the Jadayu Para project area. (Eco­
touri sm project for Chadayamangal am, Sankar Radhakri shnan, BL. B, 06. 05. 05, L55)
2 0 0 5 0 6 | Documentat ion 1 Jpdal e |
Over the past few years, eco- touri sm has become a key focus area for Keral a's touri sm authori ti es. The eco·
touri sm wi ng of the Department of Touri sm has i denti fi ed 56 pl aces i n the State that have the potenti al to be
devel oped as eco·touri sm centres. Whi l e si x of these si tes are al ready functi onal eco· touri sm projects, work
on a nother 1 0 proj ects has been started.
Al l these projects are bei ng i mpl emented wi th parti ci pati on from the l ocal community and the forest department.
Another uni que eco-touri sm project currentl y bei ng i mpl emented i s at Konni i n the State's Pathanamthi tta
di stri ct. I nspi red by the regi on's associ ati on wi th el ephant s a nd el ephant · rel ated fol kl ore, the Konni eco­
touri sm project focuses on el ephants. When compl eted, t hi s project i s expected to i ncl ude an el ephant
museum, el ephant r i des a nd vi si ts to a trai ni ng camp for el ephants. ( 56 si t es i dent i fi ed f or eco·touri sm i n
Keral a, Sankar Radhakri shnan, BL. B, 26. 1 2. 05, L55)
The Keral a Government has gi ven i ts nod for setti ng up Peri yar Ri ver Authori ty so as t o conduct regul ar
moni tori ng and suggest measures to i mprove the qual i ty of the ri ver. The authori ty, whi ch was consti tuted
consi deri ng the suggesti ons from the Periyar Acti on Pl an, wi l l i ni ti ate steps to formul ate acti on pl ans on areas
such as afforestati on, rehabi l i tati on and resettl ement, survey of ri ver basi ns, pol l uti on moni tori ng centres,
and sewage treatment pl ants, provi si on of septi c tanks and i nstal l ati on of sl aughter houses. I t wi l l al so carry
out research on the ecol ogi cal status of the ri ver peri odi cal l y and wi l l coordi nate the acti vi ti es of vari ous
gover nment departments, NGOs, and other organi sati ons i nvolved i n river protecti on. The authori ty wi l l carry
out mai ntenance of embankment s and wi l l suggest measures for t he i mprovement of the ri verbanks. A
comprehensi ve acti on pl an for protecti ng the ri ver wi l l be evol ved. Act i on pl ans on eco·touri sm a nd i nl and
navi gati on, preventi on of sal i ni ty i ncursi on, watershed management and awareness programmes wi l l al so be
prepared as part of protecti ng the ri vers. ( Keral a Govt approves proposal to set up Per iyar ri ver aut hori ty,
BL. C, 1 6. 02. 06, L55)
L57 Hi l l Touri sm
Munnar Keral a' s premi er hi l l resort may be wi del y accl ai med for i t s sal ubri ous cl i mate and sceni c tea pl antati ons
but certai nl y not for i t s desi red. Regarded as one of the cl eanest hi l l · stati ons i n the country unt i l the mi d·
1 970s, today t hi s touri st hotspot coul d wel l fi gure at bottom of the l i st. Surpri si ngl y, few seem concerned
about the town' s squal or. I nstead everyone i s preoccupi ed wi th expl oi ti ng i ts tour i sm boom. So vi tal basi cs
l i ke cl ea n l i ness and hygi ene t ake a back seat. Garbage i s mi ndl essly strewn everywhere. Pl ast i c cups,
pl ates, bottl es and bags l i tter t he town and i ts envi rons whi ch i s, i roni cal ly enough, a pl asti c- free zone. The
market i s an eyesore. Cl uttered up and fi l thy, i t' s i nvari ably l i ttered wi th trash. There's degenerati on everywhere.
A l ocal NGO does val i ant ly stri ve to set matters ri ght, but i t s i nf l uence i s l i mi ted. Thus t he wi despread
damage to the town' s envi ronment goes l argely unchecked. One wonders whether Munnar i s tryi ng to attract
or repel tour i sts -i ts undoubted mai nstay. ( Hi l l s go downhi l l , I E. D, 03. 03. 06, L57)
L58 Speci al Touri sm Area
Despi te i ni ti al hi tches, the Bekal touri sm project i n Kasaragod di stri ct has gai ned moment wi th a UAE· based
hotel group starti ng work on a sea·faci ng resort. Though the Leel a Pal aces and Resorts has backtracked from
the project ci ti ng i nfrastructure reasons, the ambi ti ous project i s to devel op a chai n of resorts at the famed
beach dest i nati on i n north Keral a i s back on rai l s.
The two pl ots that had been al l otted to the Leel a Group had al ready been taken back from them and gi ven to
other hotel groups for devel opment, t he Bekal Resorts Devel opment Corporati on (BRDC) Managi ng Di rector,
Mr P K. Kesavan, sai d. He sai d the UAE· based Hol i day Group of Hotel s, whi ch was al l otted 32 acres of l and
at Chembari ka vi l l age, has star ted t he l ayout and beauti fi cati on work at the si te. ( Bekal touri sm project gai ns
momentum, BL. B, 1 1 . 07. 05, L58)
| Documentation Udat e | 2 0 05 0 6
• M - TAMIL NADU •
Mll Pl anni ng
The Tami l Nadu Government u nvei l ed i n the Assembl y, a pol i cy ai med at reduci ng the negati ve i mpact of al l
ki nds of di sasters through ' vi brant di saster management machi nery' .
The pol i cy envi sages convergence of di saster management and devel opment pl anni ng. Comprehensi ve di saster
management pl ans wi l l be formul ated at al l level s after taki ng i nto account the l ocal conditi ons. The focus wi l l
be on reduci ng t he vul nerabi l ity of communi ti es i nstead of merel y provi di ng di saster rel i ef. The need for the
pol i cy was fel t , as the State has been prone to cycl ones a nd drought. I n December, a tsunami hi t the coastal
di stri cts.
I n the tradi ti onal system, such acti vi ti es are undertaken i n a phased sequence pl an. But the new model cal l s
for a conti nuous process. The management wi l l be done i n three phases -pre- di saster, i mpact phase and
post- di saster phase. A Di saster Management Authori ty ( DMA), i s to be establ i shed by the Gover nment, wi l l
be t he nodal agency t o gui de, faci l i tate, coordi nate and moni tor vari ous aspects of di saster management.
(State Government unvei l s pl an to mi ti gate di sasters, TH. B, 07. 04. 05, M 1 1 )
M20 Envi ronmental I ssues
The State Gover nment wi l l rai se mangrove forests a nd bi o- shi el ds i n coastal di stri cts at a total cost of Rs 8
crore, Tami l Nadu Chi ef Mi ni ster J. Jayal al i thaa tol d the State Assembly. Duri ng t he debate on demands for
gra nts for Forest and Envi ronment Department, Jayal al i tha sai d the mangrove forests woul d be rai sed i n
Thi ruval l ur, Cuddal ore, Nagappatti nam and Ramanathapuram di stri cts i n an area of 1 ,000 acres at a cost of
Rs 1 crore a nd the bi o- shi el d woul d come u p at a cost of Rs 7 crore i n 5, 000 acres of l and i n Chennai ,
Thi ruva l l ur, Kancheepuram, Vi l l upur am, Cuddal ore, Naga ppatti nam, Thi ruvar ur, Tha nj avur, Pudukott ai ,
Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi , Thi runel vel i and Kanyakumari di stri cts. ( TN t o grow mangroves, bi o- shi el ds,
I E. B, 05. 04. 05, M20)
The Rs. 2, 000-crore Sethu Samudhram Shi p Canal Project, off the Tami l Nadu coast, can now be put on t he
fast track a s t he Uni on Envi ronment and Forests Mi ni stry has gi ven it "envi ron mental cl eara nce" under the
Envi ronmental ( I mpact) Assessment Noti fi cati on, 1 994_ However t he project must compl y wi th 22 speci fi c
condi t i ons and 1 9 general condi ti ons. I f everyt hi ng goes wel l , the country' s l ong· pendi ng dream project
sl ated to operate shi p servi ces to a di stance of 1 67.22 km. i n the Gul f of Mannar, wi l l be compl eted i n four
years. (Sethu project gets green Si gnal ; I t i s subj ect to compl i ance of 22 speci fi c condi ti ons, J Bal aj i , I E. B,
07. 04. 05, M20)
Ti gers i n Tami l Nadu are safer than i n most other States, accordi ng to the Tiger Taskforce, whi ch i s i nvesti gati ng
the status of the bi g cat i n I ndi an forests. The "i nnovative practi ces" adopted by the State such as recrui ti ng
ex- poachers as forest guards augured wel l for the ti ger, sai d Suni ta Narai n, Di rector, Centre for Sci ence and
Envi ronment, who i s chai rman of t he taskforce. ' Out of 1 1 4 ti ger deaths i n t he country between 1 999 and
2003, onl y 5 were from Tami l Nadu. Al so, out of 2 1 1 sei zures of ti ger parts made by l aw· enforci ng agenci es
i n thi s peri od, only 4 were from Ta mi l Nadu. Some of the approaches adopted by Tami l Nadu needs to be
expl ored by other States. "Experts poi nted out how excl udi ng l ocal communi ti es i n forest management and
wi l dl i fe conservati on affected the gatheri ng of i ntel l i gence and i nformati on, cri ti cal to preventi ng poachi ng, "
she sai d. Wi l dl i fe managers i n the State see the taskforce's commendati on as a vi ndi cati on of thei r decade' s
l ong campai gn to i ncl ude tri bal s i n conservati on efforts. "The eco-devel opment programme we put together i n
the Kal akkad- Mundanthurai Ti ger Reserve was hai l ed by the Worl d Bank as one of t he best i n the wor l d. We
have been abl e to bri ng down the fel l i ng of trees for fi rewood by 95 % and grazi ng by 70 %. Nearl y 70 % of
the benefi ci ari es of the programme are women. Tri bal s have thus been gi ven a parti ci patory rol e i n forest
management, " Dr. Sukhdev, Chi ef Wi l dl ife Warden, sai d. ( I f you' re a big cat, you' re better off i n Tami l Nadu,
Vani Dorai samy, TH. D, 21 . 05. 05, M20)
2 0 0 S 0 6 j Documentat ion Update |
The Central Government deci si on to appoi nt an ei ght-member committee to study the envi ronment i mpact of
the Sethusamudram canal and advi se the authori ti es peri odi cal l y i s a step i n the ri ght di recti on , gi ven the
apprehensi ons expressed i n several quarters about the project. Dredgi ng for the canal wi l l be undertaken
between t he Pal k Bay and Gul f of Mannar, and the Centre has acknowl edged that t he a rea i s h i ghl y eco­
sensi ti ve, wi th many forms of mari ne l ife a nd coral reef. Envi ronmental i sts say the waters around Adam's
Bri dge a re home to one of the worl d's ri chest bi osphere reserves, wi th 3600 types of mari ne l i fe, i ncl udi ng
about 400 endangered speci es. There has al ready been a controversy about the p roject gett i ng hasty
envi ronmental cl earance from the Uni on Envi ronment Mi ni stry, bypassi ng the Tami l Nadu government. There
have al so been suggesti ons that there are defi ci enci es i n the report of the Nati onal Envi ronmental Engi neeri ng
Research I nsti tute ( NEERI ). Late l ast month Tami l Nadu Chi ef Mi ni ster Jayal al i thaa expressed fears that the
project mi ght affect the l i vel i hood of fi shermen because of the dredgi ng.
Wi th the project faci ng maj or controversi es even before i t takes off, i t i s quite l i kel y that these wi l l conti nue to
dog the canal even after i t opens. Fi shermen have been qui te concerned about the i mpact of the canal . They
say that the project wi l l provi de jobs to onl y 5,000 persons , whi le 3. 5 l akh fi shermen wi l l l ose t hei r l ivel i hood.
Envi ronmental acti vi sts have been goadi ng fi shermen to agi tate agai nst t he project, and here agai n how much
of the doomsday scenari o wi l l come through i s a bi g questi on mark. The soci al a nd envi ronment costs of bi g
dam projects have been found to be far hi gher than the benefi ts t hey provi ded. The Sethusamudra m canal
shoul d not go the same way. (Sethu proj ect fears, Centre a ppoi nts panel t o study i mpact , I E. B, 1 2. 07. 05,
M20)
The gover n ment has sai d that Sr i Lanka' s concern about the envi ronmental probl ems a ri si ng out of the
Sethusamudram channel project a re unfounded. Top shi ppi ng mi ni stry offi ci al s sai d that the project had been
a pproved after goi ng t hrough al l t he p ros a nd cons rel ated to t he envi ronmental i ssues and l ong-ter m
repercussi ons. Last week t he Lankan Forei gn Mi ni ster La kshman Kadi rgamar had menti oned du ri ng a
di scussi on on the project that it may consi der taki ng I ndi a to i nternati onal court if the envi ronmental i ssues
rel ated to the p roject a re not sol ved. As the p roject i nvol ves dredgi ng and sett i ng u p of other faci l i t i es
through an eco· sensi ti ve zone, t he mi ni stry has consti tuted a moni tori ng commi ttee t o assess t he i mpact of
envi ronment and sui tabl y advi se the project authori ti es. The offi ci al s sai d that Lanka's mai n concer ns are
rel ated to i ts coast l i ne, coral reef a nd fi shi ng acti vi ti es. Al so, the i sl and nati on feel s that i ts nei ghbour i ng
terri tory woul d be i nundated if the project i s i mpl emented. However, sources say that i n fact, if the project i s
not i mpl emented, then there are more chances of Sr i Lanka's terri tory getti ng i nundated. (Sethusamudram
project: I ndi a terms Lanka's concern basel ess, Ani mesh Si ngh, FE. B, 1 5. 07. 05, M20)
M30 Non-touri sm I ssues
For t he fi rst t i me i n Tami l Nadu, t he Sel f· Hel p Groups (SHGs), mostl y from t he tri bal communi ti es, are bei ng
brought under one umbrel l a for a novel and i nnovative programme to protect the Pachamal ai forests, where
i l l egal tree fel l i ng has been rampant. When the forest cover deteri orated al l over the count ry due to vari ous
factors, the government had i ntroduced many schemes to encourage the l ocal s from protecti ng the forest
area . Several afforestati on projects of the Department of Forests i n Tami l Nadu i ntroduced i n the past had
fetched resul ts today. The state average of forest cover of around 25 % i s wel l above the nati onal average of
16· 1 7 percent. Di stri ct Forest Offi cer K V Gi ri dhar sai d, real i si ng that peopl e' s parti ci pati on was essenti al
for the success of a ny project; peopl e have been i nvol ved i n forest management i n some way or the other
from the ti me of i mpl ementi ng SOCi al forestry schemes. (SHGs converge to protect Pachamal ai forest, L
Sri kri shna, I E. C, 29. 03. 05, M30)
M40 Touri sm Pol i cy and Pl ans
Dest i nati on devel opment of eco· touri sm spots, u pgradi ng i nfrastructure a nd i mpl ementati on of Phase- I I
i ntegrated Mamal l apura m devel opment are t he a reas of focus for t he Tami l Nadu Tour i sm Devel opment
Corporati on (TTDC). On desti nati on devel opment i n Yercaud, Shakti kanta Das, TTDC Managi ng Di rector sai d
that work on desi l ti ng of the l ake, i mprovement of the surroundi ngs i ncl udi ng l andscapi ng and i l l umi nati on
and provi si on of publ i c conveni ences woul d be done at a cost of Rs. 4. 48 crores. Thi s yea r the Poi nt Cal i mere
wi l dl ife sanctuary, Muthupet, and Pi chavaram woul d be the spots for desti nati on devel opment works bei ng
carri ed out i n Nagapatti nam, Thi ruvarur a nd Cuddal ore di st ri cts. (TTDC focus on desti nati on tour i sm, IS.
Shankar TH. C, 20. 04. 05, M40)
| Documentat io1l Update | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
Wi th 1 26 devel opment works havi ng been compl eted i n the past three years on an outl ay of Rs. 2. 48 crores,
Courtal l am, whi ch wi l l attract touri sts from vari ous parts of the country duri ng the next three months, i s al l
set t o add few more faci l i ti es for i t s guests at t he cost of Rs. 1 . 04 crores before t he season starts t hi s year.
Whi l e the Department of Touri sm has agreed to al l ocate Rs. 41 l akhs, the Courtal l am speci al panchayat, the
ri chest a mong the s peci al panchayats i n the di stri ct. wi l l gi ve Rs. 36 l akhs. ( Courtal l am ready to recei ve
guests wi th more faci l i ti es, 1 26 devel opment works have been compl eted i n the past three years, P Sudhakar,
TH. C, 04. 06. 05, M40)
I n an attempt to boost touri sm. the Tami l Nadu Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on i s marketi ng the state as
a n al l season desti nati on, through a campai gn ti tl ed Enchanti ng Tami l Nadu, Experi ence Yoursel f. The state
whi ch is known for its tower i ng templ es, hi stori c forts a nd beaches, is promot i ng rel ati vel y l esser known
regi ons l i ke Tranquebar, Pul i cat and Chetti nad. Besi des that, Tami l Nadu's gateway Chennai and Coi mbatore
wi l l be u pgraded to conduct worl d cl ass conferences backed by better roadways. Heal th touri sm too wi l l be
gi ven a boost.
The average l ength of stay of touri sts has been 2. 1 days and l ast year, the touri st arrival s were 300, 76, 832.
I t has attracted an i nvestment of Rs 7, 725 crores di rectl y or i ndi rectly. "
I t has been, found that 23 % of forei gn touri sts stay at star hotel s, a nd now attempts are on to recogni se
guest houses for touri sts. Stati st i cs i ndi cate that there were 1 0. 58 1 akhs forei gn touri sts l ast year. (TN set
for a touri s m boost, AA. B, 31 . 08. 05, M40)
Chi ef Mi ni ster J Jayal al i thaa sai d the State Government proposed to promote 'twi nni ng of desti nati ons' by
"cl osel y synergi si ng our efforts wi th nei ghbouri ng countri es and states, and devel opi ng common ci rcui ts. "
Poi nti ng out that thi s was one of the 7' poi nt pl an that the state had for promoti ng touri sm, she sai d that Tami l
Nadu and Sr i Lanka were today emergi ng as twi n desti nati ons for a l arge number of vi si tors from Europe and
el sewhere. (TN , La nka emergi ng as twi n touri st s pots, I E. C, 1 6. 1 0. 05, M40)
The Tami l Nadu Touri sm Department has deci ded to l aunch Adi Sankara and Jai n templ es ci rcui ts to attract
more touri sts, parti cul arl y the domesti c ones, State touri sm Secretary V Varaprasad Rao sai d. A 'Vivekananda
touri sm ci rcui t' woul d al so be i ntroduced wi thi n the next coupl e of months, he added. He sai d whi l e Rs 4. 3
crore has been al l ocated for devel opi ng a meni ti es for the 'Adi Sanka ra ' ci rcui t , upto Rs 3 crore has been
al l ocated for the Jai n tour i sm ci rcui t . Pri vate sector shoul d parti ci pate i n a bi g way to devel op these three
ci rcui ts. (Adi San ka ra , Jai n templ e ci rcui ts i n TN on cards, FE. B, 28. 01 . 06, M40)
MSO Touri sm I ssues
Rama nathapuram di stri ct, whi ch, unti l a few yea rs ago, remai ned a hazy grey patch on the touri st map of
Tami l Nadu, i s now emergi ng as a favoured desti nati on for both forei gn a nd l ocal touri sts. Thi s, i n addi ti on to
the t housands of pi l gri ms who vi si t thi s di stri ct everyday to offer worshi p at the va ri ous wel l · known shri nes of
a l l fai t hs. I n order to attract touri sts, the gover nment has unfol ded a number of projects, whi ch i s fast
changi ng the profi l e of thi s di stri ct. A number of parks a nd entertai nment centres now dot the l ong coast of
the di stri ct. ( Ramnad fast emergi ng as favoured touri st s pot, S Raj a, I E. C, 1 6. 1 0. 05, M50)
Qua l i ty i nfrastruct ure, a vi brant hospi tal i ty i ndustry and easy connecti vi ty wi th exot i c touri st spots make
Chennai an i ncreasi ngl y favouri te desti nati on for MI CE (Meeti ngs, I ncenti ves, Conferences and Exhi bi ti ons).
The numbers of i nternati onal conferences, each of whi ch are attended by at l east 2, 000 to 5, 000 del egates,
have gone up over the yea rs. Wi th the season al ready on, several i nternati onal groups have wri tten to maj or
hotel s a nd hospi tal i ty agenci es. handl i ng MI CE, confi r mi ng dates to host conferences. Hi Tours, an agency
whi ch handl es MI CE, has recei ved the i nti mati on to a rrange for conferences as l ate as 2007. And the trend
i s consi dered a good si gn at a ti me when the touri sm boa rds of Sri Lanka and South- East Asi an countri es are
aggressivel y marketi ng thei r home countri es for MI CE. (Chennai emerges as a hot spot for MI CE, V Ayyappan,
I E. C, 21 . 1 1 . 05, M50)
The templ e town of Bhadrachal am coul d soon offer you thi s rare mi x of a purifyi ng pi l gri mage and a soothi ng
touri s m experi ence. A fi ve- acre Ramayana Theme Par k, the new- l ook Par nasal a, boati ng to Papi Hi l l s a nd
packaged tours are i n the offi ng. Al l these i ni ti ati ves a re a resul t of the recent vi si t of the Central Touri sm
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Docunentation Update |
Department off i ci al s to the templ e town. The tea m proposed a Rs 1 4- crore package for actual i si ng the
touri sm potenti al of Bhadrachal am, wi th Rs 8 crore i n the fi rst phase. (Spi ri tual touri sm at Bhadrachal am, B
Satyanarayana Reddy, I E. C, 1 8. 1 2. 05, M50)
For the hospi t al i ty maj ors such as I ndi a n Hotel s Company Ltd, Hotel Leel avent ure, Hi l ton, Marri ott and
others, Chennai i s fast becomi ng a hot s pot After l yi ng l ow for over the years, Chennai i s suddenl y turni ng to
be the most happeni ng city i n I ndi a as compared to Bangal ore, Hyderabad and Pune. With view to cashi ng i n
on the expected gap i n demand and suppl y thanks t o i ncreasi ng busi ness acti vi ti es i n both manufact uri ng
and servi ces sectors, and a l so major i nvestment proposal s from both mul ti nati onal and domesti c compan i es
coupl ed wi th encouragi ng average room rate, hospi tal i ty majors are vyi ng for a bi g pi e i n the maj or southern
metro, accordi ng to i ndustry sources. "There i s goi ng to be an addi ti on of over 1 , 000 rooms i n the next 2·3
years wi th an esti mated i nvestment of over Rs 1 , 000 crore, " sai d a sen i or offi ci al of the Federati on of Hotel
& Restaurant Associ ati on of I ndi a ( FHRAI ) . ( Hotel maj ors f i r m up Chennai pl ans, R Ravi chandra n , FE. B,
03. 01 . 06, M50)
M51 Coastal Tou ri sm
The recentl y- opened beach park at Mandapam, has turned out to be a top touri st attracti on of Rameswaram,
t hanks to i ts desi gn a nd l ocati on. The park was establ i shed at a cost of Rs. 24. 30 l akhs on 40 a cres of l and
bel ongi ng to the Mandapam Speci al Vi l l age Panchayat. I t was desi gned to meet the expectati ons of touri sts,
who were often di sappoi nted over the i nadequate touri st spots at Rameswaram. The maj or attracti on at the
pa rk i s the chi l dren' s swi mmi ng pool , j ust 50 metres off the sea. An added attracti on i s the gl ass· bottom
boats operated by the Forest department, whi ch gi ves a si ght of the coral reef formati ons underwater.
(Mandapam Beach Park a hi t wi th touri sts, TH. B, 1 7.05. 05, M5 1 )
Tour i st desti nati ons i n Kanyakumari wi l l get a facel i ft. A tot al of Rs 1 4.82 crore i s bei ng s pent for tour i sm
promoti on acti vi ti es such as provi di ng new i nfrastructure, renovati on work and provi di ng for more faci l i ti es i n
vari ous touri sm centres i n Kanyakumari di stri ct. Detai l i ng the vari ous ongoi ng touri sm promoti on acti vi ti es i n
the di stri ct, the Col l ector s a i d a total of Rs 25 1 akh i s bei ng s pent t o provi de waysi de a men i ti es such a s
l andscapi ng, gardeni ng a n d new pathways to the beach at Vattakottai i n Kanyakumari , where the ci rcul ar fort
i s si tuated. A parki ng l ot i s bei ng devel oped at the sunset poi nt at Kanyakumari by the PWD at a cost of Rs
1 crore. A Touri sm Recepti on Centre at Kanyakumari is bei ng bui l t at a cost of Rs 60 l akh, Pal i wal sai d. Flood
l i ghti ng at Vivekananda Rock by Central PWD is bei ng provi ded at a cost of Rs 32. 1 3 1 akh whi l e the ' Sound
and Li ght Show' on Swami Vi vekananda i s bei ng set up at a cost of 2. 25 crore. I ndi an Touri sm Development
Corporati on has taken up promoti on works at a cost of Rs 2. 55 crore for devel opi ng fi ve cottages, i n open ai r
th, atre, Vivekananda Rock jetty i mprovement works, generator i nstal l ati on and sunset poi nt devel opment at
Ka ' 1 yakumar i . Muttom Beach and Thekkuruchi beach a re bei ng devel oped at a cost of Rs 1 . 5 crore. (Mul ti ·
crore pl an to devel op touri sm i n Kanyakumari , I E. C, 05. 07. 05, M51 )
M53 Heri tage Touri sm
The Ni l gi ri Mountai n Rai l way whi ch connects Mettupal ayam (326 metres) to Ooty (2, 203 metros), i s now a
worl d heri tage si te for i ts outstandi ng contri buti on to keepi ng steam heri tage touri sm al ive. Thi s was deci ded
by UNESCO' s worl d heri tage commi ttee i n Durban. The UNESCO i nscr i pti on i s an extensi on of the earl i er
nomi nati on of Darjeel i ng Hi mal ayan Rai l way as a heri tage si te. NMR, al ong wi th Darjeel i ng rai l , i s now part of
UNESCO' s Mountai n Rai lways of I ndi a. ( Ni l gi ri rai l chugs i ts way i nto UNESCO heri tage l i st, TOI . B, 1 7.07. 05,
M53)
Ari kamedu
.
an archaeol ogi cal si te, whi ch serves an i ndex for South I ndi an Hi story wi l l soon be devel oped i nto
a heri tage touri st spot wi th the ai d of H UDCO, sai d Dr. T Sathyamurthy, superi ntendent, Chennai Ci rcl e of
the Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ). HUDCO, whi ch had been entrusted wi th the task of beauti fyi ng the
si te, had earl i er evolved a bl ue pri nt for the project and was al l set to take i t up for i mpl ementati on duri ng l ast
yea r i tsel f. But, it was del ayed due to tsunami and there were al so a pprehensi ons that a porti on of the si te
was damaged. But, i t was l ater found out that there was no damage to the si te. The proj ect woul d be
i mpl emented i n January: touri sts woul d be a bl e to reach Ari kamedu al ong the Ari ankuppam Ri ver through a
boat from Ari ankuppam. (Ari kamedu to be made heri tage spot, I E. C, 1 7. 1 0. 05, M53)
| DOCll111 eniatiol1 Updat e | 2 0 05 - 0 6
M57 Hi l l Touri sm
Wi th t he tea i ndustry faci ng a cri si s for t he past few years, Val pa rai town i n t he Anamal ai s i s pi nni ng i t s hopes
on touri sm. Thousands of estate workers have sta rted movi ng to the pl ai ns and busi ness acti vi ti es have hi t
an a l l -ti me l ow. The town does not have much pri vate l and for constructi on of hotel s and other commerci al
establ i shments. Most of the l and has been l eased out to pri vate estates whi l e the rest i s a reserve forest.
The muni ci pal i ty has sent a proposal for bui l di ng 1 00 resorts and a chi l dren' s park on the ba nks of the
proposed check- dam across the Nal l akathuodai , a j ungl e stream.
Once touri sts start comi ng, tea sal e wi l l go up, benefi ti ng the estates, says Hameed, an AI ADMK functi onary.
However, envi ronmental acti vi sts are cauti ous. "Al ready i t has been opened up for touri sm. Regul ated touri sm
i s al l ri ght that too, for wi l dl i fe enthusi asts and nature l overs. Mass touri sm wi l l be haza rdous to t hi s fragi l e
pl ace, " says an acti vi st. The poor, especi al l y t he estate workers, wi l l be affected as t he cost of l i vi ng wi l l go
up once touri st f l ow i ncreases, says another. (Va l para i pi nni ng hopes on tour i sm, M. Gunaseka ra n , TH. C,
1 9. 1 0. 05, M57)
M57b Kodai kanal
The sal ubri ous, 24-hecta re Kodai kanal Lake woul d tempt anybody to take the pl unge wi thout a thought. But
appearances can be decepti ve, as i s sadl y the case wi th the l ake. Thi ngs have deteri orated to the extent that
vi si tors throngi ng l odges or cottages may be suscept i bl e to bot h water- borne and ski n di seases i f these
establ i shments ha ppen to use water from the l ake for dri nki ng or other purposes.
Accordi ng to a report prepared by the Tami l Nadu Water Suppl y and Drai nage Board, the l ake i s dyi ng a sl ow
deat h. A sampl e test conducted by i ts water ana l ysi s l aboratory recentl y revea l ed that the l ake water has
been conta mi nated to a great extent. The l evel of e- col i bacteri a , responsi bl e for causi ng di a rrhoea and
uri nary tract i nfect i on, was fou nd to be 1 , 100 ti mes hi gher than the l i mi t sti pul ated by the Centra l Publ i c
Hea l th Engi neeri ng Envi ron menta l Orga ni sat i on. The l evel of faeca l streptococcus , t hat ca uses amoebi c
dysentery, was found to be 230 per 1 00 ml of water as agai nst ' ni l ' speci fi ed exa mi nati on of t he water
revea l ed that the t urbi di ty uni ts and ferrous content exceeded the maxi mum permi ssi bl e l i mi t of 10 uni ts
and 1 mg per l i tre respecti vel y.
Envi ronmental i sts are putti ng the bl ame on sewage rel eased i nto the l ake by some hotel s and l odges. A Boat
Cl ub member al l eges that the water i s bei ng i l l egal l y tapped and suppl i ed to some unl i censed l odges usi ng
ta nkers. An offi ci al of the Kodai Muni ci pal Counci l reveal s that water tankers transporti ng water from the l ake
were sei zed at ni ght a few days ago, admi ts Muni ci pal Chai rman Kuri en Abraham, ' Unl i censed hotel s i ndulgi ng
in these i l l egal acti vi ti es bri ng a bad name to the good establ i shments, too. The muni ci pal admi ni strati on has
i ssued noti ces to these l odges a nd hotel s. " Abraham poi nts out that the l a ke de-weedi ng a nd de- si l t i ng
proj ect, for whi ch Rs 1 0. 33 crore had been sa nct i oned, i f i mpl emented, can provi de a sol uti on to t he
contami nati on probl em. "But a l ocal forum has obtai ned stay from court. " (Contami nati on ki l l i ng Kodai Lake,
A R Meyyammai , I E. C, 05. 05. 05, M57b)
M58 Speci a l Touri sm Areas
Two more templ es have been di scovered i n Mahabal i puram by the Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a duri ng
excavat i on. Al so, underwater expl orati on has i ndi cated that there may be more man- made struct ures
(presumabl y templ es) submerged under t he sea . Though there i s exci tement of real i zi ng t he exi stence of
l egendary ' seven pagodas' , the ASI is bound by a resource crunch. ASI Di rector General C Babu Rajeev sai d
t hat the ASI proposed to strengthen touri st faci l i ti es at Mahabal i puram. (More templ es di scovered i n
Mahabal i puram, Swati Das, TOI . M, 02. 04. 05, M58)
2 0 0 5 0 6 | Docllmentat ion Update |
• N - ANDHRA PRADESH .
Pol i cy and Pl anni ng
The Federati on of I ndi an Chambers of Commerce and I ndustry has asked the Andhra Pradesh Government
to devel op a free zone at Vi sakhapatnam port on the l i nes of Jebel Al i Free Zone i n Dubai . The free zone woul d
tri gger economi c growth by gi vi ng i mpetus t o i ntense manufacturi ng and processi ng a cti vi ty. The Jebel Al i
Free Zone charged no duti es on al l i mports and exports wi thi n the free zone. There was no need for enteri ng
ti e· ups wi th l ocal companies. Mr Kanwar sai d the free zone coul d offer fl exi bl e l abour rul es. FI CCI wi l l l aunch
t he ' Dest i nati on Andhra Pradesh' campa i gn t o attract i nvestments i nto the State. ( FI CCI for setti ng up free
zone at Vi zag port, Blo B, 03. 05. 05, NOO)
I nf rastruct ure
I n a bi d to enhance a i r connecti vi ty t he Andhra government has deci ded to devel op a i rports i n smal l towns
and ci ti es. I t has i n i ti ated t al ks wi th the Ai rports Authori ty of I ndi a (AAI ) to modern i se exi sti ng a i rport
i nfrastructure i ncl udi ng ni ght- l andi ng faci l i ti es. A request has been made to the Ci vi l Avi ati on Mi ni stry and
AAI to upgrade the Vi j ayawada a nd Ti rupati and s peed up up-gradati on of the Vi sakhapatnam a i r port. The
gover nment has al so wanted to convert exi sti ng runaway stri ps at Mangi napudi near Raj amundry, Nel l ore,
Puttaparthi and Cuddapa.
Meanwhi l e, the government has drafted an Avi ati on Pol i cy t o be carri ed out for the next 10 years. Under t hi s,
t he government pl ans t o have ai rstri ps i n each of t he di stri ct headquarters among others. (AP pl ans ai rstri ps
i n a l l di stri ct headquarters, Satya Naagesh Ayyagary & KVVV Charya, FE. B, 1 3. 02.06, NOO)
Touri sm Pol i cy and Pl ans
The Government of AP has t aken steps for promoti on of tour i sm by provi di ng accommodati on , cateri ng,
tra nsport and recreati onal faci l i ti es at vari ous touri st pl aces. Greater emphasi s i s gi ven for rural communi ty
based, fami l y ori ented, pi l gri m, adventure, eco, l ei sure tour i sm and now on crui se tour i sm, charters and
ci rcul a r t ra i n. Response f rom pri vate sector f or i nvestment i n tou r i sm rel ated acti vi ti es - beach resorts,
water s ports, theme parks, a musement parks, trekki ng, golf, conventi on centres etc has been good.
Wi th the cont i nuous efforts of the Touri sm Department, domesti c touri st arri va l s have i ncreased si gnifi cantl y
from 63. 3 mi l l i on i n 2002 to 74. 1 mi l l i on i n 2003 and 84. 9 mi l l i on i n 2004. Si mi l arl y the i nternati onal touri st
a rri va l s a l so i ncreased from 2. 1 0 l akh i n 2002 to 4.80 l akh i n 2003 and 5. 01 1 akh i n 2004. ( Buttressi ng the
touri sm potent i al , I E. D, 27. 09. 05, NOO)
Nea rly 18 months after getti ng a promi se from the Uni on Mi ni ster of Touri sm. Ms Renuka Chowdhary, the
touri sm i ndustry i n Andhra Pradesh can now expect a ' ni ght bazaar' i n a few months_ The Uni on Government
has chosen Hyderabad as one of the two si tes to test the concept. The Rs 5- crore n i ght bazaa r woul d come
at Shi l pa ra mam, surrounded by i nformati on technol ogy and I TES compani es i n the Hi -Tec Ci ty, at Madhapur.
The proposed ni ght bazaar woul d not be on the l i nes of the popul ar perception on the bazaars. The Government
proposed to broaden the i dea of bazaars to go beyond the popul ar noti on t hat t hey woul d be dotted wi th
pubs_ The ai m of setti ng up such a bazaa r at the Hi · Tech Ci ty was to cater to the hundreds of I T pros, who
worked l ate i n the eveni ngs. The bazaar woul d house eateri es a nd shops speci fi cal l y targeti ng them. ( ' Ni ght
bazaar ' soon to boost touri sm i n Ap Bl. B, 06. 1 2.05, NOO)
Recogni si ngtouri sm as a major growth engi ne for i ncreased empl oyment generati on and boosti ng economi c
growth, Andhra Pradesh i s posi ti oni ng i tsel f as a favoured i nternati onal and domesti c desti nati on. For t hi s,
| Documentation Update | 2 0 0 5 0 6
the state government i s chal ki ng out a l ong· term strategy, i ncl udi ng the publ i c· pri vate partnershi p model , for
promoti ng the state as a favourabl e and ul ti mate desti nati on both for domesti c a nd i nternati onal touri sts.
Starti ng from the basi cs whi ch i ncl ude road, rai l network, a i r connecti vi ty, waysi de a meni ti es, conventi on
centres, the Department of Touri s m i s l eavi ng no stone u nturned to market the state i n tota l i ty. Thi s stems
from t he fact that t he state government has taken assi stance from t he Worl d Touri sm Organi sati on t o car t out
al ong term strategy to boost the sector.
Besi des, i t i s al so the onl y state to offer s i ngl e-wi ndow cl eara nce for touri sm proj ects t hus faci l i tati ng the
PPP model . On i ts pa rt, the government i s partner i ng wi th pri vate parti es for setti ng star hotel s. Further,
di stri ct col l ectors wi l l be gi ven Rs. 1 crore each t o make the master pl an a vi abl e proposi ti on .
I n order to give an al l ocati on for the touri sm department has been i ncreased to Rs 77 crore for thi s fi scal from
the earl i er government' s Rs 36 crore. I ni ti al l y as part of provi di ng waysi de ameni ti es, the state govern ment
i s worki ng wi th I ndi an Oi l and Rel i a nce to house rest aurants wi th al l a meni ti es i n thei r petrol stati ons on the
state' s h i ghways at 1 2 si tes.
As part of rural devel opment. the state government i s focusi ng on ti er· 1 1 ci ti es such as Puttaparthi , Konaseema
i n the east coast whose backwaters are bei ng aggressi vel y promoted. However, the biggest spi ri tual touri sm
event bei ng pl anned i n the state i s January 3· 1 4, 2006, whi ch envi sages two l akh Buddhi sts to vi si t Amaravathi .
Fi nal ly, to devel op a pol i cy framework f or sustai nabl e devel opment and to devel op human resource i n the
touri sm sector devel opment. AP government has establ i shed the Nati onal I nsti tute of Touri sm and Hospi tal i ty
Management i n Hyderabad. (AP government i ni ti atives to strengthen touri sm sector, Satya Naagesh Ayyagarv
& BV Mahatakshmi , FE, B, 07. 1 1 . 05, NOO)
Ms Geeta Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Touri sm Mi ni ster sai d, "The Government of Andhra Pradesh deci ded to put
the State on par wi th other southern states l i ke Tami l Nadu, Karnataka and Keral a i n attracti ng touri sts. Wi th
a focu sed approach a i med purel y at gi vi ng a major t hrust to t our i sm i n state, the state government i s
embarki ng on a three· di mensi onal strategy · i mprovi ngfaci l i ti es at pl aces of hi stori cal promi nence, devel opi ng
i nfrastructure and transport and gi vi ng a major boost to rural touri sm. Wi th these objecti ves i n perspecti ve,
the government wi th the acti ve i nvol vement and parti ci pati ve associ ati on of the pri vate sector has al l ocated
Rs. 1 00 cm to t ake u p new project s. "
Reveal i ng about t he l atest i ni ti ati ves desi gned at gi vi ng a thrust to touri sm i n Ap she expl ai ned: "new touri sm
packages are bei ng desi gned and evol ved wi th Hyderabad, Araku,
Vi shakapat nam and Ti ru pat i as focal poi nts. I t i s observed that forei gn touri sts to the State have been
evi nci ng keen i nterest to know about our agri cul tural products, farmi ng practi ces a nd cul ture. A new concept
i n the form of Fa rm Tour i sm i s bei ng devel oped to ensure that the touri sts spend consi derabl e t i me i n our
state. Thi s woul d provi de the touri sts wi th an opportunity to l i ve i n our envi rons and enjoy our hospi tal i ty and
cul ture. "
Wi th a scope for empl oyment generati on i n the rural sector, new market i ng strategi es a re to be adopted. I n
a n effort t o gi ve maj or boost t o rural tour i sm, twel ve pl aces have been i denti fi ed. These pl aces woul d be
provi ded wi th a maj or facel ift by devel opi ng accommodati on faci l i ti es. These pl aces of hi stori cal si gni fi cance
wi l l be protected wi th sci enti fi c i nputs and museums wi l l be devel oped. Kuchi pudi , the famous vi l l age from
where cl assi cal Kuchi pudi dance form has ori gi nated, wi l l be devel oped on these l i nes wi th a fund of Rs. 1 cr.
Bui l di ng "Hi ghway Hotel s" i s another concrete step i n the ri ght di recti on where the touri sts wi l l enjoy qual ity
Andhra cui si ne i n hi ghly refreshi ng ambi ence. These Hi ghway Hotel s wi l l be establ i shed in Hyderabad, Kadapa,
Vi j ayawada, Suryapet, Nel l ore, Si ddi pet, Tuni and other pl aces wi thi n a year. (Touri sm: The brand ambassador
of AP' s hospi tal i ty, FE. B, 22. 04. 05, NOO)
Touri sm I ssues
The Andhra Pradesh Govern ment has si gned a pact wi th a touri sm i nfrastructure company to take up the Rs
2, 000·crore ' Desti nati on Vi zag' project al ong t he beach. The project, coveri ng 1 , 000· 2,000 acres, i s ai med
&
2 0 05 0 6 | Documentation Update |
at setti ng up worl d- cl ass hospi tal i ty, l ei sure, I ifestyle and entertai nment faci l i ti es on the beach. Once compl eted,
the project woul d hel p attract 45. 000 forei gn touri sts more i nto the State. I t woul d bri ng in forei gn excha nge
to the t une of Rs 550 crore a yea r. Besi des, i t woul d generate revenue to t he order of Rs 1 1 2 crore for the
l ocal economy.
The project woul d compri se a five- star hotel , beach resort, golf courses, heal th spa, theme parks, conventi on
and exhi bi ti on centres, mul ti pl exes, mega shoppi ng mal l s, mari ne hel i copters and sea pl anes. The project
woul d a l so take u p communi ty devel opment acti vi ti es i n Vi sakha patnam. I t woul d ta ke u p cl eani ng a nd
mai nta i ni ng t he 30- km coast l i ne, i mprove amen i ti es i n the l ocal communi ty cl usters, a nd spruce u p t he
exi sti ng Zool ogi cal Park. C AP si gns pact f or Vi zag touri sm proj ect, BL. C, 09. 1 1 . 05, NOO)
Hyderabad i s fast emergi ng as an attracti ve desti nati on for i nternati onal conferences and semi nars. But, one
thi ng that can mar the ci ty's attracti on i s the l ack of adequate hotel rooms. Duri ng the SAP Games l ast year,
one hotel even asked some regul ar guests to put off t hei r t ravel pl ans a s i t coul d not offer rooms. More
recentl y, there were two maj or pharma conferences. One, the I ndi a- Asean , GCC Heal thcare and Pha rma
Conference, a nd over- l appi ng wi t h i t was t he 56th I ndi an Pharmaceuti ca l Congress al ong wi t h a Phar ma
Expo. Both t he conferences had a total of about 4, 500 del egates. As these conferences ended, another two·
day meet of the Oi l Technologi sts Associ ati on of I ndi a began. Thi s is when the mad rush to get accommodati on
began i n Hydera bad.
Currentl y, there are about 1 , 200 rooms i n the fi ve· star category i n Hyderabad, whi ch a re woeful ly i nadequate.
I nterest i ngl y, a nother 1 , 200 rooms wi l l be open for occupati on i n t he next few yea rs. For i nstance, the MR
group i s putti ng up 280 rooms i n t he three·four star categori es and Marri ott through Vi ceroy Hotel s i s addi ng
another 1 30 rooms by January. Moreover. accordi ng to i ndustry watchers, the Leel a Group, Hyatt and l TC,
too, are eyi ng properti es i n the expandi ng ci ty. ( Hot spot Hydera bad runni ng short of hotel rooms, Satya
Naagesh Ayyagary & KVVV Charya, FE. B, 1 2. 1 2. 05, NOO)
Coastal Tou ri sm
A boat crui se on t he Godava ri from Kunavaram jetty t o t he pi cturesque Papi Hi l l s a nd t he mythol ogi cal
Ramayana theme park i n Bhadrachal am are sure goi ng to be a thri l l i ng experi ence not only t o the devout who
make a beel i ne to thi s anci ent shri ne on festive occasi ons but al so to hol i rlay· makers. The touri sm Department
has many pl ans to devel op thi s riverfront town i nto a major touri st desti nati on once the Pol avaram i rri gati on
project i s compl eted. The Department i s expl ori ng the possi bi l i ti es of devel opi ng a touri sm corri dor from
Bhadrachal am to Rajahmundrv on the ri ver Godavar i , the fi rst of i ts ki nd i n the state.
The present l evel of water i n the ri ver i s not adequate enough to operate hi gh· speed crui se boats. However,
as the Pol avaram project woul d i ncrease the i nfl ow u ppi ng the water level here, speed boats and l i ner servi ce
can be operated. CAP pl ans crui se on the Godavari , B Satyanarayana Reddy, I E. C, 09. 02. 06, NOO)
Pi l gri m Touri sm
Ti ru pati , t he second ri chest rel i gi ous body i n the worl d after the Vati can, has been faci ng a probl em of pl enty
al l these yea rs. The templ e compl ex dedi cated to Lord Venkateshwara i s the worl d' s l argest si ngl e consumer
of commodi ti es l i ke sugar, cardamom, ri ce. pepper, cashew, turmeri c, edi bl e oi l . vegetabl es and j aggery. The
templ e' s huge ki tchens feed thousands of devotees dai l y; some 1 00, 000 l addoos a re made every day for
devotees A I I free of cost.
The shri ne draws the l a rgest number of pi l gri ms each day. The templ e has prospered from the gol d, money
and even hai r that pi l gri ms offer to the dei ty. The templ e trust, whi ch a l ready has ei ght tonnes of jewel l ery
l yi ng i n i ts l ockers, recei ves nea rl y 1 0 kg of gol d ornaments every week from devotees.
So what novel measures have the templ e authori ti es taken to manage thi s probl em of pl enty?
I n a uni que venture, the Ti rupati templ e authori ti es have roped i n J RG Weal th Management Ltd, one of I ndi a's
l eadi ng commodi ty brokers, to i nstal l an onl i ne commodi ty futures termi nal at the templ e compl exWi th 1 57
| Documentation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6 .
bra nches across the country, Kochi - based J RG i s a premi er stock, commodi ty and i nsurance brokerage
house. For l arge rel i gi ous pl aces l i ke Ti rupati whi ch mi l l i ons of devotees vi si t every year, the dai l y rates of
va ri ous commodi ti es in I ndi a are very i mporta nt. Through the J RG termi nal , the TTD management can now
view the commodi ty pri ces from al l the l eadi ng commodi ty exchanges -Nati onal Mul ti Commodity Exchange
of I ndi a Ltd, Mul ti Commodi ty Exchange of I ndi a Ltd and Nati onal Commodi ty and Deri vatives Exchange Ltd.
But how do onl i ne futures t radi ng i n commodi ti es hel p the Ti rupati templ e authori ti es?
Transparency i n the purchase of various commodi ti es i s the most posi tive outcome of setti ng up the commodity
futures termi nal , poi nts out a seni or templ e offi ci a l . Every yea r, the templ e aut hori ti es purchase eata bl e
consumabl es worth over Rs 300 crore. More than 30 di fferent contractors a re the mai n suppl i ers of these
commodi ti es who bi d and wi n the annual contracts.
Templ e sources say the suppl i ers have j oi ned hands to for m a mi ddl eman cartel and ta ke a bi g cut on the
commodi ti es suppl i ed to the templ e. "We wi l l el i mi nate t hi s ca rtel wi th the onl i ne commodi ty termi nal " .
(Ti rumal a Templ e opts for commodi ty tradi ng, George I ype, VTB, 02. 05. 05, NOO)
Al l roads wi l l l ead to Andhra Pradesh's Ama ravati i n January next year when the Kal achakra 2006 wi l l begi n.
Thi s i s an annual i ni ti ati on ceremony for Buddhi sts compl ete wi t h ri tual s and prayers and i s conducted on a
l a rge scal e across the gl obe. Every year, a new pl ace is chosen for the event and t hi s year, Amaravat i , whi ch
i s l ocated near the river Kri shna i n AP's Guntur di stri ct , has been pi cked. The state i s set to make a pl ace for
i tsel f in the world map for Buddhi st touri sm in a big way. The touri sm mi ni stry has i dentified al most 1 44 si tes
across the state, of whi ch 44 si tes a re the maj or ones. The state govern ment is i nvesti ng Rs 1 0 crore to
update the i nfrastructure and devel op the pl aces i nto major touri st si tes for Buddhi sts across the worl d.
" Not many know that even AP has a huge Buddhi st i nfl uence and so we a re now tryi ng to create an enti re
Buddhi st ci rcui t i n the state, "says AP Mi ni ster for Touri sm and Sugar Dr J Geeta Reddy. (Amaravati to host
Kal achakra , Sruti Nayani , ET. C, 06. 1 2. 05, NOO)
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 j Documcntation Update j
I nf rastructure
The prospect of brand new Greenfi el d ai rports at Bangal ore and Hyderabad i n three years has prompted
states l i ke Punj ab and Maharashtra to push for si mi l ar ventures but l eadi ng the pack i s Goa whi ch has drawn
up the contours of a state- of-the- art ai rport at Mopa by 201 4.
The pl an has been prepared wi th the hel p of experts from the I nternati onal Ci vi l Avi ati on Organi sati on ( I CAO)
and the Ai rports Authori ty of I ndi a (AAI ). Cl ose to 2 mi l l i on passengers f l y i n to the pl ace every year and
offi ci al s poi nt out that there i s a beel i ne of charter operators for permi ssi on. (Goa's ready wi th pl an for worl d·
cl ass ai rport, Pranab Dhal Samanta, I E. D, 27. 05. 05, POO)
The agi tati on agai nst the proposed Mopa ai rport, l ed by Churchi l l Al emao, MP from South Goa, got a maj or
boost wi th Mi ni ster for Water Resources Fi l i pe Neri Rodri gues j oi ni ng the bandwagon. Mr. Rodri gues, a Mi ni ster
in the Congress-l ed coal i ti on, shared the pl atform of "Save Dabol i m Ai rport Commi ttee" i n South Goa. He has
j oi ned the anti - Mopa agi tati on, and i s ful ly i n favour of expansi on and u pgradati on of the Dabol i m ai rport for
opti mal c ivi l i an use. Mr. Al emao has been goi ng ahead wi th hi s agi tati on bri ngi ng embar rassment to the
Congress. (Mi ni ster j oi ns sti r agai nst Mopa ai rport, TH. B, 29. 03. 06, POO)
Envi ronmental I ssues
Wi th the garbage i ssue sti l l haunti ng the major ci ti es i n the state, the same i ssue has rai sed i ts ugl y head i n
some of the vi l l ages al ong the coastal bel t. Ri ght from Maj orda t o Col va an d Benaul i m t o Varca, heaps of
garbage is seen scattered al ong the roadsi de. The l ocal s al l eged that the contractors col l ect the garbage
from the hotel s and dump the same at i sol ated pl aces i n the wee hours. The hotel i ers countered the al legati ons
of the l ocal s by stat i ng that t hey di sposed of thei r garbage wi th pai d contractors and that i t was t he
responsi bi l i ty of the contractors t o di spose t he same wi thout causi ng any har m t o t he l ocal s. However, due
to l ack of ci vi c sense a mong t hose dumpi ng the garbage, the pl ace has become a conduci ve pl ace for
mosqui toes to breed and al so for the domesti c ani mal s to feast on the heaps of waste al ong the road. The
l ocal s were of the opi ni on that there shoul d be a check on the hotel i ers and t hei r engaged contractors so as
to where they shoul d dump the hotel waste.
Accordi ng to the vi l l agers, the waste generated by the t hree and fi ve· starred hotel s create a nui sance and
very often the el ected representati ves turn a bl i nd eye to such acti vi ty. The garbage managi ng commi ttees
al so fai l to yi el d the desi red resul t s and as such the vi ol ators take maxi mum advantage of the preva i l i ng
l ethargi c si tuati on. (Garbage i ssue haunts some vi l l ages al ong coastal bel t, NTG, 1 1 .09. 05, POO)
The oi l bal l s whi ch have been so far creati ng pani c al ong South Goa beaches seem to have reached the
beaches i n North Goa. Some resi dents from Rei s Magos, Anj una and Baga have cl ai med that they had seen
the substance al ong the beaches. The Di rector of Touri sm, Mr Sandeep Jacques, when contacted sai d that
he had not received any reports of ci ti ng of oi l bal l s al ong the North Goa beaches. However, he woul d veri fy
the si tuati on tomorrow by sendi ng a team. The pol l uti on control experts say that though t hi s was a routi ne
phenomenon duri ng the monsoon al ong the shore, thi s year the quanti ty of oi l bal l s al ong the beaches has
i ncreased. They however say that thi s may be because of the change i n the consti tuti on of the ocean due to
tsunami .
The offi ci al s of Touri s m Department sai d that the department has taken up the beach cl eani ng operati on and
added that the i n spi te of cl eani ng the oi l bal l s are appeari ng on the beaches. They sai d that t hi ck oi l l ayer
was cl eared at Maj orda and Arossi m beaches. The beach cl eani ng operati on has started on al l beaches i n
South Goa. (Oi l bal l s now appear on some N Goa beaches, NTG, 1 9. 09. 05, POO)
| Documentation Update | 6
Touri sm Pol i cy and Pl ans
Master pl ans f or a l l · round devel opment of vi l l ages i n Goa i s i n t he off i ng as Bl ock Devel opment Offi cers
(BOOs) have been di rected to i ni ti ate the process wi th t he parti ci pati on of el ected bodi es, gram sabhas and
the general publ i c. Mr Shi rodkar sai d that Goa has 1 90 vi l l age panchayats and about 52% of Goa's popul ati on
resi de i n rural Goa. The preparati on of the master pl an for al l the vi l l age panchayats, whi ch wi l l cover each and
every vi l l age, coul d take as l ong as a month or two after del i berati ons at al l l evel s. He regretted t hat there i s
no compact eva l uati on of devel opment of vi l l ages and fel t t he need t o set targets for t he same. ( Master
pl ans for devel opment of vi l l ages i n the offi ng, HE. G, 25. 06. 05, POO)
The Goa Chi l dren's Act, 2003 was recentl y amended, ostensi bl y to deal more str i ngent ly wi th vari ous forms
of chi l d abuse, as al so to regul ate the chi l dren' s homes and hospi tal s, but non· govern mental organi sati ons
al l ege that the Government was a ctual ly tryi ng to l essen i ts broader responsi bi l i ti es.
Extensi ve amendments were made to the 2003 Act i n the budget sessi on of the Assembl y. The 2003 Act,
a i med at creati ng a chi l d·fri endl y soci ety, came i n the wake of cri ti ci sm about the growi ng chi l d a buse i n
touri st areas.
However, acti vi st Al berti na Al mei da of Bai l ancho Saad, an NGO worki ng for women and chi l dren sai d that the
Govern ment has used the ' facade of a mendments' to di l ute i ts obl i gat i on u nder the ori gi nal Act to work
towards "the goal of u ni versal el ementary educati on and eradi cati on of chi l d i l l i teracy wi thi n a peri od of three
years. "Now the target has been pushed back to seven years. Si mi l arl y the undertaki ng to eradi cate chi l d
l abour "wi thi n two years of thi s Act [2003] comi ng i nto force", has been changed. Now, the Government wi l l
attempt t o do i t �' i n a phased manner".
Good provi si ons
The new Act, however, has some good provi si ons. I t prohi bi ts a ny medi cal i nsti tuti on or cl i ni c or hospi tal or
nursi ng home from refusi ng admi ssi on or treatment of a chi l d or pregnant mother who has a ny i l l ness or
di sease or ai l ment l i ke l eprosy, AI DS, etc. , whi ch has a soci al sti gma attached to i t. I t provi des for puni shment
to erri ng i nsti tuti ons wi th a f i ne whi ch may extend to RS. 50, 000.
The amended Act, among other thi ngs, has expanded the scope of vari ous abuses under "commerci al sexual
expl oi tati on of chi l dren" to i ncl ude "al l forms of sexual expl oi tati on of a chi l d i ncl udi ng vi sual depi cti on of a
chi l d engaged i n expl i ci t sexual conduct, real or sti mul ated, or t he l ewd exhi bi ti on of geni tal s i ntended for
sexua l grati fi cati on of the user, done wi th a commerci al purpose, whet her for money or ki nd. I t i ncl udes
i mpl yi ng, al l owi ng, usi ng, i nduci ng or coerci ng a ny chi l d to engage i n sexual conduct. I t al so i ncl udes the use
of the chi l d i n assi st i ng wi th other persons to engage i n expl i ci t sex. "
Goa had i n t he recent past faced much bad publ i ci ty over chi l d abuse by some forei gn touri sts. I t was found
that chi l dren of mi grant l abour l oi teri ng or strayi ng on beaches were easy prey for chi l d abusers. The defi ni ti on
of "grave sexual assaul t" has al so been expanded to i ncl ude acts l i ke maki ng chi l dren pose for pornographi c
p hotos and f i l ms, forci ng mi nors to have sex wi th others, del i beratel y causi ng i nj ury to sexual organs of
chi l dren etc. I n the a mended Act the state rol e has been expanded to ensure that chi l dren are protected
from abuse, sexual offence traffi cki ng, prosti tuti on and vi ol ati on of ri ghts. The Act now provi des for counsel l i ng
faci l i ti es by tra i ned personnel to chi l dren i n school s. (Some amendments to Goa Chi l dren's Act draw f l ak,
TH. D, 04. 09. 05, POO)
Vi gi l woul d be stepped up on forei gners overstayi ng i n Goa, pol i ce sai d. Forei gners, especi al l y wi th busi ness
vi sa have come under scanner of the pol i ce fol l owi ng a deportati on order i ssued by the chi ef secretary of the
State agai nst a Ger man nati ona l . I ngo runs a Saturday ni ght bazaar at Arpora . " Pol i ce have f i l ed a case
agai nst hi m as he was creati ng l aw and order probl em". I ngo i ni ti ated Goa's f i rst ni ght bazaar concept a few
years back, but l ocal s began compl ai ni ng a bout noi se pol l uti on due to the bazaar. Goa Sanskri ti Rakhan
Sanghatna a l ocal body al so a l leged sal e of drugs at the ni ght bazaar. I ngo has chal l enged the chi ef secretary's
order i n the court. "Through my bazaar, I am tryi ng to give i nternati onal exposure to l ocal arti sans, ' sai d I ngo,
who has about 500 stal l s sel l i ng products from shoes, garments to food. (Vi gi l on forei gners overstayi ng i n
Goa , TPD, 20. 02. 06, POO)
2 0 05 � 0 6 | Docllmentat ion Update |
'The l ifestyle i n vi l l age a nd rural I ndi a has tremendous marketabi l i ty a mong western touri sts, 80 % of whom
take cul tural tours' , says Hotel i er Ral ph de Souza, wel comi ng the Budget proposal . Goa must make a pi tch
to see that some of the 50 vi l l age projects are devel oped here, says Goa chamber of commerce and i ndustry
presi dent Ni t i n Kuncol i enkar. The state al so hopes to attract some of the Centre' s Budget proposal s for the
1 5 i ntegrated area touri st desti nati on devel opments proposed. After a mi d-ni neti es i nvestment boom a nd
wi th the end of Central tax exempti ons, the state i s hopi ng to bounce back by 2007. Losi ng out to states l i ke
Hi machal Pradesh si nce 2000, Goa experi enced capi tal f l i ght. (Goa wel comes focus on tour i sm, Pamel a
D' Mel l o, AA. D, 01 . 03. 06, POO)
The Government wi l l enter i nto a ti e- up wi th pri vate sector to add water s ports, a dventure s ports and eco·
touri sm to tour i st packages i n the Western Ghats. Aware of the need to offer more to retai n i ts edge i n
touri sm, the Government h a s fi nal i sed Touri sm Master Pl an: Goa· 201 1 (TMP) wi th emphasi s on "strategi c
pl anni ng for l ong·term touri sm devel opment wi th focus on i nfrastructure" .
Accordi ng to the Economi c Survey 2005-06 presented to the State Assembl y duri ng the budget sessi on, the
ma ster pl an has i denti fi ed several sports and acti vi ti es such a s scuba di vi ng, snorkel l i ng, paragl i di ng,
parasai l i ng, yachti ng, ri ver rafti ng, trekki ng, cycl i ng, skati ng, joggi ng, and sea surfi ngfor touri sm promoti on.
Some of the acti vi ti es suggested i n the master pl an woul d be mai nl y set up i n pri vate sector wi th gui del i nes
for regul ati on. I nfrast ructure i s to be devel oped at the l ei sure touri sm desti nati ons such as beaches, water
bodi es, spri ngs, and l akes. Aware of t he need to resol ve the tussl e between t he touri st taxi operators and
t he tour operators, Mr. Rane has proposed a one· year moratori um on buyi ng new touri st vehi cl es.
Mr. Rane' s budget has deal t wi th t he cont i nued demand of t he hospi tal i ty i ndustry to redre ss some of the
a nomal i es i n the l uxury tax and VAT system. Luxury tax, entertai n ment tax and VAT structures have been
rati onal i sed, si mpl ifi ed and restructured wi th a sl ew of concessi ons. The Government has proposed to remove
servi ces such a s casi nos, water s ports and boat crui ses from the l evy of l uxury tax and make them taxabl e
under entertai nment tax. (Goa fi nal i ses touri sm master pl an, TH. B, 27. 03. 06, POO)
Touri sm I ssues
Spai n' s Cl ub de Vacaci ones' f i rst charter to Goa, schedul ed to touch down on 3rd Aug 05, has the tou ri sm
i ndust ry exci ted about t he prospects of new markets for charter touri s m t o I ndi a. Cl ub de Vacaci ones, i n
col l aborati on wi th Spanai r, pl ans a weekl y charter to Goa from Madri d. The charter' s l ocal handl ers, Travel
Corporati on I ndi a (TCI ) , expect 1 20 passengers a week on the l ong· haul f l i ght. Goa' s i nternati onal touri sm
season has over the years shrunk to a mere si x months, from October to March, given the weather condi ti ons
here, and the l ei sure i ndustry has i ncreasi ngly turned to wooing the domestic market wi th al l · i ncl usi ve packages.
(Spani sh charter opens new market for touri sm i n Goa, DH. B, 24. 06. 05, POO)
Goa Deputy Chi ef Mi ni ster Wi l fred D Souza says the state i s set for a 1 0 % i ncrease i n forei gn charters
operati ons i s bei ng hi ndered by defence restri cti ons. "We had 690 charters fl y i n here l ast season a nd a re
expecti ng 750 t hi s year. Unfortunatel y, there are a l ready diffi cul ti es wi th t he Navy i n the number of l andi ng
sl ots bei ng gi ven to i nternati onal chartered fl i ghts at Dabol i m. "
Opposi ti on to ai rport: Tou ri sm stakehol ders i n south Goa are opposed t o t he new ai rport and have received
the unsti nted support of MPs and MLAs representi ng southern consti tuenci es.
De Souza too says Dabol i m shoul d be retai ned for t he state's use. I nternati onal fl i ghts to Dabol i m a re al l owed
l andi ng onl y over t he weekends because of defence operati ons. No n i ght l andi ngs have been permi tted,
despi te a ssurances for such cl earances i n the past. (Touri sm hampered i n Goa by defence curbs, DH. B,
1 9. 09. 05, POO)
I t coul d not have been a worse end to a year of partyi ng for the gl oba l tra nce tri ppers, who have col l ected on
Goa' s famed Anj una beach for t he fi rst t i me i n 25 years, the admi ni strati on has come down heavy on the
revel l ers and ba nned rave parti es i n the trance ci rcui t of Anj una·Vagator· Shapora , i n North Goa. The si l ence
i s so spooky i t' s al most spectral from Di sco Val ley to Hi l l top, Shi va Val ley to Templ e Pl ace, Bamboo Forest to
Monkey Val l ey i t' s a dead· end zone. Hotel i ers a re nervous, t here wi l l he a near ri ot i f the thousands, have
nowhere to go. The avowed a nd notabl e reason for rave ban bei ng the drug menace at rave parti es, the i l l i ci t
| Documentat ion Update | . 6
na rcoti cs trade and hard drugs l i ke ecsta sy, cocai ne, heroi n, and other substance a buse. The pol i ce, l oca l
admi ni strati on, pol i ti ci ans, even the church and some secti ons of the medi a have al l whi pped up rave rage,
with obvi ous consequences of cul tura l pol i ci ng and moral brigades stal ki ng the l andscape. For the l ocal s, who
depend on the touri sts t rade from the dozens of cheap rooms rented to travel l ers, to cafes, bi ke hi res, even
the chai shop r un at rave parti es, the l oss i s huge. ( Rave rage hi ts Goa before New Year, Vri nda Gopi nat h,
I E. 3 1 . 1 2. 05, POO)
Coastal Touri sm
A ' Bai na ' a ppears to be sl owl y bei ng repl i cated here i n a fester i ng envi ronment wi th 1 50 i l l egal hutments
erected i n viol ati on of Coastal Regul ati ons Zone (CRZ) and Court orders fears are bei ng rai sed about prosti tuti on
and other shady acti vi ti es. A few of the 1 50 huts whi ch have mushroomed over a peri od of t i me al ong the
beach stretch, north of t he tour i st i c hub at Col va a re bei ng sl owl y converted i nto pucca struct ures wi th
Mangal ore ti l es. And what was once a green patch and a coconut grove wi th swayi ng pal m trees for peopl e to
rel ax, has been converted i nto a sl um and more huts are sprouti ng every week.
I nci dental ly t he authori ti es had moved here wi t h bul l dozers and l abourers to cl ear t he l and on three occasi ons
but pul l ed back due to pol i ti cal pressure. Di rector of Tou ri sm, El vi s Comes sai d that the department i s aware
of t he probl em and that the matter has been taken u p at the hi ghest l evel .
Court order fl outed
Col va: An order of the Bombay Hi gh Court at Goa dated 29 June 02 (Wri t Peti ti on 1 26 / 1 996) to demol i sh
the i l l egal constructi ons at Col va and fi l e a compl i ance report every fortni ght has been bl atantl y fl outed. I n
the peti ti on f i l ed by Goa Foundati on, the di vi si on bench h a d di rected the touri sm department t hrough the
maml atdar, deputy col l ector and the di stri ct col l ector to keep a watch to ensure that there i s no CRZ vi ol ati on
and demol i sh structures bui l t therei n. Sadl y the order i s not bei ng i mpl emented i n spi ri t by the a uthori ti es,
who are bowi ng to pol i t i cal pressure and t ur ni ng a Nel son' s eye to the hutments. (Another Bai na i s i n the
maki ng at Col va beach, Goa, 1 5. 04. 05, POO)
Heri tage Touri sm
Thi s i s t he second attempt Lady Haml yn trust and I ntach a re maki ng to t ake up restorati on of the fort. I n
2002, the t rust had offered a gen erous £300, 000 sterl i ng endowment to restore t he crumbl i ng fort. An
archi tect had mapped the a rea and drawn up i ni t i al pl ans whi ch were then i n act i ve consi derati on. The offer
though was t urned down by a previ ous Goa regi me, when objecti ons surfaced to a cl ause that upper rooms
of the for t be l eased for 1 5 yea rs as a pri vate resi dence.
As a regul ar Goa vi si tor, the wi dow of publ i shi ng tycoon Paul Hamlyn i s keen to take up the fort' s restorati on
as a goodwi l l gesture, says the representati ve. Though l i sted as one of 42 a nci ent hi stori c monuments
deservi ng protect i on, the government budgets a re i nadequate to mai nt ai n the hi l l top Rei s Magos fort that
was bui l t by Portuguese col oni sers i n 1 550 at a strategi c hi l l top at the mouth of the Mandovi Ri ver. Wi th i ts
panorami c vi ews of the ocean and riverfront, at l east three major hotel groups i n I ndi a and one from Si ngapore
were i nterested i n converti ng the fort i nt o a heri tage hote l , before a court order shot down proposal to
convert the publ i c heri tage monument i nt o pri vate space. The amended restorati on proposal how has no
condi ti ons of any sort. (Lady Hel en trust to restore Goa fort, Pamel a D' Mel l o, AA. D, 24. 02. 06, POO)
Heal th Touri sm
The I ndustri es Mi ni ster, Mr Lui zi nho Fal ei ro, has sai d Goa's posi ti on as a touri st desti nati on coul d be expl oi ted
further by addi ng state· of· art medi cal faci l i t i es to promote i t as a pri me gl obal heal th touri sm desti nati on. The
pri vate sector has a rol e i n t hi s di rect i on, he added.
Addressi ng the i naugura l sessi on of the semi nar on ' Heal th· care: the Goa Scenari o' organi sed by the heal th
commi ttee of the Goa Chamber of Commerce a nd I ndustry, Mr Fal ei ro sai d that the government woul d pl ay
the rol e of faci l i tator and encourage pri vate parti ci pati on i n i mprovement of faci l i ti es i n the heal th sector.
( Pri vate sector can hel p promote Goa as heal th touri sm spot: Lui zi nho, NIG, 3 1 . 07. 05, POO)
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
Soci a l I mpacts
Goa has ga i ned a reputati on far worse than Bangkok, whi ch i s consi dered the sex capi ta l of the worl d. Wi th
no control s on i ts borders and no checks on peopl e vi si ti ng the state, anyone and everyone i s comi ng i nt o
Goa t o have a good ti me. And i t i s t hi s l ack of control s and checks t hat a re wi tnessi ng the state acqui re a
di rty, seamy reputati on as gl obal gangs t arget Goa.
Accordi ng to pol i ce sources, gl obal gangs have di vi ded Goa' s terri tory i nto di fferent gang zones. Al ong the
Candol i m- Cal angute stretch the Ni geri ans and Bri ti sh are domi nant who deal i n narcoti cs. At Anj una·Vagator
it is the I srael i s, Germans and I ta l i ans. At Arambol Russi ans and Germans ca l l the shots and i n Pal ol em the
Russi ans and I srael i s have set up base.
Apart from dea l i ng wi th these gl obal gangs, the l atest probl em that the Goa pol i ce have on thei r hands i s the
growi ng sex trade that i s fl ouri shi ng on the coastal bel ts, i n the form of dance bar gi rl s who have fl ed Mumba i
t o the sunny shores of Goa.
Al so wi th the Mumbai pol i ce cl osi ng down
'
over 300 dance bars, 75, 000 dance bar gi rl s are seeki ng a lternati ve
empl oyment. The recent ar rest of fi ve gi r l s who were i nvol ved in a cal l gi rl racket i s a testi mony to t hi s fact
that many of them a re attempti ng to make Goa thei r base.
Now the Goa pol i ce' s l atest hi gh tech war i s the i nternet, where t here a re numerous websi tes spri ngi ng u p
promi si ng women i n Goa , i n parti cul ar a l ong the north Goa coastal bel t. Hosted on servers, whi ch a re housed
i n the US, UK and Thai l and, websi tes such as www. goaescorts. com whi ch i s part of the a ppoi ntment date
and ti me to meet a ' Goan' gi rl or for that matter even a forei gn gi rl anywhere i n Goa. Paedophi l i a al so conti nues
to haunt Goa Pol i ce as the number one sex cr i me i n the state. The recent break t hrough i n the Swedi s h
pornographi c nng was broken on an emai l t i p t o the Goa Pol i ce. (Gl obal sex, drug gangs target Goa, Sukumar
Shastri , HE. G, 08. 05. 05, POO)
After the hedoni sm of hi ppi edom, now i t i s the paedophi l i a· dri ven touri sm that i s becomi ng a growi ng menace
i n Goa. The gover nment to a certai n extent acknowl edges the probl em but the forei gn paedophi l es have l i ttl e
to worry, for when they are caught, they escape easi ly from t he state and the country wi thout a ny puni shment.
Probabl y, Mi chael Jackson case hol ds an i mportant l esson for the onl y state i n I ndi a, whi ch has a Chi l dren' s
Act as wel l as a Chi l dren's Court. The speedy manner i n whi ch the tri al was conducted coul d be a revel ati on
to many a nd what i s of utmost i mport ance i s that even a cel ebri ty l i ke Mi chael Jackson coul dn' t avoi d the
t ri a l . However, chi l d acti vi sts i n Goa bel i eve that the si t uat i on i s a bsol utel y t he reverse i n Goa a nd the
paedophi l es escape scot·free.
Whatever, the reason, one thi ng i s absol utel y cl ear. There i s an urgent need for the state and j udi ci al authori ti es
-be i t the pol i ce, the prosecutors or the j udi ci ary -to address the i ssue of paedophi l i a i n a determi ned
and deci sive manner.
Apart from Freddy Peats who had been convi cted and j ai l ed, a number of paedophi l es have been i dent i fi ed
and even apprehended by pol i ce have escaped scot·free. Recentl y, t he deta i l s of the modus opera ndi of a
German paedophi l e suspect, Jorg Harry Ri ngel mann came to l i ght. Hi s I ndi an wi fe and ' adopted daughter' -
both teenagers · were barel y a few yea rs apart i n age. Ri ngel mann used the Hi ndu Adopti on and Mai ntenance
Act, 1 956, a ppl i cabl e onl y to Hi ndus, to l egi t i mi se hi s rel ati onshi p wi th a 1 5·year·ol d femal e chi l d who had
been i n hi s custody from age of ei ght. I nstead of bei ng puni shed he was served a deportati on noti ce a s there
was a probl em wi th hi s busi ness vi sa.
He vol unteered to l eave the country on hi s own and was permi tted to do so on 14 August 2004. At present,
I t al i an Gi orgi o Lazi ni and German Gunter Bachman who were accused of rape of a mi nor a re sti l l movi ng
a round. I t i s certa i n, the recentl y enacted Goa Chi l dren' s Act, 2003, has provi si ons to deal wi th paedophi l i a
more effectivel y but t here a re l oophol es i n the Act. ( Mi chael J ackson case has l essons for Goa, Preetu Nai r,
GTG, 22. 06. 05, POO)
| Documentation Udate | · 0 0 5 - a 6
Starti ng some years ago on the fri nges, sex trade has now become networked wi th the state touri sm i ndustry
i n a cl ose fashi on. I nqui ri es wi th i nsi ders i n the busi ness as wel l as l aw-enforcers have brought to l i ght the fact
that el ements from vi rtual l y every segment of the touri st i ndustry from roadsi de touri st touts to the room­
boys i n the war m and hospita bl e hotel s to the taxi dri vers to the motorcycl e pi l ot ri ders have a s hare i n the
i ncome from sex trade.
The women i nvolved bel ong to al l age groups from mi nors for the paedophi l es to teenagers to marri ed women.
For some i t i s j ust keepi ng t he l ife goi ng on, for others i t i s a more payi ng vocati on, for sti l l others i t i s t o keep
a l uxuri ous l ifestyle goi ng on.
And not al l these women come from other states. Qui te a few of t hem are Goans, accordi ng t o the i nsi ders.
Technol ogy i s onl y fuel l i ng the growth of the trade. Today when a hustl er wants to market the gi rl s, he has thei r
photos -whi ch are sometimes topl ess or more reveaI i ng-n hi s cel l phone to show to the potenti al customers.
Once the customer has sel ected a gi rl , the network makes arrangement for the gi rl to reach hi s pl ace or hi m
t o reach a n appoi nted pl ace.
Accordi ng to i nqui ri es, hustl ers wi th photos of gi rl s on cel l phones a re roami ng a round at popul ar tour i st
spots, l i ke beaches, ri ver crui ses and publ i c tra nsport stati ons. The trade has spread i ts network even to far­
f l ung vi l l ages. Several hotel s and l odges provi de temporary to l onger l odgi ng to gi rl s to cater to the tour i sts
or l ocal s from di fferent strata of the soci ety.
Pol i ce a l so have i nfor mati on about cal l gi rl busi ness goi ng on- i n fi ve star hotel s. But often no acti on can be
taken because of i nvol vement of bi g a nd powerful peopl e. Both the gi rl s and the customers come from wel l to
do fami l i es. Pol i ce a cti on i s a l so hampered by t he fact that the gi rl s, i f a rrested, usual l y tend to make a
statement that they were i ndul gi ng i n sex of thei r own free wi l l and not for t rade. Wi th the surpri se rai ds by
the CI D\Cri me Bra nch s l euths and pol i ce parti es, most of the hotel i ers, hustl ers and women engaged i n the
trade have become more vi gi l ant and a re conducti ng the busi ness very cauti ously_ Someti mes, the busi ness
goes under the cover of other busi nesses, l i ke massage parl ours. (Sex i ntertwi nes wi th tour i sm i n Goa,
Shai kh Jamal uddi n, NTG, 1 1 . 08. 05, POO)
The presi dent of the Mumbai Bar Gi rl s Uni on Varsha Kal e, sai d that 1 0, 000 bar gi rl s woul d come to Goa thi s
tour i st season. The Goa pol i ce, as usual , appear cl uel ess wi th DGP Katna sayi ng, "Gomatak Ti mes has
i nformati on a bout thi s but we don' t " . 75, 000 bar gi rl s have been rendered j obl ess due to t he cl osure of
dance bars i n Mumbai . The gi r l , who swayed to the musi c and mesmeri zed patrons i n the dance bars ti l l the
recent past, used to earn Rs 1 0, 000 to Rs 1 5, 000 a month. Traffi ckers a re a l ready l ur i ng many bar gi r l s i nto
the fl esh trade and some gi rl s have been a l ready brought to Goa. "Gross i nj ust i ce has been done to us a nd
we wi l l now sel l our body to earn a l i vi ng and no moral guardi an has any ri ght to cri ti ci ze us, " sai d Rekha. (We
are ready to pai nt Goa ' red' Mumbai bar gi rl s, Preetu Nai r, GTG, 30. 08. 05, POO)
A pol i ce- publ i c i nteracti on meet organi sed today at the Panj i m pol i ce stati on hi ghl i ghted the menace of the
dance bar gi rl s frequenti ng the state and the precauti ons that coul d be taken to curb thi s menace. The meet
that was attended by 42 representati ves of the hospi tal i ty i ndustry wi t hi n the j uri sdi cti on of the Panji m
pol i ce stati on, emphasi sed the need to mai ntai n a proper regi ster of the hotel empl oyees as wel l as that of
thei r guests who uti l i se thei r accommodati on faci l i ti es, The pol i ce requested the smal l group of representatives
of hotel i ers, l odge owners and guest house owners to mai ntai n a meti cul ous entry of the names and addresses
of thei r guests on thei r guest regi ster a nd that the mandatory provi si on of fi l l i ng the 'C' forms and submi tti ng
them to the Forei gners Regi strati on Offi ce ( FRO) or the nearest pol i ce stati on wi thi n 24 hours be compl i ed
i mmedi atel y. Another i ssue that was di scussed at the i nteracti on was that of harassment of touri sts by non­
regi stered gui des or touts wi th the pol i ce suggesti ng that on l y those gui des a pproved by the Goa Touri sm
Devel opment Corporati on be encouraged. I t i s l earnt that thi s pol i ce- publ i c i nteracti on that has been revived
wi l l be conducted on a regul ar basi s wi th di fferent groups of ci ti zens at l east twi ce a month. ( Pol i ce- publ i c
i nteracti on cal l s f or steps t o check bar gi rl s menace, H E. G, 24. 09. 05, POO)
Al ongsi de the fi s h menus a nd water ski i ng l eafl ets pi nned up i n the wooden beach shacks a l ong the Goa
coast, touri sts have been confronted thi s season wi th l ess pal atabl e posters warni ng them of the presence
of paedophi l es roami ng the seafront. The poster campai gn i s part of a wi deni ng effort by the l ocal chari ti es to
hel p Goa shake off i ts emergi ng reputati on as a centre for chi l d sex touri sm. Forei gners arri vi ng by charter
f l i ghts from Europe are gi ven l eafl ets deta i l i ng the penal ti es for chi l d sex abuse. "Wel come to Goa, l and of
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update j
l ovel y beaches and fri endl y peopl e, " the pamphl et begi ns, before decl ar i ng that paedophi l i a has become a
"seri ous probl em. " Chari ty workers have set up s urvei l l an ce stati ons on four of the state' s most popul ar
northern beaches to hel p moni tor suspi ci ous behavi our among forei gners; a team of workers i s pai d to patrol
the beaches to keep an eye on vi sitors; a nd touri sts are i nvi ted to cal l hotl i ne numbers i f they see any fel l ow
vacati oners engagi ng i n troubl i ng behavi our.
Goa' s state Legi sl ati ve Assembly a pproved a l aw i n 2003 i ntended to make the prosecuti on of paedophi l es
easi er a nd i ntroduci ng a maxi mum 10 years' sentence. But acti vi sts sai d no forei gners have been convi cted
under the act and expressed frustrat i on at what they regarded as a l ack of wi l l on the part of the l oca l
a uthori ti es to tackl e the probl em. Goa' s di rector·general of pol i ce, Neeraj Kumar, sai d that tackl i ng chi l d sex
touri sm was a pri ori ty, but he added that he fel t the probl em was on the decl i ne. I n a report enti tl ed Traffi cki ng
i n Women a nd Chi l dren i n I ndi a, publ i shed i n January, the Nati onal Human Ri ghts Commi ssi on warned that
the si tuati on had reached a cri ti cal stage. "I n I ndi a the a buse of both mal e and femal e chi l dren by touri sts
has acqui red seri ous di mensi ons, " i t sai d. "Unl i ke Sri Lanka and Thai l and, thi s probl em has not been seri ously
tackl ed. " (Goa tri es hard to repai r reputat i on, Amel i a Gentl eman , AA. D, 1 9. 02. 06, POO ! E40)
Cri me, Drugs
The satel l i te town of Porvori m i s sl owl y and gradual ly becomi ng a hub for cri mi nal acti vi ti es. Thefts, burgl ari es
and murders are i ncreasi ng day· by·day and the Porvori m pol i ce have become i neffective i n curbi ng the cri me
rate. (Porvori m becomi ng a haven for cri mi nal s, H E. G, 28. 06. 05, POO)
Two Ni ger i ans, cl ai mi ng to be footbal l ers pl ayi ng for a professi onal cl ub i n Goa, were a rrested by the a nt i ·
narcoti cs cel l (ANC) f or peddl i ng cocai ne across t he State. None of the professi onal cl ubs i n Goa had taken
responsi bi l i ty of those ostensi bl e "footbal l ers". Amman Chukwu Umeh and Cl ement Tochi Nnebedurn, both i n
thei r twenti es, were arrested by the Goa pol i ce for possessi ng drugs. The ANC sei zed coca i ne worth Rs 30
l akh from the d uo. The haul i s consi dered to one of the bi ggest i n t hi s coastal State famous for i ts rave
parti es. ( Ni geri ans arrested for drug peddl i ng i n Goa, Rupesh Samant, TPD 28. 09. 05, POO)
| Documentation Update | 2 0 0 5 0 6
• Q NORTH EAST .
ADB has a nnounced a face· l i ft project for fi ve capi tal towns of north· eastern I ndi a u nder North· Eastern
Regi on Urban Devel opment Pl an, schedul ed to be compl eted by the next si x years. A hi gh l evel ADB team
came t o study the progress of the project and assured that the work on the new project woul d begi n i n mi d
2007 and i s l i kely t o be compl eted by mi d· 20 1 1 . Al ong wi th Agartal a, ADB i s goi ng t o i mpl ement t he project
i n four other state capi ta l s of the regi on - Ai zwal (Mi zoram), Gangtok ( Si kki m), Kohi ma ( Naga l and) and
Shi I iong (Megha l aya). The project i s a comprehensive one to ensure overal l devel opment of the urba n fad I i ti es
i ncl udi ng water suppl y, sewera ge & sani tati on , sol i d and bi o· medi cal waste management, traff i c a n d
tra nsportati on, el ectri fi cati on i n town a reas, fl ood control and sl um u pgradati on a n d heri tage conservat i on.
( Rs 900 crore ADB ai d for North· East, DH. B, 24. 05. 05, QOO)
The Central government has i ncreased the amount sanct i oned to promote 53 touri sm projects i n the enti re
Northeast regi on by a stagger i ng 7 5 % to Rs 1 27. 53 crores for the peri od endi ng Feb 06. Accordi ng to an
Assocham study, t he Mi ni st ry of Tour i sm a nd Cul ture, i n t he enti re fi scal of 2004· 05, had sa nct i oned Rs
72. 75 crores f or 32 proj ects f or al l states i t the northeast regi on wi th a vi ew t o promote va r i ous tour i st
dest i nati ons a nd spots. Accordi ng to t he chamber, the government had real i sed the potenti al of economi c
act i vi t i es i n such states t o posi ti vel y i mpact t he growth of touri s m and tour i sm rel ated a cti vi ti es i n t he
country.
I n the case of Assam, the number of projects sancti oned for tour i sm promoti on i n 04·05 stood at 6 wi th the
correspondi ng al l ocati on amount of Rs 9. 56 crores, however, by Feb 06 the department had i ncreased the
number of proj ects to 8, for whi ch sa ncti oned a mount was i nc reased to Rs 2 1 . 25 crores. For Arunacha l
Pradesh, Rs 22. 40 crores had been sancti oned for 1 0 projects whi l e 9 projects had been gi ven the green
si gnal for each of the states of Mi zoram and Nagal and, whi l e 14 had been sanct i oned for Si kki m and onl y 3
Tri pura dur i ng t he Feb 06 peri od. The a mount al l ocated for the states var i ed between Rs. 22· 7 1 crores.
( Northeast gets generous tour i sm fund, AA. B, 1 6. 03. 06, QOO)
Si kki m
Data on Si kki m cul l ed over seven years show a steady i ncrease i n i ts popul a ri ty aboard. I n 1 998, the total
number of forei gn touri sts vi si ti ng the state was 689 1 , whi l e, by Apr i l t hi s yea r, the state has a l ready
regi stered 6281 touri sts a nd t he numbers a re growi ng. The ri se of i nsurgency i n Nepal has apparentl y
boosted forei gn touri st i nfl ow to the state, i nstructi ons i ssued to thei r ci ti zens by forei gn governments agai nst
travel l i ng i n Nepal bei ng a pri me reason for thi s. I n 2003, the state recorded 1 0, 956 touri sts and the fi gures
rested at 1 3, 555 i ndi vi dual s i n 2004. The i ncl usi on of the Nathu La corri dor i n the Buddhi st touri sm ci rcui t
a nd the tal k a bout l i nki ng Nathu La to Ti bet' s Lhasa i s expected to i ncrease touri st i nfl ow to Si kki m. Kai l ash·
Ma nsarovar ; a popul ar pi l gri mage and touri sm desti nati on, i s expected to be a pri me attracti on. Al so, wi th
Nathu La openi ng the route to Ti bet, experts feel that a si gni fi cant porti on of the over 500, 000 touri sts who
vi si t Ti bet through mai nl and Chi na wi l l prefer the Si kki m route. ( Nepal ' s l oss i s Si kki m' s gai n, TS. D, 22. 05. 05,
QOO)
Nagal and
Al l types of hunti ng, poachi ng and trade of wi l d ani mal s have been ban ned throughout Nagal and t hrough an
order passed by t he Deputy Commi ssi oner of Di mapur. I n her order, t he DC s ai d a ny i ndi vi dual or group,
i ndul gi ng i n any such acti vi ty shal l be l i abl e to prosecuti on a nd penal ti es, i ncl udi ng forfei ture of property or
arti cl es used i n commi tti ng wi l dl ife offences. The puni shment al so woul d i ncl ude i mpri sonment and fine. (Nagal and
bans hunti ng, VIB, 07. 07. 05, QOO)
Assam
The Assam government has adopted a cul tural pol i cy to preserve and strengthen the cul tural mosai c i n the
state i nhabi ted by a l arge number of ethni c groups and i ndi genous communi ti es wi th di verse cul tural tradi ti ons
and practi ces. The pol i cy i s a i med at packagi ng thi s north eastern state as a top· l i ne cul tural desti nati on on
the strength of i ts col ourful tri bal tradi ti ons. The Central government has promi sed Rs 3. 60 crore for sett i ng
up of two mul ti · purpose cul tural compl exes. (Cul ture pol i cy to preserve Assam, VIB, 04. 01 . 06, QOO)
2 0 05 0 6 j Documentation Update |
• S - OTHER STATES .
500 States
The smal l er states i n the country a re becomi ng the hotbed of i nvestment. both overseas and domest i c, wi th
a l arge share of i nvestment enqui ri es bei ng made for projects i n these states.
I nvestment worth bi l l i ons of dol l ar s have l i ned up for these states that have fast created opportun i t i es
outsi de t he tradi ti onal i nvestment desti nati ons.
Accordi ng to a study consti tuted by Associ ated Chambers of Commerce and I ndustry more than 300 enqui ri es
have been generated i n the past few months from i nvestors who are l ooki ng at smal l er states to set up thei r
proj ects. A maj ori ty of these i nvestment enqui ri es have come from overseas i nvestors who feel i t i s better to
negoti ate a deal the smal l states than deal wi th cumbersome procedure adopted by l arger states. The study
has found that smal l er states of Uttaranchal , Hi machal Pradesh, Chatt i sgarh, J ha rkhand and even Jammu
and Kashmi r have emerged as preferred desti nati ons for i nvestment by both overseas and domesti c i nvestors
because of opportuni ty cost these states offer i n ter ms of i ncenti ves, hol i day schemes and ava i l abi l i ty of
raw materi a l to i nvestors. (Smal l states now hotbed of bi g i nvestments, FE. B, 1 5. 06. 05, SOO)
510 Eastern I ndi a
Ori ssa
The si ght of scattered ri ce, broken pots and assorted garbage at Anand Bazar, the publ i c di ni ng a rea of the
worl d famous templ e, have so f ar taken a heavy tol l on the a ppeti te of hygi ene· consci ous devotees. Such
compl ai nts, however, may soon be a t hi ng of the past i f the templ e admi ni strati on i s a l l owed a free hand i n
executi ng i ts pl ans for the renovati on of the pl ace whi ch i s chock· a- bl ock wi th peopl e i n the eveni ng when
thousands partake of the Maha prasad (cooked food offered to Lord Jagan nath) i n the open . The i ssue of
gi vi ng Anand Bazar a facel i ft was di scussed at a top l evel meeti ng wi th a maj ori ty expressi ng i tsel f i n favour
of construct i ng sta l l s for t he sal e of Mahaparsad a nd sett i ng up faci l i ti es for i ts hygi eni c storage so that
devotees coul d even take i t home wi thout any hesi tati on. However, executi on of pl ans i n thi s regard woul d
depend upon t he consent of t he Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a whi ch has been entrusted wi t h t he t ask of
ensur i ng t he safety and secur i ty of t hi s 1 2t h century shri ne whi ch a l so happens t o be t he bi ggest touri st
attracti on of the State.
Obta i ni ng the ASI ' s consent may not be easy consi deri ng the agency, havi ng faced f l ak i n t he past over
mi shaps caused by di spl acement of stones wi t hi n the templ e compl ex, remai ns extremel y sensi ti ve to any
suggesti ons f or a structura l change. Whi l e the mai n part of the t empl e i nc l udi ng the sa nctum sanctorum
remai ns most vul nerabl e to stress and strai n caused by the l ooseni ng of stones over hundreds of years,
even the Anand Bazar boundary wal l has begun showi ng si gns of severe wear and tear. (Jaga nnath Templ e' s
Anand Bazar to get a facel i ft, Ashutosh Mi shra , TPD, 20. 04. 05, S1 0)
Ori ssa government' s proposal for a beach hi ghway
• The 480 km beach hi ghway wi l t connect Tal asa ri i n Bal asore, Ori ssa to Kaki nada i n Andhra Pradesh
• On the way, wi l l be a number of beaches l i ke Chandi pur, Puri , Kona rk, Gopal pur a nd Sonepur i n
Ori ssa and Kal i ngapatnam, Beemuni patnam, Vi shakhapatnam and Kaki nada i n Andhra Pradesh.
• Cottages, hotel s, parks, amusement parks wi l l be devel oped al ong the route
• The Asi an Devel opment Bank has been approached for funds.
( Baywatch, Sat yen Mohapatra, HID, 09. 05. 05, S1 0)
A new wave of i ndustri al i sati on threatens to make the peopl e of Ori ssa envi ronmental refugees i n thei r own
l and. The State's a i r, water, wi l dl i fe a nd peopl e' s l i vel i hoods a re bei ng destroyed by the so-cal l ed i ndustri al
bl i tzkri eg, accordi ng t o envi ronmental i sts. Spurred by the spi ral l i ng demand for steel and a l umi ni um i n the
| Documentation Update | 0 6
i nternati ona l market. several congl omerates have come forward to set up metal producti on uni ts to expl oi t
the mi neral resources of the State. I nstead of pl anni ng for metal producti on spread over the next 1 00· 200
years, the State Government has adopted a "myopi c and sel f· destructi ve" pol i cy of exhaust i ng the ent i re
stock of 3, 1 20 mi l l i on tonnes of i ron are and 1 , 626 mt of bauxi te wi thi n 20· 25 years, accordi ng to
envi ronment al act i vi st Mr Bi swaj i t Mohanty. The i ndustri al i sat i on boom i s expected to resul t i n massi ve
envi ron mental degradat i on si nce the l ocal envi ron ment has a l i mi ted "carryi ng capaci ty" to a bsorb and
assi mi l ate effl uents and wastes produced due t o such gi ganti c producti on faci l i t i es bei ng squeezed wi thi n a
very short t i me. ( ' I ndustri al i sati on wi l l harm Ori ssa' s ecol ogy' , Praful l a Das, BL. B, 07. 06. 05, S1 0)
Nandi ta Das wi l l be the brand ambassador of Ori ssa Touri sm, accordi ng to Mr Surjya Narayan Patro, Ori ssa's
Touri sm Mi ni ster. The appoi ntment of the brand ambassador, as the Mi ni ster expl ai ned, was onl y one component
of the mul t i · pronged strategy fi nal i sed by the Ori ssa Govern ment to promote State' s touri sm, t he other
components bei ng organi si ng road shows both wi thi n the country and outsi de, a ppoi nti ng consul tants and
experts i n t he fi el d t o deci de on the ri ght strategy and i mprovi ng i nfrastructure. The State Touri sm Department,
accordi ng to hi m, has empa nel l ed Leo Burnett and Redi ffusi on to promote the State among touri sts, exi sti ng
and p rospective. As for i nfrastructure devel opment, the Mi ni ster sai d the emphasi s was on i mprovi ng the
connecti vi ty.
" I n past two yea rs we' ve spent nearl y Rs 80 crore to i mprove t he roads i n var i ous touri st cent res and
propose t o spend a bout Rs 1 00 c rore i n t he cur rent fi sca l , " he sai d. A par t of t he f und provi ded by the
Centre for road devel opment was bei ng used to i mprove connecti vi ty i n vari ous pl aces of touri st attracti on.
Part of the i nfrastructure devel opment, as i t was poi nted, woul d a l so be through pri vate· publ i c partnershi p.
Thus, l and was bei ng offered by the State government to set u p hotel s by pri vate entrepreneurs.
For Dha l ul i , there woul d be an addi ti ona l a l l ocati on of Rs 4. 5 crore a nd the servi ces of the Baroda- based
a rchitect, Mr Karan Grover, were bei ng requi si ti oned. The sea beach i n Puri too was bei ng beauti fi ed at a cost
of Rs 5 crore and the promenade was bei ng extended by about 1 . 5 kms. (Ori ssa to step up touri sm promoti on
Ropes i n actress Nandi ta Das as brand a mbassador, BL. C, 20. 08. 05, S1 0)
The l ast ti me we vi si ted the Ori ssa seasi de resort of Puri was i n 1 981 when a par t from one ol d hotel whi ch
had by then become a seven- storey monst rosity and a coupl e of new establ i shments whi ch had come up on
the southern si de of the templ e town the town had barel y changed i ts character from what i t had al ways been
for decades past. I n fact, the fi rst t hi ng that stri kes the eye i n Puri today, speci al ly to someone who i s vi si ti ng
it after qui te some ti me, i s i ts devel opment as a touri st centre. I n earl i er ti mes, the seasi de front of the town
extended onl y t i l l the poi nt known as Swargodwar, adj acent to the burni ng ghat.
I t was rather surpri si ng to be tol d that even today, wi th a l l i ts materi al devel opment. Puri conti nues to attract
touri sts mai nl y from West Bengal and Cal cutta , who form more t han 90 % of the vi si tors. Not onl y t hi s, a
very SUbstant i al par t of the i nvestment t hat has been poured i nto t he resort has a l so come from Bengal ,
whi ch suggests that the Bengal i connecti on wi th Puri has become even stronger t han before. I n a nutshel l , i t
can safel y be sai d t hat Puri i s boomi ng as a tour i st resort. speci al l y that part of i t that extends southward
al ong the coast. The northern part, general ly, sti l l retai ns i ts ol d-worl d, qui te a mbi ence. (Sea- change i n Puri ,
Ra nabi r Ray Choudhury, BL. B, 14. 0l . 06, SlO)
I s t he Sun Templ e at Konark crumbl i ng? Ori ssa Government thi nks so but t he Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a
(ASI ) here says no. The State Cul ture Mi ni ster Damodar Rout consti tuted a two- member commi ttee to exami ne
the Worl d Heri tage Si te and submi t a report wi t hi n 24 hours fol l owi ng reports that a techni ca l commi ttee of
ASI s potted struct ural weaknesses. '
The ei ght- member commi ttee, consti tuted by Di rector General of ASI , vi si ted the structure o n January 1 6
and hel d meeti·ng wi th ASI offi ci al s about the monument's conservati on. The commi ttee, sl ated to submi t i ts
report to the DG of ASI , i s reported to have detected two t hi ngs - one, a crack i n the cant i l ever i n the
southern si de of the 1 3th century monument and two depressi ons i n sand-fi l l i ng. The committee i s bel i eved to
have suggested ASI to i ni ti ate urgent steps for rectifyi ng a ny structural weakness. (I s Sun templ e crumbl i ng?,
I E. B, 20. 01 . 06, S1 0)
Wi th reports of the fi rst bi rd f l u cases i n I ndi a hi tti ng headl i nes, the authori ti es at Chi l i ka Lake a favoured
dest i nat i on of avi a ns from col der cl i mes gea red u p t o pre- empt an outbreak of the H5Nl vi rus a mong
,
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 j Documentat io1 Update j
huma ns. As part of t he fi re
.
fi ght i ng meas ures, a ba n has been i mposed on the entry of vi si tors i nto t he
Chi l i ka ( Nal abana) sanct uary to shi el d t hem from mi gratory bi rds. Nearl y t hree l akh migratory bi rds from
Central Asi a, Chi na and the Far East are sti l l at Chi l i ka prepa ri ng for thei r return j ourney wi th wi nter on i ts way
out. The aut hori ti es have al so l aunched an awareness dri ve i n vi l l ages i n the vi ci ni ty of the l ake. Last mont h,
1 ,685 mi grator bi rds di ed at Chi l i ka rai si ng spectres of bi rd fl u . Sa mpl es were col l ected from the carcasses
a nd sent to vari ous l aboratori es. (Chi l i ka out of bunds for guests, Soumyaj i t Pattnai k, HTD, 21 . 02. 05, S 10)
West Bengal
The West Bengal Government has deci ded to start the concept of tea touri sm i n the state. A det ai l ed project
report on t hi s has a l ready been prepared by the touri sm department a nd a t ota l of Rs 80 crore has been
sancti oned. We are pl anni ng to bui l d gol f courses i n tea gardens and al so some nati onal wi l d l i fe parks for
touri sts wi th a penchant for adventure. Once we do that we a re sure that a huge number of touri sts wi l l fl ock
i nto West Bengal . Pl ans were afoot to devel op the Sunderbans as an eco· tour i sm spot. The 1 2th Fi na nce
Commi ssi on has al ready sancti oned Rs 1 00 crore for the project. Efforts are on to rope i n the Asi an Devel opment
Ba nk and UNESCO for the proj ect. (West Benga l tea gardens t ur ni ng i nto touri st spot s, I E. C, 1 7 . 08. 05,
S 1 0)
The Centre a nnounced Si xth Schedul e status to the GNLF· l ed Darj eel i ng Gorkha Hi l l Counci l , whi ch woul d
ensure greater autonomy to t he governi ng body i n the Hi l l Di stri ct of West Bengal . A tri parti te Memorandum
of Settl ement (MoS) was si gned here between t he Centre, West Bengal Government and t he Subhas Ghi si ng·
l ed Gorkha Nati onal Li berati on Front (GNLF) after two days of hecti c del i berati ons. The Amendment Bi l l to
grant Si xth Schedul e status to the DGHC on the l i nes of such di stri ct counci l s i n the North· east i s l i kel y to be
i ntroduced in the Budget sessi on of Parl i ament. Under the Si xth Schedul e, the di stri ct counci l wi l l get more
powers si mi l ar to t hose enj oyed by the Autonomous Di stri ct Counci l s of Assa m, Meghal aya, Mi zoram and
Tri pura . The Home Mi ni ster sai d, ' Wi th the si gni ng of the Memorandum, the DGHC wi l l have status of Di stri cts
of the Si xth Schedul € of the I ndi an Consti tuti on and wi l l have l egi sl ati ve and executi ve powers and wi l l ful fi l l
t he desi res of t he peopl e. A Bi l l t o a mend t he Consti tuti on wi l l be i nt roduced i n Par l i ament. Once passed,
el ecti ons wi l l be hel d to
.
ile Counci l . ' (Si xth Schedul e status for Darjeel i ng Gorkha Hi l l Counci l , TH. B, 07. 12. 05,
S1 0)
The toy trai n of Darjeel i ng remai ns one of the mai n draws for touri sts al ong wi th the Kanchenj unga. The snowy
peaks remai n a stabl e feat ure for the Darj eel i ng· bound touri sts, but the toy tra i n has become a probl em i t
keeps sl i ppi ng off i ts tracks . I n the l a st fortni ght al one, t he Darj eel i ng toy tra i n has derai l ed t hree t i mes.
Al though no i nj uri es were reported from t hese derai l ments, l i the heri tage trai n keeps goi ng off track i t coul d
have di sastrous consequences for passengers sooner or l ater. Al though no offi ci al rea sons were gi ven for the
derai l ments, one cause coul d be the heavy trafi c on the nati onal highway whi ch runs paral l el to the tracks for
a l ong di stan ce. (Toy trai n, your sl i p i s showi ng, Anj ana Pradhan, TOL B, 23. 03. 06, Sl O)
520 North I ndi a
Uttar Pradesh
Hopi ng to attract more forei gners and get them to extend thei r stay i n Agra , the Utta r Pradesh Government
woul d arrange l a ser shows a nd set up casi nos i n sel ect hotel s. A sum of Rs. 1 5. 60 crores, out of Rs. 1 1 0
crores sancti oned for the ci ty by State Government , woul d be ut i l i sed to promote ni ght touri sm, Di vi si onal
Commi ssi oner, Ashok Kumar. I t was proposed to keep open at ni ght the arti sans vi l l age i n Shi l pagram, l - km
east of the Taj Mahal , and the Sadar Bazaar, both favourite touri st haunts, he sai d. The Commi ssi oner sai d Rs
26. 4 crore woul d be uti l i sed for managi ng sol i d waste one km a round the Taj and a comprehensi ve pl an
costi ng Rs 1 02 crore had been drawn up t o i mprove Agra' s drai nage system. Land for a proposed i nternati onal
ai rport woul d be made ava i l abl e on the Agra Del hi road. (Casi nos comi ng up i n Agra, TH. D, 30. 09. 05, S20)
I n an attempt to gi ve further fi l l i p to touri sm i n the State, the Uttar Pradesh Government i s embarki ng on a
uni que pl an of revi vi ng the treasured Mahabharat peri od. Touri sm department sources sai d that an acti on
pl an has been drawn to devel op a Mahabharat Age Touri st Ci rcui t i n the western part of the State, by traci ng
the remai ns of the pri zed peri od and a l so devel opi ng pl aces menti oned i n the epi c by Ved Vyas. As part of
t he acti on pl a n excavati on wi l l be carri ed out by the Archaeol ogi ca l Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) i n the Baghpat
di stri ct, whi ch i s bel i eved to house the fi ve vi l l ages demanded by Pandavas fr om Kaurav Ki ng Dhri trashtra.
| Documentation Update | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
The other pl aces associ ated wi th Mahabharat i n cl udi ng Hasti napur and Pari kshi tgarh i n Meerut di stri
'
ct,
Shukratal i n Muzaffarnagar di stri ct and Garhmukteshar i n Ghazi abad di stri ct wi l l be devel oped further to be
a part of the Maha bharat Ci rcui t . ( UP Touri sm hopes to cash i n on Mahabharat heri tage, BL. B, 0 1 . 1 1 . 05,
S20)
Del hi
The Del hi Hi gh court ordered the Chi ef Secretary of Del hi Government to form a permanent committee, wi thi n
a week, to ensure t he remova l of encroachment i n and around t he protected monuments i n the ci ty. The
commi ttee sa i d the court, must compri se representati ves from the Archaeol ogi ca l Survey of I ndi a (ASI ),
Del hi Pol i ce, Del hi Devel opment Authori ty, New Del hi Muni ci pal Counci l , Muni ci pal Corporati on of Del hi and
Del hi Canton ment Board. The purpose behi nd the formati on of t hi s commi ttee sai d the court, i s t o prevent
the "passi ng the buck" a pproach of vari ous agenci es. Di spl eased over t hi s behavi our of the ASI a nd other
ci vi c agenci es on the removal of encroachments i n and around monuments, protected u nder the Anci ent
Monuments and Archaeol ogi cal Si tes and Remai ns Act, 1 958, the bench ordered the formati on of a commi ttee.
The vi ew to for m a commi ttee came up when ASI 's counsel Sanj ay Jai n expressed, on behal f of hi s cl i ent , the
i nabi l i ty to remove encroachments from around a protected monument i n Mehraul i area. (HC asks for panel to
ri d monuments of encroachments, TOI . D, 21 . 04. 05, S20 / D20d)
The MCD's heri tage wal k around parts of ol d Del hi , whi ch was supposed to be an enri chi ng cul tural experi ence
for t he part i ci pa nt s, ended i n a tense showdown. The I ma m sai d that the MCD had not gi ven a ny pri or
i nti mati on about the wal k. The I mam sai d that when he reached Jama Masj i d, he saw that two parti ci pants of
the heri tage wal k had entered the compl ex wi th shoes, whi ch had enraged the crowd further. ( MCD heri tage
wal k stumbl es, HT, Del hi , 01 . 05. 05, S20)
Bungy j umpi ng and advent ure parks i n east Del hi have taken a di ve i n favour of devel opmental projects on
the Trans·Yamuna Devel opment Boa rd's agenda. The Rs 1 . 1 5· crore proposal for an adventure park i n Sanjay
Lake, for i nsta nce, was a mong several projects t urned down i n the Rs 78. 4· crore budget a pproved by the
board.
The proposed adventure pa rk at Sanj ay Lake, one of i ts ki nd i n east Del hi , has al ready got approval from DDA
and i s a wa i ti ng sa ncti on of funds. Board chai rman Narendra Nath sai d it mi ght be consi dered i n the revi sed
est i mate towards t he end of t he f i nanci al yea r. That woul d i nc l ude the cost of constructi ng pathways, a
boundary and setti ng u p of a power stati on. ( Park pl ans wai t for Yamuna Board nod, I E. D, 04. 05. 05, S20/
D20a)
The concept of coffee homes as a meeti ng pl ace is fast l osi ng i ts charm for the city's average ci ti zen. It is now
al l set to undergo a maj or change i f pl ans drawn up by Del hi Touri sm are anyt hi ng to go by. The new concept
of desi gner coffee homes i s ai med at retai ni ng the coffee home nostal gi a but at the same ti me re·establ i shi ng
it as a ' brand' usi ng the bui l t ambi ence and maki ng it a mul ti purpose usa bl e spa ce.
The fi rst of fi ve such outl ets i s schedul ed to come up at Jana kpuri i n West Del hi where work i s expected to
start thi s year i tsel f. The Del hi Touri sm and Transportati on Devel opment Corporati on ( DTTDC) has a l ready
short· l i sted hal f a dozen consul ta nts for the proj ect and the process to obt ai n fi nanci a I sancti on for t he
project has been set i n moti on. ( Del hi Touri sm to set up desi gner coffee homes, Suj ay Mehdudi a, TH. D,
1 6. 05. 05, S20)
The Heri tage val ue of Gol e Market and the Al l I ndi a Radi o (AI R) bui l di ng at Sansad Marg has been decl ared
to be on a par wi th that of Safadarj ung Tomb and Parl i ament House by the Uni on Urban Devel opment Mi ni stry.
These are among 21 heri tage structures that have been l i sted i n Grade I , whi ch requi re "careful preservati on".
The l i st i nc l udes Jantar Mant ar, I ndi a Gate, Gol e Dak Khana, Presi denti a l estate, North and south Bl ocks,
Baroda House and the Central Tel egraph offi ce.
Ei ghty·seven structures fi gure in the Grade I I l i st , whi ch i ncl udes Conn aught Pl ace, Parl i ament Street Pol i ce
stati on, Nati onal Stadi um, Lady Hardi nge Medi cal Col l ege (LHMC) and Teen Murti House. There are 39 structures
i n Grade I I I , whi ch i ncl udes Pati al a House, Modern School , I mperi al Hotel , Mi nto Bri dge, Sunheri Masj i d, Lady
I rwi n Col l ege and Sujan Si ngh Park. Structure i n grade I I and I I I requi re " i ntel l i gent conservati on" . The rati ng
: 0 05 0 6 j Docwl l eniution Updut e |
was fi xed by the mi ni stry after goi ng over a l i st of 1 47 heri ta ge bui l di ngs wi thi n t he j uri sdi cti on of the New
Del hi Muni ci pal Counci l ( NDMC) . Si mi l ar gradi ng wi l l be accorded to heri tage bui l di ngsl preci ncts i n MCD
areas too. Once the gradi ng i s noti fi ed, t he heri tage commi ttee consti tuted by the mi ni stry wi l l work wi th
vari ous ci vi c agenci es to restore the structures to thei r ori gi nal gl ory. ( Heri tage crown for Gol e Mkt , Vi bha
Sharma, HID, 04. 06. 05, S20)
Del hi Metro and RI TES made thei r presentati on on the controversi a l el evated track near the Qutub Mi nar.
However, UNESCO has warned that such a move coul d have seri ous "vi sual i mpact" on t hi s Worl d Heri tage
si te. The Hampi group of monuments i n Karnata ka were decl ared a n ' endangered' si te i n 1 999 after two
bri dges were bui l t there. Si mi l arl y, there was a threat of the same happeni ng wi th the Taj had the controversi al
corri dor project materi al i sed.
Whi l e the buffer zone is a much l arger concept, ASI sources say the el evated track a nd stati on are proposed
to be bui l t i n the regul ated zone of the Qutub compl ex - j ust beyond 1 00 metres. The ASI has as ked the
Metro team to get a vi brati on study conducted, whi ch means, they f i rst want a study whether the ground
bel ow the Qutub or the structure i tsel f wi l l be affected by t he movement of trai ns and the massive constructi on
work. The exact posi ti on of the proposed stat i on and t he i mpact of t hi s wi th the hi gh pi l l ars requi red for
l ayi ng the el evated track wi l l be studi ed. ( Metro near Qutub: UNESCO waves red f l ags , Saurabh Si nha,
TOI . M, 01 . 08. 05, S20 I D20d)
Del hi i s wi tnessi ng a rapi d growth of i nns; the reason a scri bed for thi s i s the space crunch i n hotel s owi ng to
l arge number of touri sts (both domesti c and i nternati onal ) who vi si t the ci ty. At t i mes, however, touri sts
prefer i nns over hotel s for the sake of pri vacy. They don' t t ake a room i n hotel s (fi ve star i ncl uded) to avoi d
seei ng fami l i ar faces.
To open a n i nn requi res a l i cence from the Muni ci pal Corporati on of Del hi and the Del hi pol i ce. Ti me i nns are
l i abl e to pay 1 2. 5 % of thei r revenue as l uxury tax. The l i cence i s renewed every year. Those who fai l to renew
thei r l i cences are forced to shut shop by the authori ti es. Many bel ieve that the i nns al so serve as an affordabl e
opti on for teenagers from ri ch fami l i es to i ndul ge escapades. Rakesh Kumar Gupt a, a resi dent of Sukhdev
Vi har, who has been observi ng the peopl e movi ng i n and out from an i nn near hi s home, says, "The i nns are
vi abl e opti on for weal thy ki ds to spend t i me i n the company of wi ne and women. " There are some i nns that
have speci al offers to l ure youngsters. (Executi ves prefer i nns to hotel s, Nawai d Anj um, AA. D, 08. 09. 05, S20
I C30)
The Archaeol ogi cal Survey of I ndi a (ASI ) has endangered the Qutub Mi nar as wel l as the l i ves of thousands
of ai r passengers by not operati ng the twi n fl i ght warni ng l i ghts atop the 1 3th century hi stori cal tower at a
ti me when dense cl ouds have sharpl y reduced vi si bi l i ty. A worri ed Del hi Ai r Traffi c Control (ATC) has asked
ASI to urgentl y do the needful for getti ng at l east one of the l i ghts operati ona l , as the 72. 5· metre Qutub i s
al most on the f l i ght path of the Del hi ai rport. Wi th the retur n of the monsoon, vi si bi l ity parti cul arl y at n i ght,
drops consi derabl y. ( Dark danger atop Qutub, Saurabh Si nha , TOLD, 1 5. 09. 05, S20 I D20d)
Di l l i Haat wi l l soon get a bra nd new l ook and desi gn. The makeover of the Haat , spread over s i x acres
opposi te the I NA Market, wi l l be done keepi ng i n mi nd the requi rements of forei gn touri sts, who t hrong the
venue i n l arge numbers and l ook for a ' ri ch rural touch" to the ent i re setti ng. The Haat wi l l get a new l i ghti ng
system and an art gal l ery. For t he conveni ence of forei gners, a money exchange bureau wi l l al so be set u p,
al ong wi th an i nformati on centre. The DTTDC al so ai ms to depl oy tra nsl ators for al l maj or forei gn l anguages.
The touri sm corporati on i s al so worki ng out a pl an for the ki tchen area. Authenti c cui si nes from vari ous states
are one of the attracti ons at the Haat and t hi s woul d be made a l l the more attractive. The enti re area wi l l be
made di sabl ed-fri endl y_ The Rs 5- crore project has been gi ven the fi nal nod after a board meeti ng compri si ng
offi ci al s from the Del hi Touri sm and Transportati on Devel opment Corporation (DTTDC), the Uni on mi ni stri es of
text i l es and tour i sm and the N DMC. The touri sm mi ni stry a nd NDMC wi l l j oi ntl y fund t he project. ( Rs 5- cr
makeover for Di l l i Haat, Ami tash Shuki a, HT. D, 05. 1 0. 05, S20)
| Docllment ation Updat e | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
Commonwealth Games
Devel opment of parks, heri tage si tes and proper conservat i on of monument s i s a l l set to a cqui re a new
di mensi on wi th pl ans bei ng drawn up now for a comprehensive project that woul d make Del hi a "heri tage ci ty"
i n t i me for the Common weal th Games 2010.
The concept of project i ng Del hi as a heri tage ci ty i s not onl y about decl ari ng i t as such, but creati ng a uni que
sel l i ng proposi ti on ( USP) for i t ahead of the Commonweal th Games to attract more and more touri sts to i t.
Pl an of acti on: Mr. Jai n sai d that though Del hi wi th over 1 , 200 l i sted monuments i s as i t i s a heri tage ci ty, we
are vi ewi ng the Commonweal th Games as a great opportunity to compl ete some unfi ni shed tasks in maki ng
i t real l y l i ve up to the reputati on a nd thi s i nvol ves devel opment u p- keep and conservati on of si x di fferent
areas of hi stori cal i mportance. "
El a borati ng on t he proposal s he sai d, "one of the maj or a reas of work woul d be the devel opment of a n
archaeol ogi cal park i n Mehraul i a n d i ntegrat i on of the 26 acre Qut ub compl ex wi th the 1 00 acre J ama l i
Qamal i area whi ch has around 50 monuments. "
The pl an al so envi sages devel opment of the Tughl aqabad Fort area, and the Ni zamuddi n area wi th Humayun' s
Tomb bei ng the gi ven utmost i mporta nce. Another ol d part of Del hi , the Wa l l ed Ci ty, i s al so sought to be
conserved under the pl an wi th speci al emphasi s on Chandni Chowk, Dari ba Kal an and Ki nari Baza r, where
heri tage wal ks have a l so been i ntroduced.
Al so envi sages devel opment of Connaught Pl ace, Gol Dak Khana and Gol Market i n tune wi th thei r hi stori c
i mport ance. ( Pl an to make Del hi a "heri tage ci ty", Gaurav Vi vek Bhatnaga r, TH. D, 28. 04. 05, S20)
At l east si x pl aces a l ong the Ya muna wi l l be sel ected i n the next few weeks and devel oped as touri st and
cul tural hubs for the 201 0 Common weal th Games. These centres woul d have eati ng pl aces and entertai nment
venues for touri sts, pl ayers and offi ci al s who woul d vi si t Del hi duri ngthe games. The touri sm department has
appoi nted a consul tant to suggest spots a l ong the ri verfront and other pl aces i n the ci ty whi ch may he taken
UP for beauti fi cati on. Pri nci pal secretary (UD), O. P Kel kar, who has vi si ted Mel bourne, the venue of the 2006
games, presented a bl uepri nt of what the Austra l i a n ci ty was doi ng and what Del hi coul d l earn. The vi si t of
the Del hi government offi ci al s was part of a scheme "transfer of knowl edge" between the host country for the
2006 Games and Del hi . (Touri st hubs for C' weath Games, Ami tabh Shukl a , HID, 05. 05. 05, S20)
The Government has deci ded to expedi te the process of al l ocati ng l and for 40 new fi ve·star hotel s i n Del hi i n
expectati on of huge touri st i nfl ux duri ng the 201 0 Commonweal th Games.
Stati ng t hi s at a nati onal conference on ' I s Law Keepi ng Pace wi th Growth of Travel and Hospi tal ity I ndustry
and Touri sm · The Legal Framework' organi sed by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and I ndustry. The pri vate
sector shoul d concentrate on constructi ng hotel s i nstead of townshi ps as these hotel s wi l l add to the hospi tal ity
i ndustry on a l ong· term basi s. It was t i me for the travel i ndustry to be more proacti ve to promote I ndi a as a
pri me touri st dest i nat i on. I t i s a posi ti ve i ndi cator that many new and seasoned groups have commi tted
i nvestments worth Rs 1 00, 000 crore for thei r operati onal and capaci ty expansi on. (Govt to al l ot l and for 40
fi ve· star hotel s i n Del hi , BL. C, 1 7. 07. 05, S20)
A number of projects are underway to make Del hi a touri st desti nati on by the 201 0 Commonweal th Games.
These i ncl ude an Eco·touri sm compl ex i n Chawal a, a Heritage Park i n Mehraul i , Di l l i Haats (under constructi on)
i n Pi ta mpu ra and Geeta Col ony. Other pl a ns i nc l ude speci a l ai r condi ti oned buses wi th GPS l i nki ng severa l
touri st dest i nati ons i n the ci ty. The bus servi ce to l i nk the touri st spots t o the Ai rport. Rai l way stati ons, and
other servi ces i s another touri sm i ni ti ati ve. The ai r condi ti oned buses wi t h t he GPS equi pment shal l tour the
ci ty wi th possi bl e ti e ups wi th maj or hotel s. Another project bei ng devel oped now i s the eco touri sm compl ex
i n Chawa l a . The a rea al so sees a number of mi gratory bi rds and shoul d attract bi rd· watchers too. ( Eco·
touri sm compl ex i n Chawal a by 2010: Govt, Gopal Sathe, I E. D, 04. 1 0.05, S20/ D20i )
For ut i l i sati on of t he Commonweal th Games vi l l age after the 201 0 games are over, the Del hi Devel opment
Authori ty has proposed to aucti on the Commonweal th Games pl ot for bui l di ng two l arge five star hotel s and
three guesthouses. "The i dea behi nd aucti oni ng the pl ots as hotel s and guesthouses i s to make i t commerci al l y
2 0 0 5 a 6 | Documentation Update |
vi abl e once t he games are over, " sai d a n offi ci al of the l and department. ( Fi ve· star hotel s to come u p on
Commonweal th Ga mes vi l l age, DDA proposes to aucti on pl ots for 3 hotel s and 3 guesthouses once games
are over, Esha Roy, I E. D, 05. 1 0. 05, S20)
The Del hi Tour i sm a nd Transport Devel opment Corporat i on ( DTTDC) i s a l l set to put i n pl ace a track for
adventurous water sports l i ke canoei ng and kayaki ng. The corporati on has i denti fi ed the wastel ands i n the
west Del hi · Kanganheri and Chhawl a, whi ch are surrounded by Najafgarh drai n as the si te for the project. The
project i s worth Rs 20 crore and DTTDC hopes to compl ete i t on the eve of Commonweal th Games 201 0. The
devel opment of these wastel ands, accordi ng to offi ci al s wi l l prove to be a major touri st attracti on, especi al l y
for youngsters. Al so, it woul d be another avenue for revenue generati on for the touri sm department. (DTTDC
pl ans water sports faci l i ty i n West Del hi , Rajat Guha, FE. D, 2 l . 02. 06, S20 / D20a)
The Del hi Devel opment Authori ty (DDA) raked i n Rs 943 crore from an hotel pl ot aucti on, i ts second hi ghest
take i n a l and sal e after the Rs 1 , 1 00 crore obtai ned for the Vasant Kunj Mal l pl ot two years ago. Seven of the
ni ne pl ots i n Shahdara, Mot i akhan, Jasol a, Rohi ni and Okhl a, l i sted for bi ds exceeded the combi ned reserve
pri ce of Rs 530 crore. Two pl ot s were unsol d.
Not surpri si ngl y pl ots i n South Del hi fetched t he highest bi d
s
. The record bi d of Rs 199 crore came from MGF
a nd Dubai · based concern Emaar for 2. 5 acre pl ot i n Jasol a and another two· acre pl ot a l so i n Jasol a . DDA
Commi ssi oner , La nd Di sposal , R K Si ngh sai d the hotel pl ots were a bi g draw for three ma i n reasons­
i ncreasi ng l and rates, pendi ng demand and the shortage of room space to meet the demand that woul d he
created by t he 201 0 Commonweal th Ga mes.
What they went for:
Jasol a ( 2. 5 acre): Rs. 1 99 cr
J asol a (2 acre): Rs. 1 89 cr
Mot i Khan ( l acre): Rs. 88 cr
Shahdara (5acre): Rs. 1 70 cr
Shahdara (2acre): Rs. 47. 3 cr
Rohi ni (5, 000 sqm): Rs. 99 cr
Okhl a ( 2 acre): Rs. 1 52 cr
(Hotel pl ots aucti on nets Rs 943 crore, Dubai fi rm MGF consorti um bags two pl ots i n Jasol a for Rs 388 crore,
I E. D, 04. 03. 06, S20)
UUaranchal
The State of Uttaranchal i s encouragi ng responsi bl e touri sm and touri s m devel opment, whi ch encourages
goi ng back to natural products i n every aspect of l ife; i t i s al so t he key t o sustai nabl e ecol ogi cal devel opment.
Uttaranchal ri ght from i ncepti on has pl edged to emerge as a touri sm power. The second year of operati ons
wi tnessed touri sm acti vi ti es to hi ghl i ght the states di verse attracti ons. I n the f i rst phase, the focus was on a
consi stent campai gn to create an i denti ty. Whi l e i n the second phase, the promoti on was on speci fi c products,
such as adventure touri sm, eco·touri sm and spi ri tual touri sm. Duri ng a meeti ng of the Nati onal Committee on
Eco Touri sm and Mountai ns, the then Touri sm Mi ni ster had announced that Uttaranchal woul d be devel oped
as a key Eco·touri sm desti nati on i n the country and i n pursuance of thi s, the Government of I ndi a i s devel opi ng
four to fi ve eco· touri sm centres to project the state as a n i dea l eco· desti nati on worl d over. To begi n wi th,
Uttaranchal , Leh and Ladakh have been i denti fi ed for thi s purpose.
The stress on eco· touri sm ensures that Uttara nchal i s a paradi se for adventure sports l i ke mountai neeri ng,
trekki ng, ski i ng, skati ng, water sports to aero·sports l i ke hand·gl i di ng and paragl i di ng. The state has al so
prepared n umerous master pl ans for several new projects seeki ng pri vate sector i nvestment. These eco·
ci ti es i n Hempur near George Everest Park, devel opment of a n eco· touri sm project on 200 acres of l and at
George Everest Estate near Mussoori e and a trek master pl an. The other efforts woul d entai l master pl ans for
devel opment of new hi l l stati ons at Pauri , Khi rsu, Lansdowne, Munsyari a nd Pi thoragarh.
| Documentation Update | a 0 5 - 0 6
A vi l l age near Ramnaga r i s bei ng devel oped a s a centre for eco-touri sm. There are al so pl ans to t i e u p wi th
Hyatt & Four Seasons Hotel s and Chescor Capi t al of UK to devel op an eco- ci ty near Rampur, whi ch i s
expected t o cost Rs 500 crore. Si mi l a rl y a master pl an for t rekki ng i s bei ng devel oped al ong wi th a project for
trekki ng at Uttarkashi at a n al titude of 1 0000 feet, whi ch woul d enta i l an i nvestment of Rs 60 crore. Besi des,
the property of George Everest i n Musoori e i s bei ng devel oped a s a heri tage property on an a rea of 200
acres. There a re a l so pl ans to have hel i stri ps i n a l l 1 7 di st ri cts of the state.
Expendi ture on schemes for touri sm devel opment and promoti on of touri sm i n Uttaranchal has progressi vel y
i ncreased over the yea rs. I n the current 5·year pl an, approxi matel y Rs.8600 l akhs have been spent, whi ch i s
more t ha n ten t i mes t he amount spent duri ng 80· 85. Some i dea of the addi ti onal i nvestments that wi l l be
requi red is provi ded by the fact that, duri ng the yea r 2000, the number of touri sts who vi si ted Uttara nchal
stood at over 1 1 1 l akhs, whereas the t ot al popul at i on of the State was merel y 82 l a khs. (Utta rancha l ,
Si mply Heaven, Eco-touri sm taki ng of i n Devbhoomi , FE. C, Apr- May 05, S20/ D20i )
The Val l ey of Fl owers Nati onal Park i n Utt aranchal coul d soon fi nd a pl ace on the United Nati ons Educati onal ,
Sci enti fi c and Cul tura l Organi sati on' s ( UNESCO) Worl d Heri tage Li st .
The Val l ey of Fl owers i s a mong the ei ght new si tes recommended by the Worl d Conservati on Uni on ( l UCN) to
the Worl d Heri tage Commi ttee for i ncl usi on i n the Worl d Heri tage Li st .
I UCN has recommended the extensi on of I ndi a' s Nanda Devi Nati onal Park a l ready a Worl d Heri tage si te to
i ncl ude the Val l ey of Fl owers. The Worl d Heri tage Committee, meet i ng in Durban from Jul y 1 0 to Jul y 1 7, wi l l
consi der t he ' i nscri pti on' of new si tes on UNESCO' s Worl d Heri tage Li st . Thi s yea r, the commi ttee wi l l revi ew
28 cul t ur al si tes, 1 0 nat ura l si tes and 4 mi xed si tes and a l so exami ne t he extensi on of 9 Wor l d Heri tage
si tes. (Val l ey of Flowers recommended for Unesco Worl d Heri tage Li st, Sankar Radhakri shnan, BL. C, 1 1 .07. 05,
S20)
Interview with Lt Gen. TPS Rawat (retd), PVSM, VSM, Minister of Tourism, Government of
Uttaranchal
Q. Utt ara nchal has i mmense touri sm potent i a l . How i s t he state gover nment pl anni ng to
expl oi t that?
A. I t i s the state government' s endeavour to pl ace Uttaranchal on the touri sm map of the
worl d as one of the l eadi ng touri st desti nati ons, and to make the name of the State synonymous
wi th tour i sm. To achi eve t hi s vi si on, t he govern ment is pl anni ng to devel op the man i fol d
touri s m rel ated resources of the State i n an eco· fri endl y manner and wi th t he acti ve
part i ci pati on of the pri vate sector and the l ocal host communi t i es. The a i m i s to devel op
touri s m as a maj or source of empl oyment and i ncome and revenue generati on so that i t
becomes a pi vot of the economi c and soci al devel opment i n the State. I n fact, because of
t hi s forwa rd l ooki ng and pragmati c touri sm pol i cy, the state has won the Nat i onal Touri sm
Award f or Best Practi ces.
Q. You menti oned eco-touri sm. I n a Hi mal ayan State l i ke Uttaranchal , i t i s qui te i mportant.
How do you pl an to promote eco-touri sm?
A. Eco touri sm i s at the heart of Uttaranchal ' s touri sm pol i cy. The ecol ogy of the Hi mal ayas
i s fragi l e a nd has to be preserved and Uttara nchal , whi ch i s bl essed wi th nature' s bounty,
pl ans to go a head keepi ng t hi s i n mi nd. We pl an to i nvol ve pri vate sector i n furtheri ng our
cause. As far a s eco-touri sm i s concerned, one of our focus areas i s golf, a part from trekki ng,
nature wal ks, etc. Gol f has bi g potenti al to not onl y to attract touri sts i nternat i onal l y i n a bi g
way but al so to devel op a regi on, at the same t i me keepi ng i t green. Gol f combi nes ecol ogy·
fri endl y practi ces wi th l ei sure. The state thus, wi th pri vate sector parti ci pati on , i s embarki ng
on an envi ronment al l y-sust ai na bl e and fi nanci a l l y feasi bl e pl an. We are pl anni ng to open a
number of gol f courses i n vari ous parts of the state, i n addi ti on to the exi st i ng ones. One
such i ni t i ati ve i s bei ng t aken near Kashi pur where requi si te l and i s bei ng converted i nto a n
1 8· hol e gol f course. Not onl y wi l l i t keep the area green but wi l l al so provi de an economi c and
soci al i mpet us to the regi on.
2 0 0 5 0 6 | Documentation Update |
Q. I n what way?
A. A gol f course cannot come up i n i sol ati on. A number of faci l i ti es have to be t here to make
i t vi a bl e. A market has to be devel oped i n terms of touri st attracti ons and touri st traffi c.
Onl y then, t he peopl e wi l l come there. I f t he peopl e are comi ng, a n i nfrastructure has t o be
devel oped to house them a nd cater to t hei r needs. I am t al ki ng i n terms of faci l i ti es l i ke
connecti vi ty, accommodati on, apart from physi ca l and soci al i nfrastructure. Al l thi s mea ns
work for the peopl e and i ncrease i n faci l i ti es for the regi on too. Al so, l ocal actors wi l l be kept
i n mi nd whi l e doi ng t hi s acti vi ty. We wi l l t ake i mmense care i n seei ng to i t that a ny such
faci l i ty i s i n t une wi t h ecol ogi cal bal ance so as the i mpact of the acti vi ti es i s posi ti ve a l l
through.
Q. I n what ki nd of pl aces a re you pl anni ng such golf courses?
A. Wel l , the pl aces wi l l be chosen keepi ng i n mi nd the exi sti ng i nfrastructure servi ces, such
as surface, and l ocal transportati on, sani tati on, medi cal faci l i ti es, power, water suppl y and
tel ecommuni cati on. The executors of the project wi l l a l so be expected to suggest measures
for i mprovi ng thei r effi ci ency and adequacy wi th reference to the project. Al so, we wi l l ascertai n
and suggest l i nkages wi th rel evant touri st ci rcui ts i n t he regi on .
Q. What a re the para meters defi ned by the government for these projects?
A. I t i s necessary that those touri sm i nfrastructure faci l i ti es requi red around the i denti fi ed
l a nd a re present for the project to be successful . These woul d i ncl ude aspects l i ke mul t i ·
modal access, waysi de ameni ti es, ar t and cul ture· rel ated i nfrastructure, tel ecommuni cati ons,
el ectri ci ty, package tour operati ons a nd gui de servi ces. etc. Al so, i n each area, the potenti al
vi si tor segments vi s· a · vi s t ouri sm resources of the i denti fi ed l a nd a nd touri st arri va l s at
nearby touri st desti nati ons wi l l be anal ysed, and t he project executor wi l l have t o suggest
strategy for mul ti nati onal marketi ng to attract domesti c and forei gn touri sts.
(Touri sm · Harnessi ng economi c & soci al devel opment i n Uttara nchal , FE. B, 16. 05. 05, S20)
The Utta ranchal Touri sm Devel opment Board i s target i ng the south and west to dri ve domesti c touri sm. On
the i nternati onal front, the focus i s on arrival s from Germa ny. the UK and France.
Mr Arun Sri vastava, Di rector ( Market i ng and Publ i ci ty), Utt ara nchal Touri sm Devel opment Board, sai d that
the i nfrastruct ure faci l i ti es, parti cul arl y ai r, ra i l and road connecti vi ty are bei ng devel oped. A study on the
feasi bi l i ty of a mountai n ai rl i ne i s bei ng undertaken, he sai d. Thi s ai rl i ne wi l l connect the Hi mal ayan states of
Jammu and Kashmi r, Hi machal Pradesh and Uttarancha l . Ai r Deccan has started dai l y fl i ghts between Del hi
a nd Dehradun. He sai d that Pantnaga r, another key town i n the Kumaon di stri ct, woul d be connected by Ai r
Deccan to New Del hi by the year· end. The wor k on the devel opment of three more a i rstri ps at Nai ni Sai n i ,
Guacher a n d Chi nya l i saur i s on . ( Uttaranchal touri sm targets South, BL. C, 30. 07. 05, S20)
Bi har
Enthused wi th the new set up under Governor Buta Si ngh the Bi har State Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on
(BSTDC) recentl y si gned an agreement wi th a Keral a based Ayurvedi c a nd Nat uropathy treatment centre.
As per the agreement Heal i ng Veda , a renowned name i n t hi s fi el d wi l l set up two centres, one at Rajgi r a nd
another at Bodh Gaya . These two Buddhi st pi l gri mage centres draw the l argest number of touri sts i n Bi har.
The Ayurvedi c treatment centre woul d provi de rej uvenati ng massage and body purifi cati on anti · stress, beauty
care, ant i · agei ng, spi ne and neck care body and mi nd rel axati on therapi es to the forei gn a s wel l as domesti c
touri sts. (A massage from Keral a to spi ce up Bi har touri sm, Amarnath Tewary, TPD, 1 6. 05. 05, S20)
| Documentat ion Update | . 0 6
Jharkhand
After the recent s pate of l ooti ng of touri sts i n J ha rkhand, parti cul arl y cl ose to Netarhat hi l l resort and Betl a
forests, J ha rkhand state touri sm depa rtment and state pol i ce have fi na l l y deci ded to form an el i te force
mea nt excl usi vely for protecti on of touri sts vi si ti ng the state.
The s peci al force woul d be cal l ed State Touri st Protection Force (STPF) and the deci si on to for m the force has
been taken by the pol i ce brass, i n pri nci pl e. Efforts are on to gi ve the proposal defi ni te shape. Three fami l i es
from Howrah were l ooted twi ce consecuti vely by armed mi screants, on thei r way to Netarhat hi l l resort from
Bet l a forests. The touri sts were robbed of cash, val uabl es a nd even thei r cl othes. A bank empl oyee and hi s
fami l y were l ooted whi l e touri ng Si ta Fal l s a rea, some ti me back. I n May, renowned Bengal i ci nema arti ste, Ms
Rupa Gangul y and her associ ates were l ooted by ar med mi screants whi l e retur ni ng from McLuski eganj . A
seni or pol i ce offi cer sai d that t he el i te force woul d be gi ven speci al tra i ni ng to exert extreme control and
woul d be sensi ti ve t o needs of "guests of t he state". (Speci al force for J ha rkhand touri sts, Di pankar Bose,
TS. D, 23. 10. 05, S20)
Haryana
The Haryana Government has consti tuted a si x- member commi ttee to work out the modal i ti es of setti ng up
waysi de modern ut i l i ty servi ces a l ong t he hi ghways, s o a s t o faci l i tate those ei ther vi si t i ng t he State or
passi ng through i t. I t was deci ded that the waysi de uti l i ty servi ces woul d i ncl ude petrol pumps, rest rooms,
eat i ng j oi nts, cyber cafe and STD booths. ( Haryana waysi de servi ces pl an, BL. B, 05. 05. 05, S20)
Twenty farmhouses i n Haryana (most of them l ocated i n the vi ci nity of Del hi ) are offeri ng a taste of the bucol i c
l i fe to ci ty bred. The recreati on package i ncl udes pastoral acti vi ti es l i ke catt l e feedi ng, pottery c l asses,
mul chi ng, fol k dances, puppet shows, ri des i n tractors and bul l ock carts. A touri st who i s keen on getti ng an
ethni c experi ence, however, need not compromi se on any of the modem ameni ti es. The rooms and cottages,
whi ch a re avai l abl e at around Rs 2, 000 per coupl e per day, a re equi pped wi th a l l faci l i ti es. The i dea, whi ch
was i ni ti ated a bout two years ago, i s fi ndi ng more a nd more takers. Al l the twenty farm- houses a re pri vatel y­
owned and as per a seni or touri sm offi ci al , the gover nment's j ob i s "onl y that of a faci l i tator". Not onl y are the
fa r ms doi ng wel l for t hemsel ves, but t hey a re a l so provi di ng empl oyment opport uni ti es to peopl e i n the
surroundi ng vi l l ages. More and more states are tryi ng to repl i cate the success. ( Howzzat! Farmhouse touri sm
from Haryana , Di nker Vashi sht & Rahul Kumar, FE. C, 21 . 05. 05, S20)
The Chai r man of the I ndi an Nati ona l Trust for Art and Cul tura l Heri tage ( I ntach), Mr S. K. Mi shra, prai sed the
Haryana Gover nment for showi ng keen i nterest i n hol di ng heri tage festi val s i n the State on the l i nes of
nei ghbouri ng Punj a b. " I t was the success of the heri tage festival s at Amritsar, Ka purt hal a and Pat i al a that
Haryana Government has responded i n a posi ti ve manners to i ni ti ate si mi l ar festi val s i n the State too, " Mr
Mi shra sai d. He sai d a festi va l coul d be hel d ei ther a t Pi njore or a t Surajgar h, addi ng the heri tage festi val s
bei ng hel d i n Punj ab had gi ven a fi l l i p t o the cul tura l i nfrastruct ure and al so hel ped i n promoti on of touri sm.
( Haryana keen on heri tage fai rs , BL. B, 1 7. 02. 06, S20 / Dl l )
Punjab
Whi l e Uni on Mi ni stry for Ci vi l Avi ati on i s engaged i n prepari ng a bl ue- pri nt to put the State on the i nternati onal
fl i ghts ci rcui t, t he Punj ab government i s al l set t o chal k out a road map t o boost rel i gi ous touri sm keepi ng i n
vi ew the tremendous potenti al wi thi n i ts boundari es as wel l i n the nei ghbouri ng states, whi ch has remai ned
u nt apped so far. Punj ab Chi ef Mi ni ster Amari nder Si ngh sai d that the state gover nment was seri ousl y
contempl ati ng to devel op rel i gi ous touri sm ci rcui t of Si kh shr i nes, connecti ng Anandpur Sahi b, Chamkaur
Sahi b, Fatehgarh Sahi b, Takht Sr i Damdama Sahi b wi th t he hol y Har mandi r Sahi b at Amri tsar. Thi s woul d
enabl e the devotees, especi al l y those from abroad to undertake thei r pi l gri mage wi thout wasti ng ti me, money
a nd energy. The Chi ef Mi ni ster sai d that t hough Punj ab coul d not compete wi th i ts nei ghbouri ng Hi machal
Pradesh a nd Rajasthan to offer opportuni ti es i n l ei sure touri sm, the state was expl ori ng ways and means to
promote l ei sure touri sm, t hrough t he publ i c· pri vate partnershi ps. ( Punj ab Govt a l l set to boost rel i gi ous
touri sm, Sara bj i t Pandher, TH. D, 16. 05. 05, S20 / D20e)
Whi l e the Uni on Mi ni stry for Touri sm has gi ven i ts consent to projects worth Rs. 23 crore submi tted by the
Punj ab gover nment for devel opment of touri st desti nati ons and rel i gi ous ci rcui ts, the state' s Touri s m
; 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
depa rtment has deci ded to organi se a conc l ave i n the second week of Apri l . Ambi ka Soni was quoted a s
di rect i ng her emphasi s that i n vi ew of the i n creasi ng t raff i c at Raj a San si Ai rport a n d Wagah Border i n
Amritsar, speci al focus on devl opment of these sites be arti cul ated through establ i shi ng a Wagah devel opment
a uthori ty, whi ch was under active consi derati on i n the Government of I ndi a.
The mai n poi nts and agenda f or t hi s uni que meeti ng, ai med at promot i ng i nterstate co· operati on, woul d
i ncl ude tax structure, l evi es on touri st transport vehi cl es, exi sti ng ci rcui ts, desti nati ons, vi abi l i ty of i nterstate
ci rcui ts, j oi nt overseas marketi ng and fundi ng, NRI parti ci pati on i n l ocal projects, rol e of private and publ i c
sectors, publ i city and success stori es from the parti ci pati ng states. Mr. Kang sai d that the Uni on Government
has a pproved a dest i nati on project under whi ch Rs. 5· crore each had been earma rked for devel opment of
Amri t sar, Wagah and Pati a l a . Under the scheme a l l touri st spots wi th i n the r adi us of 25 kms from t he
di stri ct headquarters woul d be renovated. ( Punj ab t o organi se touri sm concl ave of Northern States, TH. D,
06. 03. 06, S20)
Hi machal Pradesh
The PHD Chamber of Commerce and I ndustry has suggested that the Hi machal Goernment shoul d i ncrease
i ts budgeta ry al l ocati on for touri sm promoti on from the current Rs. 5 . 1 5 crores. The Chambe r has a l so
proposed that the State Government shoul d set up a Committee to moni tor ground l evel i mpl ementati on of
pol i cy deci si ons taken for touri sm devel opment. The Committee shoul d functi on i n a ti me·bound manner and
shoul d be empowered to take major deci si ons.
Need for better a i r l i n k: I n order to i ncrease t he number of i nternati ona l touri sts to t he State, PHDCCI
spokesman Yashwi nder Dogra has urged that termi nal and ground support faci l i ti es be upgraded t o i nternati onal
standards at Shi ml a, Kul l u a nd Dharamshal a. Al so, Sundernagar be devel oped as a maj or hub for a i r
connecti vi ty, the proposal s for whi ch are al ready under consi derati on of the Mi ni stry of Ci vi l Avi ati on.
Focus on new desti nati ons: There i s an urgent need to devel op a master pi a n for touri sm i n the State focusi ng
on u pgradati on of exi sti ng desti nati ons and i denti fi cati on a nd devel opment of new desti nati ons, keepi ng i n
mi nd that the constructi on that takes pl ace shoul d be i n tune wi th the natural envi ronment of the hi l l s.
PHDCCI has urged t he State Government t o col l aborate wi th t he Uni on Mi ni st ry of Touri sm t o i denti fy hi gh
touri sm potenti al si tes and i ni ti ate an exerci se for devel opi ng worl d· cl ass i nfrastructure i ncl udi ng cl eanl i ness,
l i nk roads, a pproach roads, toi l ets and parki ng. I nternati onal l evel si gnboards be put up on i mportant roads
and hi ghways for whi ch fundi ng may be sought from the Uni on Mi ni stry of Touri sm. Hi machal Pradesh shoul d
emul ate the model s of Austri a and Scotl and, where the l oca l popul ati on has a maj or source of earni ng from
the beauty of thei r mountai ns and envi ronment, it further suggested. (A roadmap for faster devel opment of
touri sm i n Hi machal Pradesh, TH. D, 03. 05. 05, S20)
I ndi a's l argest touri sm project, whi ch entai l s an i nvestment of $500 mi l l i on and fi nanced by the great grandson
of Henry Ford i s off the bl ocks. The Hi machal Pradesh government has si gned a Memorandum of Understandi ng
wi th the Hi mal ayan Ski Vi l l age ( HSV) Compa ny wi th HSV sayi ng the ski vi l l age i n the Dhaul adhar mountai n
ra nges a bove Manal i woul d open busi ness i n three years. HSV i s hopi ng that a l l permi ssi ons requi red woul d
be sett l ed by the end of 2005. The p roject' s fi rst phase i nvol ves a $ 1 55 mi l l i on i nvestment, i n whi ch t he
vi l l age a nd ski i ng faci l i ti es woul d be compl eted wi th 250 hotel rooms and ski · l i ft equi pment. I n the second
phase, 350 more hotel rooms and addi ti onal vi l l as woul d be added. The vi l l age wi l l be si tuated at an a lti tude
of 9, 200 feet, about 3000 feet above Shuru vi l l age, whi ch i s 3 ki l ometres from Manal i . ( Hi machal ski project
off the bl ocks, I E. D, 28. 1 0. 05, S20)
At the heart of the conf l i ct i s a $ 1 50 mi l l i on Hi mal ayan Ski Vi l l age ( HSV), sl ated to come up on the outski rts
of Shuru and Pri ni , two vi l l ages i n Manal i . The resort has pitted the l ocal oracl es agai nst the maveri ck I skcon
devotee. Representatives of nearl y 300 Kul l u dei ti es wi l l congregate for a "Badi Jagati Puch (grand conventi on)'
to deci de the fate of the $300· mi l l on venture. The ski bl i zzard has been ragi ng for al most two months now
ever si nce the dea l was i nked. HSV demanded water ri ghts f rom the streams and grazi ng l and, whi ch the
vi l l agers resi sted. Other contenti ous i ssues i ncl ude envi ronmental degradati on fel l i ng and fears that use of
chemi cal s to preserve snow on the sl opes for l onger peri od coul d be hazardous. The resort, whi ch Ford has
| Documentatio1l Update | 2 a 0 5 - 0 6
promi sed wi l l gi ve Swi ss desti nati ons a run for thei r money, wi l l be spread across 1 00 acres. (Gods to deci de
ski resort fate, Raveena Aul akh, HTD, 1 6. 02. 06, S20/H1 2)
The "gods" have spoken. Al fred Ford cannot make hi s $500- mi l l i on Hi mal ayan Ski Vi l l age.
Devi s a nd devtas of Kul l u val l ey gathered to pass a j udgment on Ford and hi s ambi ti ous pl ans for a ski resort
i n t hi s sceni c regi on. And they were cl earl y not i mpressed with ei ther the Ford sci on's gra nd venture or hi s
franti c cl a i ms of bei ng a Hi ndu. Ever si nce Ford announced hi s project for t he area, propel l ed adequatel y by
l ocal pol i ti ci ans, the regi on has been ravaged by a fi erce debate that has pi tted profi t agai nst pi ety.
' I n the j agati (congregati on of gods), we had i nvi ted the vari ous devt as and devi s of the val l ey. Over 90% of
the a bout 1 75 dei ti es who had come here were a gai nst the proposed ski vi l l age, " Si ngh sai d tri umphantl y.
Si ngh further remarked, "The gods of the regi on have gi ven thei r vi ew. There is no pl atform above the j agati
a nd at l east at the rel i gi ous l evel the verdi ct i s fi na l . " Goi ng a step further, Si ngh sai d that "each of the
dei ti es" had been spoken to and the vi ew on the proj ect bei ng i ni mi cal to the i nterest of the peopl e was
un a ni mous. The dei ti es apparentl y a l so sai d they woul d l eave the pl ace and the peopl e wi l l have to l i ve
wi thout thei r bl essi ngs i f the go- ahead was given for the ski pl an. The j agati was cal l ed after a gap of 36 years,
the l a st bei ng hel d i n 1 970 when the val l ey was hi t by a fa mi ne. J agati s are hel d onl y to deci de i n case of
excepti onal si tuati ons. (Kul l u ' gods' veto Ford's $500· mi l l i on ski vi l l age pl an, Jagadi sh Bhat, TOLD, 1 7. 02. 06,
S20 I H1 2)
An acute water cr i si s i s l i kel y to gri p Shi ml a i n the months to come. For the fi rst t i me i n the hi story of the
town, t here was no snowfal l duri ng wi nter. There were no rai ns as wel l . After l ong dry spel l , the ca pi t al of
Hi machal Pradesh seems to be headi ng towards a maj or dr i nki ng water cr i si s. Al l t he maj or sources of
dr i nki ng water a re a l ready on the verge of dryi ng up. The i mpact of thi s has a l ready been fel t on the water
suppl y to some of the a reas of Shi ml a. These a reas receive water for j ust t hree or someti mes four days a
week. Thi s i s j ust the month of Februa ry and there i s concern as to what woul d ha ppen i n peak summers.
(Shi ml a to face acute water cri si s, Jai Sood, TPD, 24. 02. 06, S20)
Shoppi ng mal l s are to soon come up at two popul ar hal ti ng spots on the busy Kal ka- Shi ml a nati onal hi ghway
and l ater at other pl aces al ong the hi ghways runni ng through Hi machal Pradesh. Pi l l ars wi l l be rai sed on both
si des of the wi ndi ng hi ghway and the doubl e- stori ed structures wi l l come up above the road. They wi l l have a
shoppi ng compl ex, restaurant and bar, a mong other faci l i ti es for t ravel l ers. ( Ma l l s set to l ure travel l ers to
Hi machal hi ghway, Bal dev Chauhan, AA. D, 1 0. 03. 06, S20)
Madhya Pradesh
A cont roversy seems to be brewi ng between the Archaeol ogi cal Soci ety of I ndi a (ASI ) a nd the Madhya
Pradesh government over the systemati c envi ronmenta l damage bei ng done to t
h
e 2, 300-year-ol d Buddhi st
stupa at Sanchi ( Rai sen), a 90 mi nute drive from the state capi ta l . The worl d heri tage si te i s frequented by
thousands of forei gn touri sts, mai nl y Buddhi sts, round the year. State government offi ci al s compl ai n that
gl ar i ng cracks have appea red at t he base of the stupa due to the ravages of weather over the decades.
Much of thi s has been the resul t of l eakage of rai n water i nto the i nnards of the monument. The need for
i mmedi ate measures to arrest the deteri orati on has been made i n an offi ci al report submi tted by the col l ector
of Rai sen. The Archaeol ogi ca l Soci ety of I ndi a, unfortunatel y, has chosen to make l i ght of the matter on the
pl ea that the state government had no busi ness to make thei r fi ndi ngs publ i c wi thout fi rst di scussi ng i t wi th
t hem. The col l ector' s fi ndi ngs, t hey cl ai m, i s a gross exaggerat i on. I n rea l i ty, t here i s no cause for al a r m.
(Sanchi stupa base cracks, Sudhi r K Si ngh, AA. D, 30. 09. 05, S20 I D20d)
Chhatti sgarh
Unabl e to check " i ntrusi on" by tuskers i nto i ts terri tory from adj oi ni ng J harkhand State, the Chhatti sgarh
Government pl ans to make an "el ephant homel and" i n i ts forest areas for the mi grants who have crossed over
here i n search of food a nd a l so dri nki ng water. These el epha nts have wrecked havoc i n many parts of the
State. Over hundred mi grant el ephants have unl eashed terror by destroyi ng houses and crops i n many areas
of Jaspur, Sarguj a a nd Korba di stri cts of Chhatti sgarh. Mi ni ng and fel l i ng of t rees i n forests has forced the
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
el ephants to move to other a reas for food. And i n thei r search, t hey enter even the resi denti al a reas, destroy
mud houses, crops and even someti mes pose threat to peopl e' s l i fe.
The l oca l admi ni strati on often l aunches awareness d ri ves to educate the peopl e on how they coul d protect
themsel ves from the el ephants. Besi des, the vi l l agers chase away the tuskers by showi ng torch l i ght and
beat i ng of drums. Peopl e are tol d t o watch el ephant' s movement, a rrange bonfi re a nd burst fi re crackers to
keep them away.
The admi ni strati on has to pay compensati on to the peopl e whose property gets destroyed by the tuskers.
Authori ti es earl i er requested J harkhand forest offici al s to make arrangements for the return of t hese tuskers.
Now the Chhatt i sgarh Government wants to make el ephant homel and for fi ndi ng a permanent sol uti on to the
probl em. The State Government had, earl i er thi s year, wri tten to the Centra l Government i n t hi s regard. But,
the offi ci al s of the Central Government turned down the proposal sayi ng that the mi grati on of el ephants was
for a short ti me and therefore the proposal for the homel and was not practi cal . The State Government i s agai n
goi ng to t ake up the i ssue wi t h the Centre wi th some modi fi cati on i n the propos al . ( Chhatt i sga rh pl ans
el ephant homel and, Shi vanand Shukl a, TPD, 28. 09. 05, S20)
The Chhatti sgarh Government woul d shortl y announce i ts new touri sm pol i cy, gi vi ng huge i ncenti ves to i nvestors
that wi l l i ncl ude compl ete wai ver of stamp d uty on purchase of l and and sal es tax, besi des wa i ver of State
l evi es, sai d Mr Bri j Mohan Agarwal , Mi ni ster of Touri sm.
He sai d the State' s touri sm board woul d create huge l and banks and al l ocate l and to i nvestors proposi ng to
come to Chhatt i sgarh on concessi onal rates that att ract zero sta mp duty. The l and banks Wi l l come i nto
creati on i n the next 5· 6 months as the State has
r
ecei ved proposal from vari ous segments of i ndustri es to
the t une of Rs 40, 000 crore. (Chhatt i sgarh to a n nounce tax wai ver to promote touri sm. BL. B, 1 0. 02. 06,
S20)
521 Jammu & Kashmi r
Touri sm i n Kashmi r, whi ch i s on the path of revival , i s set t o get a boost. The Jammu and Kashmi r Cabl e Car
Corporat i on (JKCCC) i s maki ng t he second phase of the ' Gul marg Gondol a' operati ona l , t aki ng i t to the
hei ghts of the Afarwat peak. The second phase from Kangdoori to Afarwat came up i n record ti me. The State
Government i s hopi ng to attract ski ers and adventure tour i sts from around the worl d. The 2. 5- km ropeway i s
compl ete and the tri al s a re t hrough. I t wi l l connect the bowl - sha ped Kongdoori Val l ey wi t h t he 4, 390- metre
Afarwat.
Joi nt vent ure: The Gul marg Gondol a , as the ropeway project is known, is a j oi nt venture between the State
Government and a French company, Poma Gl aski . Engi neers from the State and the compa ny have been
worki ng i n huge drifts of snow to erect towers and l ay cabl es i n the a rea cl ose to the Li ne of Control . The so­
far deserted area overl ooks Paki stan Occupi ed Kashmi r. The French company bui l t the onl y other cabl e car i n
Kas hmi r, connecti ng t he Gul marg ski resort t o Kongdoori at a hei ght of 3, 930 m. Work on the Gul marg
system was del ayed by more than ei ght years after it was abandoned i n 1 990 by French techni ci ans when
two engi neers were bri efl y abducted by mi l i tants. I t was compl eted i n 1 998. The Afarwat project, due to be
compl eted l ast year, was del ayed owi ng to bad weather. (The Gul marg Gondol a al oft, Shujaat Bukhari , BL. C,
0 1 . 04. 05, S2 1 )
On the shores of pi cturesque Dal Lake, a host of i ntel l ectual s, bureaucrats and pol i cy- makers have converged
to di scuss future of a beauti ful but far-fl ung region - Ladakh. They rel eased a vi si on document ' Ladakh 2025' .
The vi si on document ai ms at di spel l i ng confusi on and uncertai nty among the Ladakhi peopl e who are adopti ng
new l i festyl es, pract i ces and soci a l mores l eavi ng behi nd the century' s ol d t radi ti on s and cul t ure. J i gmi t
Thakpa, who has aut hored the document adds, " Need of the hour i s to bri ng an i mmedi ate st op to t he
shocki ng deteri orati on of or r i ch heri tage by devel opi ng an appropri ate set of preventi ve measures. " The
rapi d decl i ne of nat ura l resources such as water i s another cause for concern for Ladakhi i nt el l i gentsia .
' Pol l uti on, scarcity of natural resources i s becomi ng common, even certai n i ndi genous speci es of pl ants and
a n i ma l s a re at t he verge of exti ncti on, " Thakpa sai d. (Vi si on 2025: A Ladakh roadmap, Khursheed Wa ni ,
TPD, 1 0. 05. 05, S2 1 )
| Document atio1l Updat e | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
" I wi l l cont i nue to l i ve on water ti l l I di e, " says Mohammad Al taf (65). Even as the a uthori ti es step u p thei r
efforts to rehabi l i tate the peopl e l ivi ng on the wor l d·famous Dal La ke by gi vi ng them free pl ots of l and, the
el ders of t he Hanj i communi ty assert they wi l l l i ve onl y on the water. The communi ty i s fi ghti ng t he most
di ffi cul t battl e of i ts hi story, to save i ts i denti ty.
The Hanj i s are one of the most i mportant features of state' s l i fe, a secti on of peopl e l i vi ng i n boats on and
around t he l akes, streams and ri vers. They a re a l so found on t he Wul a r and Anchar Lakes a nd t he J hel um.
Maxi mum sta ke: The shri n ki ng of the Dal Lake from 20 mi l es to a pproxi matel y 1 2 sq km i n the l ast ha l f·
century has been a cause of concer n. Whi l e t hi s has attracted much attenti on, not much has been heard
about t hi s uni que communi ty, whi ch has the maxi mum stake i n savi ng the l ake. Many bl amed the Hanj i s for
pol l uti ng the l ake a nd al so hel d i t di rectl y responsi bl e for the shr i nki ng l a ke a rea. The State Gover nment
worked out a rehabi l i tati on pl an, whi ch i s expected to hel p save the l ake too. Of the 6000 f ami l i es l i vi ng on
the Dal , 1 200 have a l ready been shi fted and more a re to fol l ow though t hey want to conti nue wi th thei r
busi ness l i ke renti ng houseboats or pl yi ng the shi kara (touri st boats). But, for t he proud Hanj i community,
the di spl acement from thei r centuri es- ol d habi tat i s onl y the begi nni ng of thei r troubl es. I n the i nteri ors of the
Dal , a compl et e cul ture l i ves and thri ves on the famous water body. There a re l a rge· si zed houseboats for
fami l y functi ons. There i s economi c sel f· suffi ci ency. For i nstance, at Karpura, an i nteri or pocket, there a re
fl oati ng vegetabl e gardens, whi ch feed not onl y the enti re Hanj i communi ty but al so the ci ti es s i nce excess
produce i s sol d. The peopl e who grow vegetabl es, col l ect water- nuts, col l ect wood from water·bodi es a re the
much- noti ced shi kara owners. Many consumer goods can al so be bought from the "fl oati ng bazaars". Thus, to
a l arge extent, l i fe on the Dal i s sel f· sustai ni ng_
Post· 1 989, the houseboats have recorded l owest occupancy l evel s whereas the hotel s a round the Dal are
ful l . The outbreak of turmoi l i n the state, most of the hotel s were taken on rent by the estates department to
house government empl oyees as the area was consi dered ri sk free.
The State Gover nment' s proposal for a proper sewage system by provi di ng septi c t anks to toi l ets of the
houseboats fai l ed, as there was no i nsti tuti onal back up from the authori ti es. The system was di sconti nued
because of repeated l eaks from the tanks_ Thi s i ncreased pol l uti on i n the water body by rai si ng the phosphori c
content i n the l ake, thereby encouragi ng weed growth. I n recent yea rs , concrete structures to sel l handi crafts
or texti l es have been bui l t a round the l ake.
Decl i ni ng touri sm: Even though the community el ders are l east enthusi asti c about movi ng out, the younger
l ot feel otherwi se. The touri st i ndustry has decl i ned and the years of mi l i tancy deal t a deathbl ow to the Hanj i
community wi th fal l i ngtouri st i nfl ow even though the area wi thi n the Dal has been the most peacef ul . I n 2003,
the State Government provi ded the Hanj i communi ty l oans to re- bui l d thei r touri sm- rel ated i nfrastructure. The
i nterest rate was fi xed and a mount was given accordi ng to the category of houseboats or shi ka ras owned by
the Hanj i communi ty.
The State Government l evi es a 1 5% tax on the total amount earned from each touri st who stays for a ni ght on
the houseboat Thi s, accordi ng to houseboat owners, i s too hi gh consi deri ng the tough t i mes i n recent years.
The expendi ture on mai ntenance of houseboats has al so i ncreased gi ven the hi gh l evel s of water pol l uti on.
Need for hel p: Ecol ogi cal changes a l so have an i mpact on t he communi ty. Strong wi nds dur i ng the fi rst
fortni ght of Apri l damaged a number of houseboats. There was l i ttl e support from the authori ti es though the
tour i st season was hardl y a month away. Communi ty members a l so worry that they may be l eft behi nd i n
terms of soci al and human i ndi cators. For i nstance l i teracy l evel s, especi al l y among women, a re abysmal ( 1 2
%). At the moment when a centuri es- ol d l i festyl e i s t hreatened due t o un pl anned urbani sat i on, there i s a
need for sui tabl e pol i cy i nterventi on to sort out the probl ems of the communi ty_ Ci vi l soci ety a l so needs to
hel p the communi ty save t hei r cul ture and al so hel p i t attai n better human a nd soci al i ndi cators. (A l a ke
enda ngered, Luv Pur i , TH. B, 1 5. 05. 05, S21 )
Pri me Mi ni ster Manmohan Si ngh on hi s fi rst vi sit to Ladakh after assumi ng offi ce, cal l ed for devel opi ng the
regi on as a new tour i st hub of Jammu a nd Kashmi r. Addressi ng a funct i on to rename Leh' s a i rport after
Kushok Bakul a Ri mpoche, a Buddhi st monk consi dered the a rchi tect of modern Leh, Si ngh hoped that a i r
connecti vi ty woul d bri ng more "touri sts, i nvestors a n d schol a rs to thi s remote corner of the wor l d". The PM
,
2 0 05 - 0 6 j DO�ll111entatioll Update j
asserted that Jammu and Kashmi r and Ladakh woul d benefi t greatly from thi s moderni sati on. "Our government
i s commi tted to the moderni sati on of our i nfrastructure across the l ength and breadth of the vast subconti nent,
Si ngh sai d, addi ng that t hi s woul d "ensure that the emot i onal a nd economi c i ntegrat i on of t he count ry i s
better enabl ed. " He s ai d t hat t he Ladakh regi on woul d see better school s, hospi ta l s and u rban faci l i ti es
soon. Respondi ng to Jammu and Kashmi r chi ef mi ni ster Mufti Mohammad Sayeed a nd hi s deputy Mangat
Ram Sharma's demand for more f l i ghts to Ladakh, the PM sai d that al l "obstacl es" i n the path of connecti vi ty
to thi s mountai n· l ocked regi on woul d b removed so that i ts ful l touri sm potenti al coul d be expl oited. Expansi on
of heal th care and educati on were top pri ori ty for t he government and Jammu & Kashmi r woul d al so benefi t
from thi s. (FM cal l s for maki ng Ladakh a touri st hub, TOI . B, 1 1 . 06. 05, S21 )
To showcase Kashmi r a s a safe desti nati on for touri sts a l l over the worl d, Uni on Tour i sm Mi ni ster Renuka
Chowdary a nnounced a seri es of measures. Rs. 40 crores has been sanct i oned to boost the touri sm i ndustry
and rebui l d the i nfrastructure i n the State. Apart from Rs. 1 6 crores gi ven as soft l oan to houseboat , hotel
and horse owners, the Government has sa ncti oned Rs. 8. 58 crores for revampi ng the I nsti tute of Ski i ng at
Gul marg. Another Rs. 20 crores has been earmarked for rural touri sm, devel opment a uthori ti es and new
ci rcui ts.
The Amarnath Yatra ci rcui t woul d be devel oped excl usi vel y by the Centre. The other ci rcui ts woul d come at
the banks of J hel um and Shi vkhodi i n Jammu. Stati ng that the Centre woul d take up a comprehensi ve campai gn
throughout the worl d to present Kashmi r as "a safe desti nati on, " (Putti ng Kashmi r back on the touri st map,
Shuj aat Bukhar i , TH. C, 1 1 .07. 05, S21 )
Al though touri sts a re streami ng i n from di fferent parts of the worl d, the cul tural a n d a nci ent si tes here a re
cryi ng for funds. Many of them a re decayi ng and crumbl i ng despi te l ocal efforts. The ci ty' s cynosure, a
crumbl ed ni ne· storey pal ace of the 1 6th century that towers over the Leh ol d quarters -i tsel f poi nts to the
t hreat faced by s i mi l ar struct ures i n thi s col d desert. There a re new construct i ons i n the town, whi ch a re
turni ng i nto touri st attracti ons. The Shanti Stupa bui l t by the Japanese has become the most famous touri st
attracti on; i ts a rchi tecture i s di fferent from the Ladakhi styl e. ( Ladakh monuments cry for renovat i on, Luv
Puri , TH. B, 2 1 . 08. 05, S21 )
A Rs. 298 crore pl an t o cl ea n up the Dal l ake has been cl ea red by the Envi ronment a n d Forests Mi ni stry and
now awai ts the Uni on Cabi net's nod . The project i s the bi ggest ever l ake conservati on pl an to be taken up by
the mi ni stry and the fi rst maj or package to boost touri sm i n J&K. I t i s to be compl eted wi thi n fi ve years from
the day of commencement. Un l i ke the mi ni stry' s other l a ke conservati on programmes where the Centre
provi des 70 % of the funds, the Dal l ake project wi l l be ful l y·funded by the Centre. The shi karas, an i ntegral
part of the Dal l ake, wi l l al so get a makeover. They wi l l be redesi gned, made eco-fri endl y and "a new sani tati on
system devel oped by I I T· Rourkee wi l l be i nstal l ed". The project a l so envi sages t he devel opment of the area
around the l ake, on the l i nes of river front i mprovement i n London and New York. (Rs 298 cr for Dal c l ean- up,
Chetan Chauhan, HID, 03. 09. 05, S21 )
After a gap of over three years, French hel i - ski i ng expert Syl va i n Saudan i s back i n Jammu and Kashmi r to
revive the adventure sport duri ng the comi ng wi nter. Sources i n touri sm department sai d that Mr Saudan i s
worki ng out arrangements i n consul tati on wi th the concerned offi ci al s. He pl ans to start operati ons i n February
next year. He a l so met Chi ef Mi ni ster Mufti Muhammad Sayeed to a ppri se hi m of the pl an to revive hel i - ski i ng
that attracted hundreds of touri sts from Europe and other countri es. (Try hel i - ski i ng i n Val l ey, Yusuf Jameel ,
AA. D, 24. 1 0. 05, S2 1 )
The shi karas may stay, but Dal Lake' s famous f l owers a nd vegetabl es may soon become a memory. The
showpi ece of Sri nagar may soon be l i sted among UNESCO' s l i st of worl d heri tage si tes i f Water Resources
Mi ni ster Sai fuddi n Soz has h i s way. But a maj or hurdl e that coul d acqui re pol i ti cal overtones i s the 6, 000-odd
fami l i es who grow vegetabl es and fl owers on the banks who wi l l have to be rel ocated. Pi cki ng up from where
he l eft off duri ng hi s sti nt a s envi ronment mi ni ster i n 1 997 at c l eani ng up and conservi ng the best· known
l andmark i n the Val l ey, Soz says rehabi l i tati on pl ans for i nhabi ta nts on the l ake have al so been worked out.
The peopl e have al so been sounded out about evacuati ng the l a ke and a re not averse to the i dea, says Soz.
(Sai fuddi n Soz pl ans to put Dal Lake on Unesco map, Mohua Chatterjee, TOI . D, 2 1 . 02. 06, S21 )
| Docll ment ation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
530 Western I ndi a
Maharashtra
The 1 8th century Si on Fort has di vi ded the protectors of heri tage i nto two camps. The Archaeol ogi cal Survey
of I ndi a (ASI ) is posi ti oned on one si de a nd the Mumba i Heri tage Conservati on Commi ttee ( MHCC) on the
other. Two years after the MHCC cl eared a sl um rehabi l i tati on scheme at the foot hi l l s of the Si on Fort, the ASI
i s cryi ng foul . I t has fi nal l y woken up to the fact that the Si on Fort i s a Grade I heri tage structure that needs
to be protected. Thi s i s after two bui l d i ngs a re al ready up and ready for occupat i on whi l e a thi rd i s u nder
constructi on. I n a recent l etter to t he MHCC, the ASI has sought a stay on t he construct i on . The ASI says
that si nce the fort i s a 1 929 noti fi ed heri tage mon ument, no constructi on can be al l owed wi thi n 300 metres
of i t . Apart from the bui l di ngs, i t has a l so objected to a proposed garden, muni ci pal market and pr i mary
school i n the vi ci ni ty of t he fort.
I n 1 999, when the state government, who owns the fort, asked the MHCC for cl earance for the sl um proj ect,
the commi ttee a pproved si nce the fort was al ready overrun by 30·year· ol d sl ums a nd had degenerated i nto
a huge open· ai r toi l et. An ASI offi ci al i n charge of the heri tage monuments i n Mumbai sai d that the fort had
esca ped attenti on so far because Mumbai was part of the Aurangabad ci rcl e. I t was onl y i n December l ast
year t hat Mumba i , a l ong wi th ei ght other di st ri ct s i n Maharashtra , was bi furcated i nto a new ASI centre.
(Heri tage Vs Heri tage At Si on Fort; Mumbai Heri tage Conservati on Commi ttee, ASI Cl ash Over Rehab Scheme,
Cl ara Lewi s, TOI . M, 27. 04. 05, S30 I D20d)
I n 1 998, Maharashtra deci ded to compete wi th Goa, a cel ebrated non·corporate i nternati onal touri sm brand
as i t was fel t t hat t he l atter was unabl e t o effecti vel y manage t he huge i nfl ow of touri st arri val s. Maharashtra
strategy was to l ook at i ts own coastal Konkan di stri ct of Si ndhud urg, j ust north of Goa. I t was j ust l i ke Goa
pi cturesque, abounded i n cl ean beaches, where, because of phosphorescence, waves gl ow on a ful l moon
n i ght, and provi ded a sense of t ranqui l l i ty. So, why has Si ndhudurg, whi ch was offi ci al l y gi ven the "Touri sm
Onl y" status (banni ng a ny other acti vi ty) remai ned starved of money· spi nni ng touri sm? Why does i t conti nue
t o be backward wi th a per ca pi ta i n come of under Rs. 3, 000? ( Even thi s economy i s sustai ned by money
orders from i ts mi grants worki ng i n Mumbai . ) Al so why a re tour i sm faci l i ti es vi rtua l l y frozen at the pre· 1 988
l evel s? Goa, on the other hand, cont i nues wi th its touri st a rri val s of two mi l l i on per year, hi gher t han the l ocal
popul ati on of 1 . 24 mi l l i on.
Narayan Rane, who hai l ed from Si ndhudurg a nd aware of i ts true touri sm potenti al when he became Chi ef
Mi ni ster i n 1 988, for mul ated t he pol i cy, but i t was not i mpl emented by the next Government wi th the vi gour
i t deserved.
But t hi ngs coul d be l ooki ng up soon as t hi s "Touri sm Only" pol i cy wi l l be given a boost, accordi ng to Mi ni ster
of State for Touri sm, Suresh Shetty. A ' new touri sm pol i cy on the anvi l woul d i ntensify work on a l l fronts' and
' the l ost opportuni ti es regai ned' . The ' Deccan Odyssey' i s bei ng better marketed i nternati onal l y so that the
Konkan gets more attenti on.
Obstacl es: Lack of movement on t he touri sm pol i cy a nd stri ngent coastal zone regul ati ons (CRZ) have kept
away l eadi ng fi ve· star hotel groups. I n fact they have opted out of pl ans i nspi te of deposi ti ng Rs. 2 crores for
t he 60 to 80 acre seasi de pl ots i n Shi roda , Mi dbav and Mochemad vi l l ages for t hei r resorts. Offi ci al s a re
behi nd t hem to revive t hei r pl ans but CRZ l aws a re a barri er.
An a i rport near Parol e has remai ned a non· starter and so ha s a subsi di ary to t he Mahara sht ra Tou ri sm
Devel opment Corporati on (MTDC) t o focus on Si ndhudurg. Now, onl y a desul tory commi ttee wi th t he col l ector
overl ooks l ocal perspecti ves. whi ch does not amount to much. But some l oca l efforts a re on, one bei ng a
touri sm co· operati ve whi ch provi des beds i n tents and l ately, a "bed and breakfast" scheme i n l ocal homes.
Another i s a "Backwaters Festi val " to popul ari se t hree creeks as backwaters. I nterest i ngly, pol i t i ci ans run
both.
I n 1 999, an i nteresti ng experi ment was ki cked off. Busl oads of peopl e were taken to Si ndhudurg and peopl e
asked to host them. The i dea was to hel p them understand the huge potenti al of touri sm, whi ch can create at
l east two l akh jobs. Soon enough, some 80 househol ds regi stered t hemsel ves as hosts to offer i nexpensi ve
beds and cl ean toi l et s to vi si tors on a regul ar basi s, but then a probl em emerged . They were asked to pay
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
"commerci al " rates for el ectri ci ty consumed, i nstead of the cheaper domesti c tariff, whi ch ended up di l uti ng
the hosts' enthusi asm. Si xteen pai rs of trai ns on the Konkan Rai l way, snaki ng through the regi on have not
si gni fi cantl y boosted touri st arri val s as the i nfrastructure/faci l i ti es a re i nadequate. Hopeful l ocal s who i nvested
i n t he ra i l ways' bonds and parted wi th l and to make the ra i l way possi bl e now acknowl edge that expected
growth has not come i n i ts wake. (Whi ther Si ndhudurg? Mahesh Vi j apurkar, TH. B, 29. 05. 05, S30)
The Maharashtra Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on (MTDC) has come up wi th some exci ti ng offers ai med at
corporate under the Deposi t Scheme package. Any organi zati on that ti es up wi th MTDC can avai l of di scounts
on a l l MTDC properti es. Empl oyees can choose from a range of desti nati ons -t he pr i st i ne beaches of
Tarkarl i , Ganpati pul e and Harl hareshwar or heri tage si tes such a s Aj ant a, El l ora, Kar l a and Lonar crater Or
sanctuari es such a s Pench and Tadoba to forts at Ratnagi ri and Si ndhudurg. ( I t' s rai n i ng packages, TH. C,
24. 09. 05, S30)
Attempts by an advert i si ng Company to del i st Mahal axmi preci ncts i n Mumba i from the l i st of heri tage si tes
fai l ed as the Supreme Court has rul ed that there coul d not be a ny doubt that It fal l s i n the grade· 1 I 1 heri tage
si te cl assi fi cati on, prohi bi ti ng erecti on of a ny hoardi ng there.
Despi te anomal i es i n the l i st prepared by the Maharashtra government a Bench compri si ng Justi ce Ruma Pal
and J usti ce AR Lakshma nan sai d on October 2 1 that " Mahal axmi preci ncts i s i ndeed a l i sted heri tage
preci nct . " Thi s order was passed by the Bench whi l e di smi ssi ng a peti ti on fi l ed by Mass Hol di ngs Pvt Ltd
chal l engi ng a Bombay Hi gh Court order a l l owi ng Muni ci pa l Corporati on of Greater Mumbai to remove i ts
hoardi ng from the area. However, after the pronouncement of the order, counsel for the a ppel l ant menti oned
before the Court that i t has a pproached Maharashtra Heri tage Conservati on Commi ttee (MHCC), whi ch has
agreed to consi der i ts representati on to obtai n a ' no objecti on certi fi cate to thei r hoardi ng' . (SC: Mahal axmi
preci ncts a heri tage s ite, Dhananj ay Mahapatra , TOI . D, 26. 1 0. 05, S30 / D20d)
Maharashtra Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on ( MTDC) started i ts servi ces of the open· deck touri sm buses
l ast week. The bus takes touri sts through Mumbai i n the cal m of ni ght. The adva ntage i s that Mumba i 's busy
busi ness di stri cts through whi ch the bus wi nds i ts way a re empty dur i ng the eveni ng. The two open· decked
buses, Ni l amba ri and Vi bhavar i , have attracted the i nterest of not j ust i nternati onal but al so domesti c touri sts
who queue u p to watch some of the popul ar heri tage pl aces. ( Ni ghtseei ng i n Mumbai ; MTDC's open- deck
buses take touri sts a round Mumba i , Sul ekha Nai r, FE. C, 1 3. 1 2. 05, S30)
The restorati on of Ajanta and El l ora i s bei ng funded j oi ntl y by the Japanese Bank for I nternati onal Cooperati on
(J BI C) and the government of Ma harashtra . "The J apa nese Bank has provi ded a soft l oan of Rs 81 crore i n
the fi rst phase of the Aja nta El l ora project and Rs 300 crore i n the second phase, " says Abhay Yaval ka r, j oi nt
MD, Maharashtra Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on. Besi des caves i n and around Aura ngabad, the Bank i s
a l so fundi ng an i rri gati on project i n Bhandardhara and El epanta Caves i n Mumbai , et al . ( Breathi ng l i fe i nto
frescoes, FE. D, 1 9. 02. 06, S30 / D20d)
There seems to be a rush of heal thcare provi ders fl ocki ng to Mumbai to set u p super· speci a l i ty hospi tal s.
Work has started on a 1 ,000- bed mul ti · speci al ity hospi ta l l ocated cl ose to the Sahar I nternati onal Ai rport on
the outer fri nges of Mumba i . The esti mated Ps 360 crore hospi tal i s comi ng up on the BMC's ( Bri hanmumba i
Muni ci pal Corporati on) unfi ni shed cancer project bei ng devel oped by the Vi zag based Seven Hi l l s Heal thcare
Ltd. The hospi tal i s schedul ed to be compl eted by l ate 2007. Onl y l ast month, the Apol l o Hospi tal s Group
commi tted Rs 400 c rore towards establ i shi ng two terti a ry hospi ta l s. A proposed heart hospi tal , t he pet
project of cardi ac surgeon l ate Dr Nitu Mandke and currently under the aegi s of Mr Ani ! Ambani was schedul ed
to be compl eted thi s yea r. Wi th a three- and- a- hal f year- ol d hospital i n Mumba i , Wockhardt Hospi tal s Group
i s al so l ooki ng for an opportuni ty to set up i ts second hospi tal i n the ci ty. (For hospi tal groups, i t' s Desti nati on
Mumbai , P T Jyothi Datta, BL. B, 21 . 03. 06, S30 / D20f)
Rajasthan
Raj asthan has cal l ed up on the Centre to sancti on at the earl i est proposal s worth Rs. 60 crores for l aunchi ng
touri sm projects duri ng 05- 06 to enabl e the State Government to take up the works at the begi nni ng of the
year. The projects i ncl ude renovati on of pl aces of touri st i nterest and extensi on of 1 2 ai rstri ps. The Mi ni ster
| Documentation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
of State for Tour i sm, Usha Puni a, whi l e rai s i ng t he demand at a revi ew meet i ng. (Centre asked to cl ear
proposal s, TH. D, 08. 05. 05, S30)
The NCR Pl anni ng Boa rd wi l l soon be setti ng up i ts fi rst cl ass townshi p i n the regi on. I t wi l l be devel oped at
Neemrana i n Rajasthan, 1 1 0 km west of Del hi , on the Neemrana·Shahj ahanabad hi ghway. Member Secretary
of the hoard Dr PK. Mi shra says that the Neemra na Townshi p is a pi l ot project to ki ck· start the board' s move
to devel op at l east one worl d cl ass town i n each of the consti tuent states. ' The basi c i deas behi n d the
project i s to try and ease the popul ati on and economi c pressure on Del hi and di sperse i t to the nei ghbouri ng
states, " says Dr Mi shra .
Raj asthan was the fi rst state to come up wi th a project recommendati on and has even i denti fi ed the si te whi l e
Haryana and UP wi l l be next i n l i ne. Neemrana was the choi ce because i t i s on the hi ghway a nd has easy
access. (Neemrana town wi l l ease capi tal burden, Esha Roy, I E. D, 21 . 05. 05, S30)
There has a l ways been a curi ous i nert i a on the par t of the Vasundhara Raje gover n ment when i t came to
addressi ng the i ssue of Sati wi th the ri gour that the l aw demanded . Whether t hi s was prompted by pol i ti ca l
expedi ency or the personal bel i ef of i ts Chi ef Mi ni ster i s di ffi cul t to say. I n January 2004, when a l ower court
acqui tted al l the accused for gl ori fyi ng the Roop Kanwar Sati i n 1 987, the state government was expected to
cha l I enge the verdi ct. I t responded wi th s i l ence. More recentl y, the Jai pur Devel opment Autho�i ty actual ly
named a new townshi p as Shree Rani Sati Nagar, ri ght under the nose of the government. Nobody i n Jai pur' s
corri dors of power di scerned anyt hi ng a mi ss. Now comes the bra i nwave from the Raj astha n Tou ri sm
Devel opment Authori ty a pparently wi th the ful l encouragement of the state' s touri sm mi ni stry of packagi ng
Raj asthan's Sati si tes as touri st desti nati ons. The Commi ssi on of Sati (Preventi on) Act, 1 987, i s unambi guous
i n recogni s i ng a s a cr i me not j ust Sat i , but the gl ori fi cati on of i t. I t bans "the supporti ng, j usti fyi ng or
propagati ng" of t he practi ce of Sat i " i n a ny manner". Agai nst t hi s l egal backdrop, you have a publ i cati on
brought out by a Raj a st han state govern ment aut hori ty gushi ng: "There i s not a spot i n the state where
women had not commi tted Sati " . Thi s actual ly amounts to the state· sponsored promoti on of the cul t. (I ncredi bl e
Raj ast han, Packagi ng Sati si tes as touri st spots a mounts to state'sponsored promot i on of the cul t , I E. D,
0 1 . 06. 05, S30)
On Apri l 1 5, peopl e l i vi ng near Roopsagar Lake i n Udai pur were shocked to see bul l dozers ri ppi ng a par t i ts
d ry bed. "When I asked the contractor, I was tol d a 80·feet (about 24 metres) wi de road was to be carved
out i n t he peta (bed) of the l a ke, " says Raml al Vai shnav, ex· counci l l or of Pahada a rea, where the l a ke i s
si tuated. The news spread l i ke wi l df i re t hrough the a rea. An i rate crowd assembl ed at the si te and got the
work stopped. "Thi s tal aab i s very i mportant for us because when there i s water i n i t, our wel l s a re ful l . I f a ny
construct i on takes pl ace here, our hand pumps wi l l dry up, " says Naresh Vai shnav, a resi dent. On Apri l 1 8,
the resi dents gathered aga i n a nd took t o t he streets and vowed to stop a ny constructi on i n Roopsagar. I t
t hen came t o l i ght that construct i on wa s t aki ng pl ace i n a l most every water· body that had d ri ed u p i n
Udai pur. Si mi l ar to the case of Roopsagar was that of Nai l a tal aab whose embankment was cut to make way
for a road. But what was gl ari ng about these two i nci dents was that not onl y di d the ' devel opment acti vi ti es'
vi ol ate the ci ty's master pl an but al so an order of the Raj asthan Hi gh Court (RHC). On August 2, 2004, RHC
had di rected the state govern ment to make a pl an to restore the catchment a reas of a l l the water bodi es i n
Raj asthan. The di recti ons were further passed to a l l the di stri cts.
Why then di d the Urban I mprovement Trust ( UI T) of Udai pur al ong wi th the di stri ct admi ni strati on proceed
wi th an acti vi ty that ran contrary to RHC's di recti ons? "On Apri l 16, I came to know that roads were constructed
i n t he l ow· l yi ng area and I ordered for the removal of whatever constructi on was goi ng on, " says d i st ri ct
magi st rate Abhay Kumar, who i s al so the UI T chai r person. He says the roads were bei ng constructed as part
of the Asi an Devel opment Bank-funded Vasundhara Road Network project. But even the master pl an doesn' t
show the l ake can be bui l t over. Further, thi s l and use of the area (from l ake to pl ayground) a ppears to be a
recent change i ncl uded i n the Land Use Pl an 2022. As l ate as 1 997, these two were shown as water· bodi es.
Why the change? Expl ai ns chi ef town pl anner H S Sanchet i , "These water· bodi es a re dry for years and have
no val ue now." But Kumar hi msel f had ordered the i rri gati on department to restore Roopsagar under the Akal
Rahat Ka rya (drought rel i ef) scheme j ust 2· 3 years ago. The whol e affa i r poi nts to a nexus between t he
a uthori ti es and bui l ders, says Tej Rajdan of t he ' Jheel Sanrakshan Sami ti ' , a non· governmental organi sati on i n
Udai pur.
2 0 05 - 0 6 j Documentation Update |
Why a re Udai pur's l akes dryi ng up? "Among the mai n reasons a re over extracti on of water and choki ng of
i nl ets by bui l di ng col oni es, " opi nes J C Dubey, a hydrol ogi st, who has a l so worked wi t h t he Raj a stha n
government. But for government offi ci al s, there i s onl y one: "Low rai nfal l duri ng the l ast decade i s the bi ggest
reason for the l akes dryi ng up, " cl ai ms J N Gol ani , addi t i onal chi ef engi neer, Publ i c Heal t h Engi neeri ng
Department ( PHED). Dubey counters sayi ng the rai nfal l i n Udai pur duri ng the peri od has never been l ess
than 40 % of the average of 660 mi l l i metre I year. I n some years, i t has been more tha n the average but sti l l
the water di d not reach the l akes. Dubey bl ames the PHED, whi ch i s responsi bl e for suppl yi ng water t o the
ci ty. "After expl oi t i ng the l akes up to thei r basi n, the PHED have now put borewel l s i n the bed of t hese l akes, "
he says. Even i ndustri es such as the Hi ndustan Zi nc Li mi ted (HZL) have put nearl y 20 bore wel l s i n the bed
of Udai sagar Lake to meet i ts huge water demand. As a resul t , the hand pumps i n the surroundi ng vi l l ages
dri ed up. On Apri l 27, the vi l l agers surroundi ng the l ake agi tated agai nst groundwater extracti on from the
l ake bed. "The tube wel l s dri l l ed i n the bed of these l akes have become permanent condui ts for rapi d seepage
and are resul ti ng i n faster l osses of surface water storage whenever the l akes a re fi l l ed wi th rai nwater, " says
Dubey.
What' s the way out? If even j ust Pi chol a, Fatehsagar and Badi l akes were ful l , there woul d be enough water to
meet the demand for a 1 Y years, he says. After the Roopsagar i nci dent, Sancheti has i dentified 39 waterbodies
i n a nd around the ci ty. The formul a for keepi ng the l akes ful l is not diffi cul t to fi nd: i t is l ocated j ust 5 ki l ometres
from Udai pur i n the form of Jogi ka Tal aab. Thi s tal aab, whi ch is in the same terrai n, and gets t he same a mount
of r ai nfa l l as Udai pur, i s bri mmi ng wi th water a nd l aughi ng si l entl y t hrough i ts l otus f l owers. None of the
vi l l agers l i vi ng around i t use i ts water for i rri gati on. I ts i nl ets and outl ets a re not suffocated wi th constructi on.
On top of that, no government body has reached here yet , i t i s sti l l bei ng managed by the l ocal peopl e, who
u nderst and i ts i mportance. (Lake Assaul t , Down to Earth Feature, I E. C, 05. 06. 05, S30)
A new i ntegrated touri sm pol i cy, whi ch wi l l a ccommodate a more acti ve rol e for t he pri vate sector i n
i nfrastructure devel opment, i s on the anvi l i n Rajasthan. The pol i cy woul d ensure t hat the State, now al most
on top of the heap i n touri sm i n the country, stays put there by di versi fyi ng and devel opi ng more a reas a nd
newer themes other t han t he "eter nal " desert i t offers now. The new pol i cy woul d i ncorporate pl ans for
i ncrease i n number of hotel rooms through setti ng up l and banks, de· cl assi fi cati on of l and for hotel s from the
commerci al to the i ndustri al category and by creati on of a di stri ct· wi se i nventory of touri sm ci rcui ts. There
woul d be speci al desert touri sm projects and heal th·touri sm. (Raj asthan mul l s over new touri sm pol i cy, TH. D,
04. 09. 05, S30)
The Raj asthan government pl ans to create rural touri sm resorts i n t ri bal bases, eco- rural ci rcui t s, desert
experi ence projects and heal th touri sm projects to step up foreign touri st ar ri va l s. The deci si on comes i n the
wake of the state l osi ng out to states l i ke Keral a.
The i ni ti at i ve i s i n t une wi t h the recent FI CCI · CRI SI L study whi ch had war ned t hat " Raj ast han needs t o
seri ously l ook at recent trends whi ch reveal that t he state's share of i nternati onal touri sts i s on t he decl i ne".
"The Mi ni stry of Touri sm has accepted the proposal s recommended by the study i n i ts ei ght· poi nt strategy
to the government and wi l l go for i ntense campaigns i n days to come. Promoti on of medi cal touri sm, i ntegrati on
of al l the rel ated proj ects i nto the exi st i ng ci rcui ts, revi ew of the pol i cy fra mework a nd proacti ve steps to
attract private i nvestment woul d put the desert state's touri sm sector on a hi gher pl atform, " State Touri sm
Mi ni ster Usha Puni a sai d. The average peri od of stay for a forei gn touri st i n I ndi a i s 3 1 . 2 days, whi l e i t i s only
a round 2. 5 days i n Raj asthan a s agai nst more than fi ve days i n states l i ke Goa and Keral a. Per·day spends
by i nternati onal a nd domesti c touri sts i n Rajasthan are Rs 800 and Rs 400 respecti vel y, l ess than hal f of the
average touri sts spend i n I ndi a. ( Raj asthan to step up touri sm offeri ngs, I E. C, 06. 09. 05, S30)
Touri sts can once agai n enj oy el ephant ri des at the Amber Fort i n the Pi nk Ci ty wi th the Government l i fti ng a
ban that was i mposed after a rogue el ephant ki l led one person and i nj ured two touri sts. The deci si on to l i ft the
ban was taken at a meet i ng of seni or offi ci al s. I t was deci ded that 61 el ephants, who were found to be i n
sound mental a n d physi ca l heal th, woul d be al l owed t o ferry touri sts t o the fort. Accordi ng to sources, the
deci si on was t aken after a commi ttee of el ephant owners agreed to fol l ow safety norms i ssued by the State
Government. The touri sm department had I mposed a n i ndefi ni te ban on el ephant ri des after a rogue el ephant
trampl ed to death a tour escort and i nj ured two Bel gi an touri sts on September 1 5. Under the new gui del i nes,
the Forest Department wi l l i ssue i denti ty cards to al l mahouts who must have at l east t hree years experi ence
of handl i ng el ephants i n the Amber premi ses. ( Rajasthan l i fts ba n on el ephant ri de, TPD, 1 2. 1 0. 05, S301
D20d)
| Docll111cntution Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
,
Raj asthan i s pl ayi ng host to a 1 4 day- l ong I nternati onal Hot Ai r Bal l ooni ng Fi esta. Produced a nd organi sed by
' Wi l d i n The Woods' and ' E- Fa ctor ' , i t i s the f i rst of i ts ki nd bei ng hel d i n I ndi a. Over 20 bal l ooni sts from 1 1
countri es wi l l navi gate from Barmer to Jodhpur a nd Jai pur duri ng the festi val . To popul ari se the sport, free
fl i ghts, ni ght· gl ow events and hot a i r bal l oon compet i t i ons have a l so been organi sed. Cl ea rl y, the i dea i s to
popul ari se adventure sports a nd boost touri sm. The di verse terrai n of Rajasthan wi th the A rava I Ii and Vi ndhayan
hi l l s, the open desert t racts, the vast l akes and ri vers, a nd the wi l dl i fe parks a re i deal for a dventure s ports.
Li ttl e wonder then that i t offers exhaustive opti ons - boati ng i n the Chamba l ri ver, bi ki ng i n Shekhawati and
Mount Abu, t rekki ng i n Sari ska· Al war Amber bel t, campi ng i n Pushkar, bal l ooni ng i n Jai pur, parasai l i ng i n the
sandy countrysi de and even water sports i n the l arge l akes. An aerosport project i n col l aborati on wi th Del h i
Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on and Aerosport Cl ub i s underway. And wi th an I nternati onal Desert Sport
fest i val i n the pi pel i ne travel l ers can l ook forward to desert ski i ng and desert motor i ng as wel l . (Si mpl y
Adventurous, Ki ra n Yadav, FE. D, 1 9. 02. 06, S201 D20a)
A l ong- cheri shed dream of Raj asthan has come t rue wi t h the Mi ni stry of Ci vi l Avi at i on noti fyi ng the exi st i ng
domesti c a i rport at Sanganer as an i nternat i onal a i rport. The Sanganer a i rport, granted the stat us of an
i nternat i onal a i rport on December 29, 2005, i s one of the 1 2 modern a i rports i n the country and 1 4th
i nternati onal ai rport where passenger-fri endly faci l i t i es have been upgraded and moderni zed by the Ai rport
Authori ty of I ndi a. The ter mi nal bui l di ng, renovated to gi ve a n ethni c Raj ast hani a rchi tectural l ook, can
a ccommodate 500 passengers at a t i me and i s equ i pped wi th al l modern passenger ameni t i es i ncl udi ng
customs and i mmi grati on faci l i ti es to handl e i nternati onal chartered fl i ghts. The authori ti es at the ai rport sai d
that there was a pl an to construct a new i nternati onal termi nal bui l di ng, whi ch woul d cater to 1 000 passengers
an hour. (Sanganer a i rport goes i nternati onal , TH. D, 22. 02. 06, S30)
The opul ence and grandeur of Raj asthan have a lways fasci nated forei gn tour i sts. Now the desert state has a
new, heady concocti on to attract vi si tors -heri tage l i quor from the royal househol ds. Royal Jagmohan and
Royal Kesar Kasturi , the two br ands of vi ntage l i quor t hat have been l aunched so far, have caught the fancy
of vi si tors from a broad who a re even carryi ng them for future consumpti on. Seei ng the popul a ri ty of these
dri nks that were tradi ti onal l y brewed i n the royal househol ds, three new bra nds -Royal Chandra has, Royal
Saunf and Royal Maval i wi l l soon h i t the market. ( Royal Raj ast han l i quor hi t wi th touri sts, Ani l Shar ma,
AA. D, 09. 03. 06, S30)
Gujarat
I n l i ne wi th the i t' s deci si on to cel ebrate yea r 2006 as Touri sm Devel opment Year, the Guj arat government i s
pl anni ng t o form Guj arat Touri sm Promoti on Counci l (GTPC) for the devel opment of much negl ected touri sm
sector i n the state. The basi c objecti ve of the counci l woul d be to showcase Guj arat as maj or touri st desti nati on
for i nternati onal as wel l as domest i c touri sm and to hel p state government for the necessary i nfrastructural
devel opment to promote the touri sm i ndustry al ong wi th proper marketi ng strategi es. (Guj arat to promote
tour i sm i n a bi g way, Nayan Dave, FE. C, 1 4. 07. 05, S30)
The resi dents of modern Champaner·Pavagadh i n Panchmahal s di st ri ct of Guj arat a re probabl y unaware of
the hi stori cal i mportance of t hei r town. A l i ttl e over a year ago, Champaner· Pavagadh was gi ven the status of
Worl d Heri tage Si te by UNESCO. Accordi ng to Ka ran Grover, the a rchi tect who has been worki ng for t he l ast
30 years pushi ng Champaner· Pavagadh on to the gl obal heri tage l i st . t here a re 1 1 ki nds of bui l di ngs, some
of them bei ng mosques, granari es, tombs, hel i cal wel l s, fort wal l s and vi ewi ng terraces. The touri st t rai l takes
one t hrough the Gebanshah' s Vav or step wel l that i s 80 feet deep, Mehdi tal ao, Vada Tal ao, water chan nel s,
vari ous forti fi cat i ons, i ncl udi ng the Atak For t , whi ch t i l l today has 83 catapul ts structures. (On a heri tage
tra i l , Latha Venkatra man, TH. B, 25. 09. 05, S30)
Guj arat touri sm wi l l no l onger be a l l a bout the templ e ci rcui t. I n 2006, the Yea r of Touri sm, the state i ti nerary
wi l l i nvol ve a mi x of hi stori ca l s pots perta i n i ng to var i ous rel i gi ons. Leadi ng the packages i s the famous
Champaner For t , a Wor l d Heri tage si te, a settl ement put up by the f i rst Musl i m r ul ers i n Guj arat . Of the
touri st ci rcui ts bei ng envi saged i s the "Kri shna Ci rcui t" wi th Dwarka at the forefront. Then there i s the "Gandhi
ci rcui t" i ncl udi ng Porbandar, Sabarmati Ashram and Raj kot. Other pl ans on the a nvi l , offi ci al s sai d, i ncl ude
sea crui ses from Mumbai to Mandvi . (Modi takes hi story l essons for touri sm, Si ddhartha Sarma, l ED, 05. 1 0. 05,
S30)
2 � 0 5 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
The Guj arat Government has appeal ed to the Centre to extend the tax hol i days i t offers to the Kutch di stri ct
for another two years i n order to provi de further i mpetus to the i ndustri a l acti vi ti es i n the di stri ct. "We have
put forward a proposal before the Central Government to extend the tax hol i days to the Kutch di stri ct and
t hat the i ndustri al acti vi ty of the State gets further momentum, " t he Guj arat Chi ef Mi ni ster, Mr Narendra
Modi , sai d here whi l e i naugurati ng the Wel spun Ci ty. The Uni on Government i n the publ i c i nterest exempted
certai n i ndustri al sector i n the di stri ct from payi ng exci se duty t i l l December 31 , 2005. Guj arat has secured
a l most 88 percent of the total i nvestment i n the country, Mr Modi cl a i med addi ng, the Kutch di stri ct, has
become the epi centre of the i ndustri al acti vi ty of the state after the 2001 earthquake. (Guj arat seeks further
tax· hol i day for Kutch di stri ct, BL. B, 29. 1 1 . 05, S30)
I n a bi d to further expl ore touri sm potenti al of Guj arat, the Junagadh di stri ct admi ni strati on has chal ked out
an acti on pl an worth a bout Rs 20 crore to l ure domest i c and forei gn touri sts. The Junagadh Di stri ct Col l ector,
Mr Bi pi n Kumar Sri mal i , sai d the l ocal admi ni strati on has made efforts to provi de hel i copter services connecti ng
Pal i tana, Somnath and Junagadh.
Besi des, wi l dl i fe eco·touri sm acti vi ti es have been pl anned at Sakkarbag and nature t rai l s at Gi rnar. Duri ng
Heri tage touri sm programme i n July, the admi ni st rati on has deci ded to set up a theme pavi l i on at Uperkot,
semi nar on protecti on and devel opment of a rchaeol ogi cal memori al i n Junagadh, Mr Sri mal i sai d. Mr Sri ma l i
sai d t hat of t he esti mated Rs 20- crore project a bout Rs 7 crore woul d be as a ssi sta nce by t he Centra l
Government, equal a mount woul d be gi ven by the State Government and the rest woul d be rai sed through
publ i c parti ci pati on. (Junagadh chal ks out acti on pl an to woo touri sm, BL. B, 2 1 . 02. 06, S30)
540 Uni on Terri tori es
Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands
For years, coral reefs and mari ne l i fe have hel ped def i ne the Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands as an i nternati onal
touri st desti nati on. But when the tsu nami struck on December 26 l ast year, coral s were farthest f rom the
mi nds of the ci vi l i an a uthori ti es and the defence servi ces engaged i n rescue and rehabi l i tati on. As the huge
sei smi c sea waves l eft vast stretches of destructi on on the l and, no one had t he t i me or the resources to
study the effect of the tsunami on the reefs. Now, however, wi th the ci vi l i an admi ni strati on and the defence
establ i shment restori ng near· normal i ty to the i sl ands after a t ryi ng peri od, the cora l s are getti ng a l ook· i n
agai n. I n any case, wi thout touri sm, t he i sl ands cannot attai n t he pre·tsunami normal i ty.
Sara ng Kul karni of Reef Watch Mari ne Conservati on, wi th hel p from the admi ni strati on, undertook a survey
of the coral reefs, nearl y two months after the tsunami . I n several areas, mostl y those not badl y affected by
the tsunami , the coral reefs were i ntact. Nei l a nd Havel ock showed u p a breathtaki ng ra nge of coral s. But
Jol l y Buoy, ordi nari ly the bi ggest attracti on for coral lovers, appeared h i t.
I n a reworki ng of the touri sm strategy, Li eutenant Governor Ram Ka pse deci ded to put the gl ass· bottomed
boats at the Jol l y Buoy i n t he servi ce of the Nei l and Havel ock i sl ands. Thus, coral reefs wi l l remai n an
attract i on, i f not Jol l y Buoy. Most of t he i sl a nds that were da maged by t he sea were t hose t hat coul d be
di rectl y approached from the south-east, and Havel ock was not in t hi s category. Whi l e recogni si ng that some
of the popul ar dest i nati ons have, at l east for the moment, l ost thei r tour i sm potenti al , the admi ni st rati on i s
openi ng u p new desti nati ons, a n d new avenues at ol d desti nati ons.
Thus, Havel ock, al ready famed for i ts whi te sand beaches, woul d now offer coral reefs too for the touri sts.
Baratang I sl and, whi ch i s a bout 1 00 km by road from Port Bl ai r, wi l l be promoted more for i ts mud vol canoes
and l i mestone caves and l ess for i ts beaches. ( Reefs get a rel ook, Suresh Nambath, TH. B, 1 7. 04. 05, S40)
The Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands are now about three metres cl oser to the mai nl and coast than it was pre­
tsunami . Some a reas of the I sl ands have gone down by up to one metre.
Di scussi ngthe topographi ca l changes due to the December 26 tsunami , Department of Ocean Devel opment
Secreta ry Harsh Gu pta sai d that the t sunami caused the I ndi an Pl ate to go under the Burmese Pl ate. The
Burmese coast a l so moved cl oser to the Andaman coast by a bout t hree metres.
| Documentation Update j 2 0 05 0 6
.
Post-tsunami , cl ay and si l i ca parti cl es had got deposited on coral s i n the Andamans, whi ch had got consi derabl y
damaged. I t woul d take a l onger ti me to settl e. Thus, there was a need for l ong- term moni tori ng of the coral s
i n mi ddl e and South Andamans. There was no si gni fi cant l oss of coral s i n the Gul f of Mannar. Sal i ni ty on the
Tami l Nadu coast had i ncreased and i t woul d t ake about two rai ny seasons for i t to subsi de. (Andaman and
N i cobar now 3 metres cl oser, TH. B, 1 0. 05. 05, S40)
The acti on pl an for the post· tsunami devel opment of the Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands, submi tted to the
Centre by the M. S. Swami nathan Research Foundati on (MSSRF), has strategies for both ecologi cal and l iveli hood
securi ty. The pl an for a " New Andamans" detai l s pl ans for redesi gni ng t he far mi ng and fi shi ng systems that
are best sui ted for the i sl and ecosystem. The MSSRF team vi si ted North Andaman, Mi ddl e Andaman, South
Andaman, Li ttl e Andaman, Car Ni cobar, Nancowri e and Great N i cobar group of i sl ands and assessed the
nature and extent of damage.
As Prof_ M. S. Swami nathan poi nted out (The Hi ndu, January 1 7, 2005), medi um and l ong-term rehabi l i tati on
demands three thi ngs: strengtheni ng the ecol ogi cal foundati ons of sustai nabl e human securi ty; rehabi l i tati ng
l i vel i hoods and fosteri ng sustai nabl e l i vel i hood securi ty; putti ng i n pl ace a network of rural knowl edge centres.
Each regi on i n t he i sl ands was foun d to requi re a s peci fi c set of sol ut i ons. For i n st ance, t he ri se of the
l andmass i n North Andamans (Di gl i pur) has l ed to a fal l i n the water tabl e. The l i ttoral and mangrove swamps
have d ri ed up. Fresh water for paddy and hort i cul t ura l crops has become scanty. So, the admi ni strati on
shoul d i mmedi atel y set up ' community water banks' wi th rai nwater harvest i ng and conservati on. Women' s
sel f- hel p groups shoul d be formed and trai ned to manage water ban ks. Paddy shoul d be cul ti vated onl y
where i t i s a choi ce, both from the ecol ogi cal and economi cal poi nts of vi ew.
I n contrast, South Andaman has been i nundated by seawater, especi al ly the agri cul t ure fi el ds. The comi ng
monsoon coul d di srupt communi cat i ons, l eadi ng to t ra nsi ent hunger s pots ; even starvati on deaths. The
MSSRF has suggested the i mmedi ate setti ng up of communi ty food banks. Thi s al so provi des a food-for-work
system. There i s al so great potenti a l to establ i sh mangrove bi o- shi el ds, taki ng advantage of the excel l ent
nursery avai l abl e i n Yerrata, and i ntegrate them wi th susta i nabl e aquacul ture. Ti ger prawns and mud cra bs
can be readi l y cul tured and t hese have great demand i n both nati onal and i nternati onal markets.
Li ttl e Andaman has suffered total di srupti on of communi cati on and therefore i t i s a potenti al hunger hotspot.
I mmedi ate acti on i s necessary to set up community food banks. Si nce the Revenue Department control s the
severely damaged beach forest i t shoul d hel p the Forest Department i n ecol ogi cal restorati on and bi o- shi el d
erecti on.
The maj or chal l enge caused by the tsunami i n the Nancowri e group of i sl ands i s the extensi ve damage to
mangroves and the coconut forests. The bi o-degradabl e debri s shoul d be used to make compost. The coconut
trunks and the wood of the fal l en trees coul d be used for constructi on of houses and al so for furni ture maki ng.
I n a nutshel l , the Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands shoul d use the forest and mangrove resources i n a sustai nabl e
manner for the l i vel i hood security of the l ocal communi ty. Agri cul ture shoul d not be on the conventi onal l i nes
of the mai nl and.
The Andaman and Ni cobar i sl ands are fortunate i n havi ng several tri bal communi ti es whose col l ecti ve tradi ti onal
wi sdom i s for mi dabl e. Pl anni ng and devel opment shoul d be based on a bottom- up a pproach i nvol vi ng the
l ocal el ected representati ves, captai n s and members of the tri bal counci l s. Wi th over 85 % of forest cover,
these i sl ands are excel l ent ' green' factori es that consume carbon and produce oxygen. (An opport uni ty for
the devastated i sl ands, PC_ Kesavan and K. Bal asubramani an, TH. B, 27. 05. 05, S40)
An agreement between Port Bl ai r, capi tal of Andaman and Ni cohar I sl ands, and Phuket in Thai l and for promotion
of touri sm wi l l be si gned i n Phuket on June 30. It wi l l i ncl ude educati on and cul ture, urban devel opment, sol i d
waste management, commerce and i nvestments. The pact wi l l remai n i n force for fi ve years. The i nki ng of the
agreement i s expected to boost touri sm on the i sl ands devastated by the tsunami l ast year-end, accordi ng
to an offi ci al press rel ease. (Port Bl ai r, Phuket to si gn agreement, TOI . B, 30. 06. 05, S40)
2 0 05 0 6 | Documentation Update |
I srael i back· packers have i nvaded remote i sl ands i n the Andaman and Ni cobar archi pel ago, t hreateni ng i ts
f ragi l e ecol ogi cal bal ance. At sta ke i s a beach crowned Asi a ' s best. For the l ast coupl e of yea rs, l ow· cost
I srael i touri sts have swamped the pri st i ne beaches of Havel ock (voted the best beach i n Asi a by Ti me
magazi ne i n November 2004), Long and Nei l i sl ands between December and Apr i l , rai s i ng eco and soci o
concerns. "These tour i st s ti tter beaches and defecate al ong i t. I f remedi al measures a re not t aken, the
damage coul d be i rreparabl e, ' warned Paci fi c Asi a Travel associ ati on· l ndi a chapter (envi ronment, eco·touri sm
& heri tage commi ttee) chai rman Mandi p Si ngh Soi n. Mari ne bi ol ogi sts have a l ready di scovered a shi ft i n the
nesti ng pattern of turtl es. Beach bonf i res l i t by shoe· stri ng budget touri sts have sca red them away. There
a re a l so fears of forest cover denudati on i n the i sl a nds. I t i sn' t j ust the ecol ogy, the backpackers have a l so
assaul ted the sensi ti vi ty of nati ve Ni cobarese wi th beach nudi ty. "The chi l dren were bunki ng school to ogl e at
the beaches. Though nudi ty i s banned, these touri sts don' t care, " Soi n poi nted out. The tour i sm trade has
urged t he Uni on Touri sm Mi ni stry and t he A&N admi ni strati on t o take steps to weed out t he probl em before
Andamans t ur ns i nt o anot her Di gha. ( I srael i s i nvade Anda ma ns' remote i sl ands, Subhro N iyogi , TOI . B,
27. 07. 05, S40)
Are the Andamans fast on the road to becomi ng the next best a l ternat i ve to Phuket's sex i ndustry? Some
l eadi ng I ndi an envi ronmental i sts have sl ammed the touri sm deal by I ndi a's tsunami · hi t Andaman and Ni cobar
I sl ands wi th Tha i l and, sayi ng such a move woul d destroy i ts fragi l e ecol ogy and encourage the sex trade. I n a
move to breathe new l i fe i nto the shattered economy i n the i sl ands, the authori ti es si gned a fi ve·yea r deal i n
June wi th t he resort town of Phuket i n Thai l and, famous for i ts beaches but al so for a burgeoni ng sex trade.
The dea l woul d al l ow tour i st s vi si t i ng Phuket to ta ke a short f l i ght to the Andamans. Accord i ng to t he
envi ronmentaEsts, who have now wri tten t o UPA chai rperson Soni a Gandhi , seeki ng her i mmedi ate i nterventi on,
the Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands admi ni strati on i s usi ng t he tsunami as a garb to l ure Phuket' s touri sts to
the Anda mans. ( ' Don' t turn Andamans i nto Phuket' , TOI . D, 08. 08. 05, S40)
From al l across the I ndi an mai nl and, touri sts are pouri ng i nto the Andamans. ' Hundreds of busi nesspeopl e
a nd professi onal s, even mi ddl e cl ass I ndi a ns, are rushi ng to the Andamans for a hol i day wi th a di fference, "
says l ocal touri sm offi ci al Rana Mathew. "The curi osi ty generated by the tsunami i s getti ng the better of the
fear. " Mr. Mathew sai d that before the tsunami Bengal i s made up the bul k of domesti c touri sts comi ng to the
i sl ands but peopl e from southern I ndi a have exceeded them so far thi s yea r. I n wi nter, though the Bengal i s,
who make u p the bul k of I ndi a' s domesti c touri sts, a re comi ng i n droves. So a re touri sts from u p nor t h.
Hotel s and fl i ghts a re ful l y booked for the next two months. I n t he ear l y 1 990s, t he Andamans used to get
a round 1 0, 000 to 1 2, 000 touri sts a year. By 2000 touri st traffi c had grown 1 0·fol d. But after the tsunami the
monthl y average fel l to about 500. Now the Centra l Government i s encouragi ng i ts empl oyees to travel to the
i sl ands on hol i day and offeri ng them free ai r fares.
The i sl ands need to i mprove thei r i nfrastructure l i ke i nter· i sl and shi ppi ng and better hotel s and connecti ons
to the mai nl and to expl oi t thei r touri sm potenti al . Even forei gn tour and travel compani es have begun i nvesti ng
i n resorts here. Sr i La nka' s top hospi ta l i ty cha i n , Atki ns Spence has ti ed u p wi th the Andamans' Ba refoot
group to devel op a resort in Havel ock I sl and and a few more el sewhere. (Touri sm t i me i n the Andamans, Subi r
Bhaumi k, TH. B, 04. 01 . 06, S40)
Apart from the destructi on caused by the tsunami , the Andaman and N i coba r I sl ands are wi tnessi ng a nother
problem, a di vi de between the l ocal tri bal popul ati on and the mai nl and settlers. The tri bal s want the mai nl anders
to l eave. The tri bal heads have given a wri tten peti ti on to the Pri me Mi ni ster, Manmohan Si ngh. The i ssue al so
came up duri ng the three·day tri p of the Uni on Home Mi ni ster, Shi vraj Pati ! . Mr. Pati l , however, di smi ssed it as
temporary fear of expl oi tati on by the non· tri bal s. "Someti mes the l ocal tri bal peopl e feel that they woul d have
to share thei r natural resources and l and wi th the mai nl anders. They have a l so compl ai ned of i ndi scri mi nate
fel l i ng of t rees but they wi l l have to get over i t ".
Ayesha Begum, chai rperson of the Tri bal Counci l of the Nancowri e group of i sl ands, al l eged that the non·
tri bal s were "eati ng" i nto thei r resources and even expl oi ti ng t he l ocal popul ati on. She sai d t hey wa nted t he
Defence personnel and the Government empl oyees to stay and the busi nessmen and the ret i red peopl e to
l eave. Ayesha Begum expressed unhappi ness wi th the Central Government for i ts fai l ure i n hel pi ng the tri bal s
t o start afresh after t he tsunami . "We a re dependent on Government rel i ef, whi ch i s not comi ng. I f we were
gi ven tool s to cl ear the debri s and constructi on materi al l i ke bamboo, we woul d have bui l t houses i n our own
way, " she sai d.
| Documentat ion Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
On the other hand, a l arge number of Si kh fami l i es, mai n l y ret i red servi cemen who settl ed i n the N i cobar
I sl ands i n 1 969 under a Government scheme, have expressed thei r desi re to go back to the mai nl and. The
Government scheme envi saged sett l i ng 500 reti red Defence person nel on the I sl and by gi vi ng them i ncenti ves
such as free l and for far mi ng. However, the project was abandoned mi dway. Of the 1 00 Si kh fami l i es brought
here, 70 made the i sl and thei r home. (Andaman tri bal s want mai nl anders to l eave, Aarti Dhar, TH. B, 1 7.02.05,
S40)
Andaman I sl ands have recei ved the top ranki ng i n the sel ecti on of 1 0 top beaches of the worl d. The Uni on
Mi ni ster of Touri sm and Cul t ure, Ambi ka Soni , tol d the Rajya Sabha a German tour operator De Rui ter had
sel ected the worl d' s best 1 0 beaches. Top ranki ng was gi ven to Andaman I sl ands fol l owed by Lakshadweep,
Mal di ves and Seychel l es . Hi s assessment was based on veri f i abl e factors such as sand qual i ty, depth of
water, etc. TI ME magazi ne had earl i er decl ared beach No. 7, Havel ock I sl and i n the Andamans as the " Best
beach i n Asi a. " (Top ranki ng for Andaman beach, TH. D, 24. 02. 06, S40)
I n an attempt to turn Andaman & Ni cobar I sl and i nto a major touri sm hub, the government i s consi deri ng a
sl ew of measures i ncl udi ng t urn i ng t he domest i c ai rport i n the uni on terri tory ( UT) i nto an i nternati onal
ai rport, openi ng 15 new i sl ands to touri sts and devel opi ng 50 new si tes for hi gh- end touri sm. The Pl anni ng
Commi ssi on, approved a sum of Rs 235 crore for the UT under the Raj i v Gandhi Rehabi l i tati on Package i n
addi t i on t o the pl an si ze of Rs 1 1 20 crore. Accordi ng t o sources, draft terms and condi ti ons for l easi ng the
50 i denti fi ed l ocati ons for eco- fr i endl y promoti on has been cl eared by t he Mi n i stry of Touri sm. ( 1 5 new
i sl ands i n Andaman to be opened to touri sts, Ami t i Sen , FE. B, 1 8. 03. 06, S40)
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 | Documcnt at ion Updat e |
• T - FOREI GN COUNTRI ES .
TOO I nternati onal Touri sm Vol umes and Patterns
Worl d tour i sm revenue rose 10 % to a record $622 bi l l i on i n 2004 a s North Amer i can t our i st recei pts
i ncreased for the fi rst ti me si nce 2001 , the Worl d Touri sm Orga n i zati on sai d. The US had the most revenue
from touri sm as recei pts rose 16 percent to $75 bi l l i on. Spai n was the second- l argest touri sm ma rket wi th
$45. 2 bi l l i on i n revenue, and France was t hi rd at $40. 8 bi l l i on. Touri st a rri val s rose 1 1 percent to 760 mi l l i on
l ast yea r, the fastest rate of growth i n 20 years, as touri sm pi cked up i n the wake of the war i n I raq and the
contai nment of severe acute respi ratory syndrome. ('Worl d touri sm revenue rose to a record i n 2004' , FE. C,
2l . 07. 05, TOO)
Ja pa nese and Chi nese t ravel l ers a re to set to chal l enge the domi na nce of the Ger mans over the next 1 5
years for the ti tl e of worl d's most prol i fi c gl obe- trotters, accordi ng to a survey. Resea rch company MI NTEL
sa i d Japan and Chi na wi l l generate around four ti mes as many outbound t ri ps i n 2020 as they di d l ast yea r,
maki ng them number two and three respectively behi nd Germany MI NTEL's Ri chard Cope sai d both countri es
woul d be d ri ven by growth i n t hei r busi ness and l ei sure ma rkets. (Asi ans to chal l enge German touri s m
record, says study, FE. B, 2 l . 0l . 06, TOO)
I nternati onal touri st a rri va l s are expected to grow by between 4 % and 5 %, says the Uni ted Nati on Worl d
Tour i sm Orga ni sati on (UNWTO). I n i ts qua rterl y ' Worl d Tour i sm Barometer' report, rel eased recentl y, the
UNWTO says that Asi a - Paci fi c and West Asi a a re forecast to exhi bi t strong growth of a round 9 % and 8 %
respecti vel y, whi l e more moderate growth i n i nternati onal touri st a rri val s i s expected i n Europe, the Ameri cas
and Afri ca. The report al so revea l s that i nternati onal touri st a rri va l s i n 2005 grew by 5. 5 %, conti nui ng the
upwa rd trend wi tnessed i n 2004. Last year, there were an esti mated 808 mi l l i on i nternati onal touri st arri val s,
up from 766 mi l l i on i n 2004. I n 2005, t he hi ghest growth rate i n i nternati onal touri st arri va l s was i n Afri ca
esti mated to be 1 0 %. Duri ng the same peri od, Asi a- Paci fi c regi stered an esti mated growth rate of 7 %, the
Ameri cas 6 %, West Asi a 7 % and Europe 4 %, the report adds. Whi l e l ei sure touri sm i s bel i eved to have
outperformed busi ness touri sm, the gl obal MI CE (meeti ngs, i ncenti ves, conferences and exhi bi ti ons) market
has pi cked u p l ast yea r, the report says. However, t hi s ma rket has seen changes wi th i ncenti ve meeti ngs
i ncrea si ngl y bei ng combi ned wi th busi ness meeti ngs to j usti fy costs, save on tax and maxi mi se empl oyee
moti vati on . (Gl obal touri st a rri val s l i kel y to grow 4-5 pc, Sankar Radhakri shnan, BL. B, 28. 01 . 06, TOO)
T10 South Asi a
The emergency and fear of i nsurgency have cast a shadow over touri sm. There are no buyers for souveni rs of
d i spl ay at Kathma ndu's Tha mel , Durba r Square, Ki ng' s Way a nd New Road, consi dered to be shoppi ng
pa radi ses. Shops sel l i ng a rtefacts, handi crafts, mountai neeri ng gea rs and el ectroni c goods l ook empty, so
are hotel s and restaurants. The steep decl i ne i n touri sm becomes gl a ri ngl y vi si bl e when you move outsi de
Kathma ndu. There, one can al so see t he effect of l ong- drawn battl e between the Maoi sts and t he Government.
" Busi ness i s down al most 70 percent. We get a maj or share of our tour i sts from I ndi a_ And we' ve onl y t i l l
May- end t o catch u p, " says Kri shna Katwal , manager of a hotel i n Naga rkot. I t' s not t hat t he Maoi sts a re
everywhere. I n fact, there's no si gn of them anywhere at major touri st dest i nati ons l i ke Pokhara, Bha ktapur,
Nagarkot, Jomosom etc. Though a bi t uncomfortabl e under the l oomi ng presence of ar my men who zi p past
a nd stop by to ta ke a cl ose l ook, touri sts feel rel ati vel y safe at many of the tour i sm hotspots. I t' s onl y the
fear that i s stoppi ng them from fl ocki ng i n. But agai n, the si tuati on may be di fferent i n far-fl ung areas of the
country that are beyond the reach of the Kathma ndu's rul i ng cl ass. (Kathmandu breathes easy under Ki ng;
But fea r factor l eaves Nepal 's touri sm i ndustry gaspi ng for breath, Ki ran Pra kash, I E. B, 1 3. 04. 05, nO)
Targeti ng rel i gi ous touri sts of South I ndi a, Nepal ; s hol di ng road shows to woo them wi th speci al packages to
the Pasupat hi nath templ e, be si des offeri ng tradi t i onal fare such as t rekki ng and l ei sure hol i days. After a
presentati on a nd i nteracti on wi th tour operators of the state the Nepa l touri sm Boa rd (NTB) Ma nager, Mr.
Ujjwal a Dal i , sai d the Hi mal ayan Ki ngdom wi tnessed a boom i n i nfl ow of I ndi an touri sts, prompti ng it to l aunch
| Documentation Update | 6
a focused marketi ng strategy for South I ndi a. The NTB has chal ked out speci al package for a Pashupati nath
templ e for the forthcomi ng Shi vratri festival on February 26. Other areas of i nterest i ncl uded l ei sure hol i days,
adventure, trekki ng and honeymoon desti nati ons, board offi ci al s sai d. ( Nepal woos touri sts from South I ndi a. ,
BL. C, 27. 01 . 06, nO)
Despi te bei ng haunted by extremi sm and i ts vul nerabi l i ty to repeated nat ural cal ami ti es t hat affected i ts
tour i st dest i nat i ons, Sri Lanka i s spar i ng no efforts to keep i t s ri ch touri sm potent i a l a l ive. Several new
i ni ti ati ves a re bei ng contempl ated to attract more touri sts from I ndi a, parti cul arl y, Karnata ka . Sri Lankan
touri sm mi ni ster Anura Bandaranai ke, who was here i n connecti on wi th openi ng of an office of hi s country' s
board of i nvestments ( BOI ), sai d that hi s government was tryi ng to attract both software professi onal s a nd
touri sts from I ndi a as they, unl i ke European touri sts whose i nterest i s mai n l y cul tural and educati onal , knew
hi s country's potenti al for i nvestment i n both the areas. Sri Lanka's BOI al so woul d embark on ' I ndi a speci fi c
touri sm promoti on campa i gn' to encourage I ndi ans to vi si t the i sl and. The present a rrangement of ' vi sa on
a rri va l ' woul d conti nue si nce the system was expected to bri ng more vi si tors to hi s country, Bandaranai ke
sai d.
The hi ghest number of touri sts ( 5, 56, 202) to Sri Lanka was i n 2004 fetchi ng a record revenue of $ 41 6
mi l l i on. Thi s year's revenue i s expected to reach $ 600 mi l l i on. The touri st fl ow was unabated despi te tsunami
devastati on; he sai d and expected thei r number to i ncrease by 1 . 30 l a kh. I t was i n ant i ci pati on of t hi s that
Sri Lankan government was taki ng a number of i ni ti ati ves to make the touri sts' stay safe and comfortabl e, he
sai d. Bandara na i ke was ha ppy to di scl ose that t he tour i sm sector had generated a bout 1 . 1 2 l akh j obs,
di rectl y or i ndi rectl y, i n hi s country. The Sri Lan kan government was a l so consi deri ng bri ngi ng i n a new l aw
soon provi di ng for sett i ng up of bureaus, even by pri vate enterpri ses, to professi onal i se touri sm. The BOI
a l so woul d be u pgraded to ' touri sm devel opment a uthori ty' and a rmed wi th more powers, backed by due
l egi sl ati ons, to devel op touri sm, Bandaranai ke sai d. Sr i Lan ka woul d al so embar k on ' I ndi a speci fi c touri sm
promoti on campai gn' to encourage I ndi ans to vi si t the I sl and. The present arrangement of ' vi sa on arri va l '
woul d conti nue si nce the system was expected t o bri ng more vi si tors (Lanka wants t o attract touri sts from
State, VT. B, 26. 05. 05, nO)
Sri Lanka n Ai r l i nes has ti ed u p wi t h the Mal aysi an Tour i sm Promot i on Board for a j oi nt promoti on of the
touri sm desti nati ons of thei r respecti ve countri es i n Keral a. Sri Lanka i s currentl y promoti ng travel to the Far
East from South I ndi a. The a i rl i ne has announced attracti ve fares for travel to Si ngapore, Kual a Lumpur,
Bei j i ng, Bangkok and Hong Kong. The fares a re an attracti ve 30% l ower t han normal fares. Arou nd 22 top
agents and tour operators f rom Ti ruva nant hapura m and Kozhi kode woul d be fa mi l ari sed wi th the top
dest i nati ons of the two countri es i n a 5· ni ght tri p coveri ng Col ombo, Mal acca and Kual a Lumpur. (Sri La nkan
ti es up wi th Mal aysi an touri sm, ETB, 1 5. 02. 06, nO)
Travel l i ng from I ndi a to Southeast Asi a by road or rai l coul d soon become a real i ty, wi th the concl usi on of a
feasi bi l i ty report on a rai l l i nk between I ndi a and Mya nmar, whi l e another study exami nes prospects for an
I ndi a·Vi et nam l i nk. The Pr i me Mi ni ster, Dr Manmohan Si ngh, a nd Asean l eaders fel t t he need t o enhance
connecti vi ty between the t wo regi ons a nd sai d that the fi rst stage of the Del hi - Hanoi feasi bi l i ty study was
under way. Dr Si ngh al so di scussed the tri l ateral road project between I ndi a- Myanmar-Thai l and. A successful
car ral ly was hel d from Guwahati to Vi ent i ane i n Laos a few years ago, a proof of the geographi cal proxi mi ty
between I ndi a a nd Sout h East Asi a . ( Push for rai l , road l i nks pl an wi th Mya n mar, BL. B, 1 4. 1 2. 05, nO)
T20 South East Asi a
I ndi an cou pl es c a n now l ook forward to sol emni si ng thei r marri ages i n Mal aysi a. As part of a n effort t o woo
I ndi ans pl anni ng to get marri ed, Touri sm Mal aysi a has sent a group of ei ght weddi ng pl anners from I ndi a to
Mal aysi a to show them f i rst hand what the country has to offer for those seeki ng to t i e the knot. Besi des,
t here wi l l a l so be a bl end of I ndi aness a s Mal ays i a has 2. 2 mi l l i on I ndi ans and a l l materi al s rel ated to an
I ndi an mar r i age a re easi l y ava i l abl e there. However, as i n t he case of other exoti c desti nat i ons, the t arget
audi ence is l i kely to he aff l uent I ndi ans l ooki ng for a val ue-for- money proposi ti on. The promoters of the new
concept are hopi ng that wi th each weddi ng party havi ng about 1 00- 1 50 peopl e, it woul d be a wi n-wi n si tuati on
for Mal aysi a a nd the bri de and groom. ( Mal aysi a courts I ndi an coupl es, BL. B, 04. 09. 05, T20)
Wi t h i ncreased tour i st a rri val s i n Mal aysi a from I ndi a , par t i cul a rl y f rom Chennai , Ba ngal ore, Kochi a nd
Hyderabad, Mal aysi a i s worki ng out modal i ti es to i ssue el ectroni c vi sa (e-vi sa).
2 005 - 0 6 | DoclI 1el l i al ioll llpc/ul e |
Authori sed t ravel agents i n Bangal ore and other ci t i es wi l l be a bl e to provi de t he e- vi sa. At present, vi sa
appl i cati ons are routed to the Chennai Consul ate. E- vi sa i s bei ng pl anned t o i ncrease t he number of touri st
a rri val s from I ndi a, for whi ch Touri sm Mal aysi a has embarked on a Rs. 1 2· crore campai gn. I ndi a has moved to
the 9th posi ti on among the countri es that recorded maxi mum touri st a rri val s. I n 2005, the number of I ndi an
a rri val s i n Mal aysi a exceeded 2 . 1 0 l akhs and the country i s t argeti ng 3. 5 l a kh vi si tors next yea r, when
Mal aysi a cel ebrates i t s gol den j ubi l ee. ( Mal aysi a pl ans e· vi sa for I ndi an touri sts, TH. B, 03. 03. 06, T20)
Si ngapore scrapped a four decade ban on casi nos to boost touri sm, cl eari ng the way for compan i es i ncl udi ng
Las Vegas Sands Corp a nd MGM mi rage to compete for the ri ght to bui l d a n entert ai nment compl ex i n the
ci ty. The government may al l ow two casi nos, i n downtown Si ngapore and on the i sl and of Sentosa. I t wi l l seek
det ai l ed pl ans from devel opers, havi ng recei ved 1 9 proposa l s al ready. Lee sai d two casi no resorts may
create as many as 35, 000 j obs. They may a l so l ure tour i sts to a ci ty to expand thi s year at ha lf the 8. 4%
pace of 2004. The Chi nese ci ty of Macau, where 1 7 casi nos operate, had three ti mes the economi c growth
and twi ce as many vi si tors a s Si ngapore i n 2004.
The project faces opposi ti on i n a nati on where fi l ms a re censored and drug deal ers a re executed. Rel i gi ous
and soci al groups such as Focus on the Fami l y say casi nos may l ead to more l oan sharki ng and prosti tut i on,
and l ure peopl e i nto dept. To al l evi ate concer n, t he government proposed a S$1 00 dai l y l evy on ci ti zens and
permanent resi dents enteri ng t he casi no. (Si nga pore t o a l l ow casi nos to boost touri sm, add j obs, FE. B,
1 9. 04. 05, T20)
Wi th I ndi ans emergi ng as the top spenders a mong touri sts vi si ti ng Si ngapore, the southeast Asi an count ry
i s now wooi ng the nouveau ri che f rom smal l er towns and ci ti es. I ndi ans on a n average stay for si x days and
t hei r spendi ng i s near l y $300. Ja panese spend hi gher t han t hem, but thei r average stay i s j ust f or t hree
days. Si ngapore received a record 471 , 000 I ndi an vi si tors i n 2004, maki ng i t si xth l argest vi si tor generati ng
market. Tri s represents a 25% growth over t he previ ous record of 375, 000 I ndi a ns i n 2002. (Si ngapore
touri sm eyes towns, metros i n I ndi a, FE. B, 07. 05. 05, T20)
The Si ngapore Government i s now focusi ng on the hospi tal touri sm and educati on sectors. Servi ce i ndustri es
a rc al so bei ng encouraged to set up base. I nter nati onal Uni versi ti es i ncl udi ng Massachusetts I nsti t ute of
Technol ogy ( MI T) and Stanford have col l aborated wi th l ocal ones to offer degrees i n the country. Currentl y
t here a re a round 4, 000 students i n Si ngapore. l i T Mumba i has a l so t i ed up wi th NTU, Si nga pore to offer
courses. The country i s al so i nvi ti ng ent repreneurs. Accordi ng to t he Worl d Bank Report, Si ngapore i s t he
second easi est pl ace to set u p busi ness. (Si nga pore shi fts focus to hospi tal touri sm, educat i on, BL. B,
1 7 . 1 2. 05, T20)
A l ocal government campai gn to attract more bathers to a South Korea n beach resort by offeri ng i ncenti ves
to swi mmers weari ng bi ki ni s has upset women' s ri ghts activi sts. Ahead of the peak summer bat hi ng season,
Buan County admi ni stra t i on south·west of Seoul renamed i ts Byeonsan Beach Bi ki ni Beach and promi sed
wearers of ski mpy swi msui ts a 1 0 % di scount on bi l l s for hotel s, meal s and beach equi pment renta l s. The
county put u p wal l posters wi th pi ctures of bi ki ni · cl ad bea uti es a nd the i nscri pt i on: "Show off your beauty
and get a 1 0 % di scount. " Women' s groups denounced the campai gn as expl oi tati on. "Thi s i s an outrageous
attempt to sti mul ate the regi onal economy by expl oi ti ng the femal e sex, " sai d a statement from the associ ati on
of women acti vi sts of North Jeol l a Provi nce.
A campai gn to attract more vi si tors shoul d focus on publ i ci si ng the county' s "natural beauty i nstead of the
naked femal e body, " i t sai d. But offi ci a l s at the Bua n county offi ce were unrepentant and sai d by tel ephone
that they had no pl an to stop the campai gn. " I don' t understand why they a re so angry. Thi s i s j ust part of a
publ i ci ty campai gn ai med at promot i ng t he name of t he Bi ki ni Beach. We have no i ntenti on to expl oi t or
commerci al i se t he femal e sex, " sai d an offi ci al . (Bi ki ni Beach angers women's group, BL. B, 09. 07. 05, T20)
T30 East Asi a
Chi na's rapi d economi c growth has fostered a touri st boom among the mai nl and Chi nese, wi th South· east
Asi a the favouri te dest i nati on, at l east for now. The surge i n package tour groups f rom Chi na, an i mportant
source of i ncome for the regi on, i s al so gi vi ng r i se to an unfl atteri ng stereotype: the l oud, rude a nd cul tural l y
nai ve Chi nese touri st.
| DO(Wll Cll tution Update | . 6
The ti de of t ravel l ers from Chi na mi rrors the emergence of vi rt ual l y every group of overseas touri sts s i nce
the Romans, from Bri tons behavi ng badl y i n the Vi ctori an era and ugl y Ameri cans i n post·war Europe to the
snapshot· happy Japanese of the 1 980' s.
So i t i s not much of a surpri se that touri sts from mai nl and Chi na, often goi ng a broad for the fi rst ti me, are
l eavi ng si mi l ar compl ai nts i n thei r wake. But Chi na i s al so manufacturi ng i ts own twi st on the age·ol d tal e, a s
became a pparent i n Jul y when a group of more than 300 from Chi na took umbrage at i l l ustrati ons of a pi g' s
face on thei r check· i n vouchers at a casi no resort i n predomi nant ly Musl i m Mal aysi a .
So far onl y an esti mated 2 % of Chi na's popul ati on ventures abroad each year, accordi ng to a recent report
on Chi na tour i sm by ClSA Emergi ng Markets i n Hong Kong. But the Worl d Touri sm Organ i zati on predi cts that
Chi na wi l l become the worl d's fourth· l argest source of overseas touri sts by 2020. Groups from Chi na began
travel l i ng to Europe l ast year. And i f the Uni ted States agrees to grant vi sas to Chi na's touri sts, anal ysts say
i t wi l l u ndoubtedl y be a top desti nati on.
Cl ean and safe, Si ngapore, wi th i ts l arge Mandari n· speaki ng popul ati on, attracts more Chi nese touri sts than
any of i ts Southeast Asi an nei ghbours. The typi cal vi si t to Si ngapore i s j ust t hree days. The average i ncome
i s sti l l bel ow $2, 000 a year, and most tour i sts from Chi na si gn u p for $250 package tours that whi sk them
t hrough as many as fi ve countri es i n a week.
Many of these tours a re what t he i ndustry cal l s zero· dol l ar tours, provi di ng no profi t margi n . I nstea
d
, the
a gents make thei r money by di verti ng thei r groups to jewel l ers or restaura nts that gi ve them a commi ssi on
on sal es.
Whi l e some anal ysts say Chi na's touri sts have dubi ous benefi ts to regi onal touri sm, others a rgue that they
have a broader economi c i mpact . Un l i ke Wester ners or Japanese who spl u rge on expensi ve resorts and
spend thei r enti re vacati on sunbathi ng, they say, the Chi nese devote a greater pro- porti on of thei r hol i day
t i me to si ght· seei ng and shoppi ng.
Chi na ' s tour i sts stand apar t from other touri sts i n other ways, say members of Si ngapore' s hospi t al i ty
i ndustry. "They' re more demandi ng, " sa i d Johnson Li m, who handl es groups from Chi na for a l ocal t ravel
agency. Boon Sang Li p, a souveni r stand operator, put i t more bl untl y: "They l i ke to tal k i n a l oud and not very
pol i te way. " When they check i nto hotel s, for i nstance, many touri sts from Chi na demand the top fl oors. Some
feel enti tl ed to take souveni rs l i ke hotel pi l l ows. But much of the behavi our stems from i nexperi ence. Chi nese
ci ti zens may travel onl y to countri es on a government·approved l i st. I ndi vi dual travel s, whi I e possi bl e, requ i res
onerous paperwork, so most Chi nese t ravel i n l arge groups. For al l the chal l enges, Chi na's tour i st mi grati ons
represent a l ucrati ve source of i ncome that countri es l i ke Si ngapore a re vyi ng to attract. Cas i nos a re one
case i n poi nt. Wi th casi nos i l l egal i n Chi na, vi rtua l l y every tri p a broad i ncl udes such a vi si t. (Wel comi ng
Chi nese, But Not Thei r Styl e, Wayne Arnol d , AA. D, 29. 10. 05, T30)
T40 Mi ddl e East/West ICentral Asi a
Russi a says l i beral i si ng i ts vi sa regi me wi l l be a maj or poi nt on i ts agenda wi th I ndi a i n the comi ng yea r. I t
hopes t o settl e al l outstandi ng i ssues concerni ng "i mmi grati on" and "re·admi ssi on" and concl ude an agreement.
The move fol l ows persi stent demands by I ndi an busi nessmen and i ndustry al i ke for easi ngthe vi sa regul ati ons
i n order to gi ve a much· needed fi l l i p to the I ndo· Russi an bi l ateral trade and al so boost I ndi an i nvestments i n
Russ i a. Concerns had a l so been expressed after I ndi a came to be associ ated wi th countri es of potenti al
i mmi grants who made the i r way i nto Europe vi a Russi a. ( Russi a wants t o eas e vi sa rul es, Ramesh
Ramachandra n , AA. B, 26. 1 2. 05, T40)
T50 Afri ca
Kenya tour i sm has deci ded to step up i ts ca mpai gn i n I ndi a wi th a focus on the FI T (free i ndi vi dual travel )
market. Over 32, 000 I ndi ans l ast yea r vi si ted the Afri can republ i c, known worl d over for i ts wi l dl i fe safari s.
The number of I ndi an vi si tors has been ri s i ng si nce 2001 when onl y a modest 9, 000 peopl e vi si ted Kenya.
The touri s m board offi ci al s sai d I ndi a n a rri va l s were u p 3 1 % l a st yea r. Thi s yea r t he target was a 35%
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
i ncrease i n traffi c over the '05 base. I ndi an vi si tor spends was al so on the ri se spendi ng $200/300 a day, the
durati on of stay i n Kenya had gone up from 4/5 days to 9/ 1 0 days now.
Touri sm recei pts for Kenya were i n the regi on of $550/560 mi l l i on l ast cal endar. I nternati onal a rrival s were
about 1 . 6 mi l l i on, spl i t equal l y between cross· border tour i sts and vi si tors from outsi de the conti nent. The
l argest conti ngent of touri sts was from Europe and the US, whi l e I ndi a was the bi ggest contri butor from Asi a ,
offi ci al s. (Kenya Touri sm to Focus On FI T Ma rket, 1 8. 02. 06, T50)
T60 Europe
An I ndi an travel l er to Europe now need never worry how to expl ore the conti nent. Rai l Europe, a j oi nt venture
of the French and Swi ss nati ona l rai l ways, wi l l target travel l ers t hrough i ts newl y· opened l i ai son offi ce i n
Bangal ore. Rai l Europe, based i n Pa ri s, i s i n charge of promot i on a n d sal e of Europea n rai l ti ckets i n Asi a,
Austri a , Afri ca and South Ameri ca. I t has a l so opened a l i ai son offi ce i n Mumba i . Rai l Europe does not sel l
ti ckets di rect l y to the end- consumer, but promotes and sel l s t hrough a network of 70 general sal es agents
t hroughout the worl d. Rai l Europe offers Eurai l passes that enabl es one to vi si t 17 countri es i ncl udi ng Austri a,
Bel gi um, Denmark, Fi nl and, Fra nce, Germa ny, Greece, Hungary, I tal y, Luxemburg, Netherl a nds, Norway,
Portugal , Republ i c of I rel and, Spai n, Sweden and Swi tzerl and. I t al so offers poi nt-to- poi nt t i ckets and t ra i n
j ourney reservati ons on t he Channel t unnel t ra i n Eurost ar a n d t he hi gh· speed trai n from Pari s t o Brussel s,
Amsterdam a nd Col ogne. The Eura i l passes enti tl e one to free or di scount fare travel on ferri es and buses.
The pri ces range from $588 to $1 , 654. (Rai l Europe opens office i n !angal ore, I E. C, 26. 08. 05, T60)
¸ Documentat ion Update ¸ 2 0 05 0 6
• U I NTERNATI ONAL ECONOMY .
U30 GATT/Worl d Trade Organi sati on
To wrest benefi ci al reci proci ty from t he devel oped worl d, New Del hi set t o rob i tsel f of t he freedom t o reverse
FDI pol i ci es once they are l i beral i sed autonomousl y. I n i ts revi sed offer on servi ces to be made shortl y under
WTO' s Doha round, I ndi a i s l i kel y to effect substanti al qual i tative i mprovements i n ' Modes' and the number
of servi ces. ( Fresh servi ces offer may bi nd I ndi a to sectoral FDI caps, K G Narendra nat h, FE. B, 25. 05. 05,
U30)
The European Uni on offered ' i mproved' access for foreign compani es to i ts servi ce i ndustri es such as banki ng,
energy and touri sm, a key step i n negoti ati ons for a gl obal free t rade pact. The EU's revi sed offer comes a mi d
i ntense debate over how far too open up t he servi ce sector across 25- nati on bl oc i tsel f, wi th western European
countri es anxi ous a bout the prospects of l ow-cost competi ti on from new members to the east. Sent by the
European Commi ssi on to the Geneva - based Wor l d 'Trade Organi sat i on (WTO), the offer exempts f rom
i nternati onal competi ti on sensi ti ve sectors that provi de publ i c servi ces. (EU wi dens access to servi ces for
WTO dea l , FE. B, 03. 06. 05, U30)
I ndi a has sai d t hat the ' envi ronment project a p proach' ( EPA) i t suggested for i denti fyi ng envi ron menta l
goods for preferenti al t ariff treatment cannot be compl ementa ry to the ' l i st approach' bei ng promoted by
devel oped countri es l i ke the US and the EU. Stati ng that it was a sta nd a l one approach, I ndi a i nvi ted Wor l d
Trade Organi sati on (WTO) members t o del i berate on the structural and substanti ve di mensi ons of the EPA.
Currentl y, di scussi ons are on at t he WTO commi ttee on t r ade and envi ronment (CTE) on ways to i dent i fy
envi ron mental goods that shoul d be gi ven preferenti al ta ri ff treatment by members. The Doha decl arati on
(whi ch i s the basi s for the on- goi ng round) had mandated the el i mi nati on of tariff and non· tariff barri ers to
trade i n envi ronmenta l goods and servi ces.
As per the l i st a pproach, members a re supposed to agree on a l i st of envi ronmental products whi ch woul d
be gi ven preferenti a l tari ff t reatment. I ndi a, however, feel s that the a pproach i s compl i cat ed as i t i s very
di ffi cul t to arri ve at a consensus on what products shoul d qual i ty as envi ronment products. I nstead, I ndi a i s
advocati ng t he EPA, u nder whi ch preferenti a l tari ff treatment woul d be only gi ven to t he products used i n
i denti fi ed envi ronmental projects.
Many devel opi ng countri es have expressed thei r i nabi l i ty to contri bute effecti vel y to the debate and have a
percepti on that the ' l i st approach' onl y succeeds i n expandi ng market access for devel oped country products
wi thout concomi tant benefi ts to devel opi ng countri es.
Accordi ng to I ndi a' s pl ans, al l countri es shoul d put i n pl ace a Desi gnated Nati onal Authori ty (DNA) to i dentify
envi ronmental projects. The WTO CTE woul d formul ate l ate the cri teri a to be a ppl ied by the DNA in determi ni ng
i f an envi ronmental project qual i fi es for tariff concessi ons on envi ronmental goods and servi ces. The DNA's
rol e woul d be that of exami ni ng appl i cati ons i n l i ght of those cri teri a . (I ndi a pushes for eco project approach
for tari ff benefi ts, Ami ti Sen, FE. B, 07. 07. 05, U30)
I ndi a has stepped up i ts efforts to strengthen i ts a l l i a nce wi th G- 33 countri es and has a l so become an
aggressi ve partner i n the ABI group (Argent i na, Brazi l and I ndi a) t o ta ke on t he US, EU and other nati ons at
the proposed WTO mi ni steri al meeti ng. As a part of i ts strategy, I ndi a, ami d renewed bonhomi e wi t h the US
and EU, has pl anned to a ggressi vel y seek a commi tment from t hese countri es on cross border servi ces,
speci fi cal l y trade reform that woul d ensure outsourci ng to I ndi a i s not prohi bi ted. I ndi a has put forwa rd a
servi ces ofer whi ch makes fresh commi tments on Mode 3 (al l owi ng establ i shment of commerci al presence)
and Model 1 (coveri ng crossborder suppl y of servi ces). I t has al so cal l ed u pon the US and other nati ons to
l ower custom duti es. I ndi a has al ready communi cated to WTO members i ts stand on further i mprovement on
Mode4 (servi ces and trade). Mode 4 addressed t he movement of nat ural persons and rel ates to vi sa
regul ati ons. ( I ndi a to seek commi tments on outsourci ng at WTO meet, Sanjay Jog, FE. B, 1 6. 09. 05, U30)
2 0 0 5 0 6 j Docmnentatioll Update j
Undoubtedl y the outcome of the Si xt h Mi ni steri a l Conference of the Worl d Trade Organi sati on (WTO) that
concl uded i n Hong Kong on December 25 was modest. The bi ggest achi evement i s that the Mi ni steri al di d
not fl op. A second col l apse after Cancun woul d have been real l y di sastrous for the mul ti l ateral tradi ng system.
Whi l e a fai l ed Mi ni steri al puts t he agenda i n a reverse gear, a successful one at l ea st sends a posi tive si gnal .
The second i mportant resul t i s, for the second ti me i n a row, countri es of the South not onl y remai ned united,
but rei nforced thei r uni ty, tel l i ng the North that enough i s enough.
Ca ncun to Hong Kong: After the Cancun fi asco, i t took three-four months for the negoti ators to come to the
negoti ati ng ta bl e and resume the di al ogue. Thi s resul ted i n the "Jul y Package" , whi ch once agai n rai sed the
e�pectat i ons of the devel opi ng countri es. Al as, the euphori a created by the J ul y Fra mework Agreement
proved short- l i ved. Back home, WTO members succumbed to the real pol i ti c and started s i ngi ng i n different
tunes. The resul t: The Doha Round once agai n pl unged i nto seri ous cri si s. Thi s i s evi dent from the fact that i n
the run up to the Hong Kong Mi ni steri al , the draft decl a rati on was supposed to be rel eased after the General
Counci l (GC) meet i ng of J ul y 05, i n what was ca l l ed "Jul y Approxi mati ons" . But the GC meeti ng fai l ed to
evol ve a consensus.
What happened at Hong Kong? The Hong Kong Mi ni steri al Meeti ng began on a pessi mi sti c note. I t turned i nto
a four· corner contest, wi t h the G· 20 and the G· 33 on one si de, a nd the EU, the US a nd the l ea st devel oped
countri es ( LDCs) on the other. As usua l . devel oped countri es started sheddi ng crocodi l e tears for LDCs. A
pl ethora of hol l ow promi ses i n the form "ai d for trade", duty- and quota·free market access and many more
were served to the LDCs. The mai n objective was to shift the focus from the core agenda of trade l i beral i sati on.
The G·20 and the G· 33, on thei r pa rt, tri ed to be practi cal . They real i sed that i t woul d be fool i sh to expect any
ambi ti ous resul t from Hong Kong, gi ven the prevai l i ng divergence of opi ni ons on agri cul ture. They demanded
that on export subsi di es, as per the " July Fra mework" Agreement, the WTO members had to agree onl y on
the end date of thei r el i mi nati on, whi ch woul d have been the easi est thi ng to i mpl ement.
Unfortunatel y, i nstead of di scussi ng thi s, the two major t radi ng gi ants, the EU and the US, got enta ngl ed i n
a dog a nd cat fi ght over gi vi ng food a i d to poor countri es. Fi nal l y, on December 1 6, the f i rst·ever j oi nt G- 20
and G· 90 Mi ni steri al · l evel meet i ng took pl ace. The Commerce Mi ni ster, Mr Kamal Nath, and hi s Brazi l i an
counterpart, Mr Cel so Amori n, were both i nstrumental i n bui l di ng thi s grand al l i ance of 1 1 0 countri es coveri ng
four·fi fth of the humani ty. Thi s thwarted and cal l ed the bl uff of the ri ch countri es to l ure the LDCs and divi de
the unity of the South.
End resul t of Hong Kong: The outcome of Hong Kong was modest, whi ch was not unexpected. The mai n
demand of the G· 20 t o el i mi nate export subsi di es by 201 0 was not accepted by the EU; i nstead, a compromi se
date of 201 3 was agreed wi th some frontl oadi ng. Thi s al so cul mi nates wi th the EU Common Agri cul tural
Pol i cy refor m. What i s most u nfortunate i s t hat the l anguage on export subs i di es has been made more
compl ex. The G· 20 can no more say that t hi s wi l l be easy to i mpl ement. On provi di ng duty and quota-free
market access to LDCs, the demand of i ncl udi ng al l products has not been accepted unequivocal ly. However,
the text on non- agri cul tura l market access ( NAMA) gi ves a sense of comfort to some extent a s tariff peaks
and esca l at i on woul d be reduced or a ppropri atel y el i mi nated by usi ng the Swi ss For mul a wi t h mul t i pl e
coeffi ci ents. Preference erosi on, whi ch i s one of t he maj or fears of LDCs, has been recogni sed i n the text.
Lessons from Hong Kong: Devel opi ng countri es need to devel op an al ternati ve to Northern markets. Thi s i s
onl y possi bl e through greater South· South cooperati on on trade and economi c i ssues. Thi s shoul d al so cover
the l arger i ssues of techni ca l assi stance and capacity- bui l di ng. Greater South·South trade wi l l further strengthen
di fferent South a l l i an ces i n the WTO whi ch, at present, a re more pol i t i cal i n nat ure. Over the l ast decade
( 1 990· 2001 ), devel opi ng economi es have grown much faster than devel oped ones and transi ti on countri es
a nd a re expected to conti nue to do so i n the comi ng yea rs. (Another show of South sol i dari ty, Pradeep S.
Mehta & Pranav Kumar, BL. B, 29. 1 2. 05, U30)
U31 GATS
As trade tal ks gather force towards the Si xth Mi ni steri al Meet at Hong Kong, the General Agreement on Trade
i n Servi ces (GATS) cont i nues to stump negoti ators. Wi th only 50 countri es (counti ng t he 25 EU members as
one) maki ng ' offers' so far, servi ces, a l ong wi th agri cul ture, i s expected to be a key a rea of contenti on at the
December summi t.
¸ Documentation Update ¸ 2 0 05 - 0 6
GATS conti nues to be ' worki ng progress' : Among the 1 2 servi ces sectors under the GATS, touri sm has seen
t he most act i on. At l a st count, 1 25 of i ts 1 48 members had made commi t ments to open t hei r tour i sm
sectors. The i mpl i cati on of t hi s i s t hat most WTO members consi der free trade rul es i n touri sm a s good
pol i cy. I ndi a al ready has a hi ghl y l i beral i sed touri sm pol i cy and i n a submi ssi on to the WTO i n January 2004,
i t si gnal l ed i ts i ntenti on to further open up.
Touri sm i s a very compl ex sector, cl osel y l i nked to abroad range of economi c, soci al and cul tural pol i ci es a nd
has spi l l -over i mpacts i nto many other sectors of an economy. Unfortunatel y, pol i cymakers seem obl i vi ous to
these concer ns, refl ected by the fact that tour i sm pol i cy i n the country i s characteri sed by l ack of proper
l aws a nd vi ol ati ons of those i n pl ace.
Recent anal ysi s by EQUATI ONS, a pol i cy research NGO· based i n Bangal ore, shows i t i s p reci sel y t hi s
envi ronment of underdevel oped pol i cy and poor i mpl ementati on, combi ned wi th t he pressure t o make Gats
commi t ments that creates a rea l t hreat to the a dvancement of a susta i nabl e tour i sm pol i cy. Gi ven the
di versi ty that exi sts i n terms of touri st dest i nati ons i n I ndi a a nd correspondi ng pol i cy requi rements, i t i s
opti mal that the representative governments of the area effectively enforce pl anni ng, regul ati on and monitori ng
of touri sm projects. ' I t i s wel l recogni sed that GATS wi l l i ntrude i nto these democrati c spaces, as commi tments
made by the commerce mi ni stry wi l l a ppl y to al l regi onal and l ocal government authori ti es, ' says K T Suresh
of Equati ons. Ta ke the case of the recentl y passed Keral a Touri sm (Conservati on and Preservati on of Areas)
Act , 2005. The Act a l l ows the Keral a gover nment to decl are a ny a rea i n the state a s a tour i sm zone a nd
empowers a committee to regul ate acti vi ti es i nsi de such zones. Equati ons says such l egi sl ati on, that recogni se
the need for susta i nabl e pl anni ng and decent ra l i sed pol i cy, wi l l run afoul of GATS. I n Janua ry 2004, I ndi a
si gnal l ed i ts i ntenti on t o have no qua nti tati ve l i mi tati ons on forei gn enterpri ses i n the hotel s and tour operator
category. Says Equati ons, thi s means that the nati onal and, more i mportantly, regi onal and l ocal governments
wi l l not be abl e to restr i ct the acti vi ti es of forei gn touri s m provi ders i n ecol ogi cal l y- fragi l e touri s m a reas.
'Added to a freeze on susta i nabl e pol i cy thi s hi t s at the heart of democrat i c deci si on maki ng, ' says Mr
Suresh. (Touri sm: sunset for sustai nabl e pol i cy? Local governments need to be kept i n the l oop before maki ng
commi tments, Benny Kuruvi l l a , FE. C, 1 5. 06. 05, U31 )
The I ndi an del egati on at t he Worl d Trade Organi sati on has submi tted a Revi sed Offer i n August 2005 i n the
ongoi ng negoti ati ons under the General Agreement on Trade i n Servi ces (GATS) of the WTO. The revi sed offer
i s condi ti onal on other WTO members.
The background of t he revi sed offer i s as fol l ows. As part of the ongoi ng negoti ati ons, offers were i ni t i al l y
made i n the Doha Round i n sectors/ sub· sectors covered i n the commi tments made i n the Uruguay Round.
The seven sectors covered were:
• Busi ness servi ces
• Communi cati on services
• Constructi on and rel ated engi neeri ng servi ces
• Fi nanci al servi ces
• Heal th rel ated and soci al servi ces
• Touri sm a nd t ravel rel ated servi ces
• Transport servi ces
Expanded offer: The revi sed offer i ncl udes four other sectors i n whi ch ei ther i ni ti al offers were not made i n the
Doha Round or commi tments were not taken i n the Uruguay Round. These a re di stri buti on servi ces, educati on
servi ces, envi ronmental servi ces, and recreat i onal , cul tura l and s porti ng servi ces. I n a l l , the revi sed offer
covers 1 1 sectors.
Supply modes: I ndi a i s more i nterested i n Modes 1 a nd 4. The Mode 4 i nterest a ri ses from the presence of
a l a rge ski l l ed a nd competi ti ve workforce. On the other hand, core competence i n IT enabl ed servi ces wi l l
enabl e I ndi a to t ake advantage of Mode 1 or cross· border suppl y of servi ces. Ti l l now, I ndi a had been very
conservati ve i n i ts overal l approach. I n fact, i n areas such as fi nanci al servi ces, commi tments l agged behi nd
even a utonomous l i bera l i sati on. I t i s hearteni ng to note that, gi ven the success that I ndi a has achi eved i n
respect of servi ces export and t he burgeoni ng forei gn excha nge reserves, t here i s now more confi dence
whi l e conducti ng i nternati onal trade negoti ati ons.
2 0 0 5 - 0 6 ¸ Documentation Update |
Li st of sectors: As menti oned earl i er, I ndi a has offered extensive commi tments i n a number of new sectors/
sub-sectors. I mprovements have al so been made i n the exi sti ng commi tments i n a number of sectors.
I ndi a had al ready made a substanti al Mode 4 i ni ti al offer by i ncl udi ng al l categori es of natural persons such
as i ntra-corporate transferees, busi ness vi si tors, contractual service suppl i ers and i ndependent professi onal s.
Sectors/ sub· sectors offered i ncl ude the fol l owi ng:
1 . Busi ness servi ces: Professi onal servi ces; accounti ng & book·keepi ng servi ces (excl udi ng audi ti ng services);
archi tectural servi ces; i ntegrated engi neeri ng serices; and urban pl anni ng and l andscape archi tectural services.
Medi cal and dental servi ces: Veteri nary servi ces; and services provided by mi dwives, nurses, physiotherapi sts
and para· medi cal servi ces.
R&D servi ces: R&D i n agri cul tural sci ences; and R&D i n soci al sci ences and humani ti es.
Real estate servi ces: On a fee or contract basi s.
Renta l / l easi ng servi ces (wi thout operators)
Other busi ness servi ces: Management consul t i ng servi ces; servi ces i nci dental to fi shi ng; servi ces i nci dental
to energy di stri buti on (excl udi ng energy tradi ng and l oad di s patch functi ons); pl acement and suppl y of
personnel ; mai ntenance and repai r of equi pment (not i ncl udi ng mari ti me vessel s, ai rcraft or other transport
equi pment); bui l di ng cl ean i ng servi ces; packagi ng servi ces; conventi on services; and speci al ty desi gn services.
2. Di stri buti on servi ces (excl udi ng l i ve ani mal s)
-Commi ssi on agents' servi ces coveri ng sal es on a fee or contract basi s of: agri cul tural raw materi al s; food
products excl udi ng beverages and tobacco; machi nery, i ndustri al equi pment and vehi cl es; furni ture, househol d
goods, hardware and i ronmongery.
-Whol esal e trade servi ces: agri cul tural raw materi al s; food products excl udi ng beverages and tobacco;
texti l es, cl ot hi ng, and footwear; househol d appl i ances, arti cl es and equi pment; mi scel l a neous consumer
goods; machi nery, equi pment and suppl i es
3. Educati on servi ces: Hi gher educati on servi ces
4. Envi ronmenta l servi ces: Refuse di sposal servi ces; and sani tati on and si mi l ar servi ces
5. I nsur ance and i nsurance rel ated servi ces: Li fe i nsura nce; and servi ces a uxi l i a ry to i n sura nce such a s
conSUl tancy, actuari al , ri sk a ssessment.
6. Banki ng and other fi nanci al servi ces (excl udi ng i nsurance): Asset management such as cash or portfol i o
management, al l forms of col l ective i nvestment management, pensi on fund management, custodi al , deposi tory
and other trust servi ces.
7. Touri sm a nd travel rel ated servi ces: Touri st gui des servi ces.
8. Recreati onal , cul tura l and s porti ng servi ces ( other than audi o-vi sual servi ces): Entertai n ment servi ces
( i ncl udi ng theatre, l ive bands and ci rcus servi ces); and sporti ng a nd other recreat i onal servi ces (excl udi ng
l ottery, gambl i ng and betti ng servi ces)
9. Transport servi ces: Mari ti me t ra ns port servi ces.
| Documentation Update | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
Mari ti me auxi l i ary servi ces: mari ti me cargo handl i ng servi ces; storage and warehousi ng servi ces i n ports;
customs cl earance servi ces; contai ner stati on and depot servi ces; mari ti me agency servi ces; mari ti me frei ght
forwardi ng servi ces; i nternati onal rental ! charter of vessel s wi th crew or on bareboat basi s (excl udi ng cabotage
a nd offshore transport); mai ntenance and repai rs of seagoi ng vessel s; shi p broki ng servi ce
-Ai r transport servi ces: mai ntenance a nd repai r of a i rcraft.
( I ndi a expands access offer under GATS, Abhi j i t Roy, TH. B, 03. 1 0. 05, U31 )
U41 Worl d Bank
On hi s f i rst vi si t t o I ndi a after t aki ng charge, Worl d Ba n k Presi dent Pau l Wol fowi tz, wa s confronted wi th
voci ferous protests agai nst "the Bank's pol i ci es and condi ti onal i ti es of water pri vati sati on through the back
door. " The message of the agi tators to the Worl d Bank chi ef was: " Hands Off Water. " I n hi s meeti ng here
wi th three representati ves of the protesti ng envi ronmental i sts, water and women's groups under the banner
of Ci ti zen' s Front for Water Democracy, Mr. Wolfowitz i s understood to have sai d that he was not aware of the
i ssue. "Then stop gi vi ng l oans for water pri vati sati on. We wi l l deci de what to do; the Ba nk does not have to
i mpose i ts fi nanci al muscl e to hand over our water suppl y and water servi ces to gl oba l corporati ons, " the
three representati ves -Vanda na Shiva of the Research Foundati on for Sci ence, Technol ogy a nd Ecol ogy;
S.A. Naqvi of the Water Workers' Al l i ance; a nd Amarjeet Kaur of the Nati onal Federati on of I ndi an Women
tol d Mr. Wolfowi tz.
Memorandum submi tted: Dr. Shi va sai d that the representati ves i mpressed upon the Bank chi ef that "water
was sacred i n I ndi a and we wi l l not al l ow i ts commodi fi cati on. " The Bank bel i eves i n provi di ng "al l water for
some (through pri vati sati on and hi gh ta riffs) and no water for most, whereas we bel i eve in some for ai L" The
peopl e' s representati ves submi tted a memora ndum to Mr. Wol fowi tz. The memora ndum poi nted out that
over the years the Bank gave l oa ns to I ndi a to bui l d l a rge dams and dri l l deep tube wel l s maki ng the ri vers
and aqui fers dry.
The memorandum sai d: "Fi rstl y, the bank i s usi ng i ts l oans as condi ti onal i ty for pri vati sati on. Secondl y, i t i s
reduci ng the u ni versal access system of publ i c uti l i ti es to a pri vi leged access t o i ndustry and 24x7 suppl i es
for ri ch urban a reas. Thi rdl y, i t i s di verti ng l i mi ted and scarce water from rura l a reas to urban areas, thus
undermi ni ng the Mi l l enni um Devel opment Goal to reduce by hal f the proporti on of peopl e wi thout sustai nabl e
access to safe dri nki ng water. Fourthly, the Worl d Bank i s forci ng governments and publ i c uti l i ti es to i ncrease
water tari ffs and to commodi f water, undermi ni ng peopl e' s fundamental ri ght to water as pa rt of the ri ght to
l ife.
Fi fthly, s i nce i ts projects a re based on non- sustai na bl e water use, Worl d Bank projects are fai l i ng as i s cl ear
i n the case of Soni a Vi har pl ant i n Del hi and Veeranam project i n Tami l Nadu. (Hands off water, protesters tel l
Worl d Bank presi dent; Demonstrati ons agai nst bank' s Pol i ci es, condi ti onal i ty; Wolfowitz says he i s not aware
of i ssue, TH. B, 3 1 . 08. 05, U41 )
U43 Asi a n Devel opment Bank
The Asi a n Devel opment Bank ( ADB) i s l i kel y to fund a devel opment project i n nor t h Karnataka costi ng
around $400 mi l l i on. The Karnataka Urban I nfrastructure Devel opment Fi nance Corporation (KUI DFC) Managi ng
Di rector, Mr K. P Kri shnan, sai d that an ADB team wi l l soon vi si t the State to di scuss the i ssue wi th offi ci al s
from t he State Govern ment. Address i ng a workshop on "Shari ng best practi ses on urban sector projects i n
I ndi a, " sai d the ei ght·year project woul d need the Centre' s approval before i mpl ementati on. Mr Kri shnan sai d
a bout 25 towns wi l l benefi t from the project. The ADB has recentl y funded projects l i ke the $1 45- mi l l i on
project i n 1 0 towns i n coastal Karnataka and a $ 1 07· mi l l i on project i n Mysore, Mandya, Maddur, Channapatna;
Ramnagaram and Tumkur. Mr Kri shnan sai d the ADB i s tryi ng to streaml i ne i t s project processi ng norms to
reduce the l ead ti me from conception to l oan approval s. (ADB may fund devel opment project i n north Karnataka,
BL. B, 1 4. 05. 05, U43)
"
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documcntation Updatc |
The Asi an Devel opment Bank (ADB) i s to spend nearl y $ 1 bi l l i on over the next three years on projects ai med
at devel opi ng cl oser regi onal cooperati on. The $952- mi l l i on i s part of the bank' s Central Asi a Regi onal Economi c
Cooperati on (CAREC) programme, whi ch was approved earl i er t hi s month_ CAREC wi l l focus on transport.
energy and trade i n the 2006-2008 programme, whi ch i ncl udes 16 major projects total l i ng $943 mi l l i on and
1 3 techni cal assi stance projects total l i ng $9 mi l l i on. The programme i s an al l i ance compri si ng ei ght countri es
-Afghani sta n, Azerbai j an , Chi na, Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzsta n , Mongol i a , Taj i ki stan a nd Uzbeki stan a nd si x
mul ti l ateral i nsti tuti ons: ADB, European Bank for Reconstructi on and Devel opment, I nternati onal Monetary
Fund, I sl ami c Devel opment Bank, Uni ted Nati ons Devel opment Programme and Worl d Bank. (ADB to push $
1 bn programme for regi onal cooperati on, FE. B, 25. 1 1 . 05, U43)
Non-governmental organi sati ons ( NGOs) and soci a l groups across Asi a and I ndi a are al l set to come together
to protest agai nst the Asi an Devel opment Bank (ADB) schedul ed to hol d its 39th Annual Governors' Meeti ng
(AGM) i n Hyderabad from May 3-6. The Governors are t he hi ghest l evel of deci si on makers i n the ADB and
t he current Chai r of t he AGM i s Uni on Fi nance Mi ni ster P Chi dambaram.
Over 60 projects: The ADB i s t he thi rd l argest source of devel opment fi nance i n t he Asi a- Paci fi c regi on, next
to the Worl d Bank and t he Japanese Government. I n 2004, the ADB' s tot al l endi ng was $ 5. 3 bi l l i on whi ch
was used to promote 64 projects i n the publ i c pol i cy sectors. Pri vate sector assi st ance was to the tune of
$ 807. 2 mi l l i on. The ADB's l argest borrowers i n 2004 were Chi na and I ndi a , each recei vi ng $ 1 . 3 bi l l i on,
a bout 24 % of t he total l endi ng.
Net i mpact : Descri bi ng the Hyderabad AGM as an opportuni ty to work wi th the groups i n Andhra Pradesh,
the Peopl e' s For um Agai nst ADB has cal l ed movements, communi ti es, organi sati ons a nd acti vi sts i n I ndi a
a nd across Asi a to ri se up aga i nst neo- l i bera l i sm. Whether t hrough Worl d Ban k or ADB projects, t he net
i mpacts on communi ti es and soci eti es are the same, especi al ly on the rural and urban poor, workers, agrari an
communi ti es, Dal its, tri bal s, women, peasants, f i sh workers, hawkers and sl um dwel l ers, the Forum sai d. The
ADB i s a secretive, non-transparent and unaccountabl e i nsti tuti on, the Forum has poi nted out. The ADB does
not faci l i tate publ i c parti ci pati on in devel opment pl anni ng and access to i nformati on. I ts projects conti nue to
di spl ace hundreds of thousands of peopl e across the regi on wi th l i ttl e or no compensati on, it sai d. (Cal l for
protests agai nst ADB, Aarti Dhar, TH. B, 26. 03. 06, U43)
The Asi an Devel opment Bank pl ans to l aunch several types of a theoretical Asi an currency unit (ACU) compri si ng
a basket of Asi an currenci es, and wi l l a nnounce detai l s by the end of J une. Masahi ro Kawa i , head of the
ADB' s office of regi onal economi c i ntegrati on, decl i ned to say what types of u nits the Mani l a- based i nsti tuti on
pl ans to i ni ti al ly l aunch a l ong wi th an a l ready pl anned ACU, usi ng the ASEAN+ currenci es whi ch i t hopes wi l l
event ua l ly l ead t o ACU-denomi nated bond i ssuance. But he sai d the ADB coul d consi der compi l i ng other
u ni ts that i ncl ude t he Ho"ng Kong a nd Tai wa n dol l ars, the I ndi an rupee, a nd currenci es of other members.
ASEAN+3 compri se ASEAN' s 10 members pl us Chi n a , Japan and South Korea. ASEAN groups Brunei ,
Cambodi a, I ndonesi a , Laos, Mal aysi a , Myanmar, t he Phi l i ppi nes, Si ngapore, Thai l and a nd Vi et nam. (ADB
pl a ns t o l aunch ' theoreti ca l ' common currency for ASEAN pl us 3, BL. B, 28. 03. 06, U43)
| Docwnen tatiol1 Update ¸ 2 0 05 0 6
• X CULTURE AND SOCI ETY .
Xll Soci al and Pol i ti cal Systems
Bi nakadatti became the fi rst gram pan chayat i n the Karnata ka , where the newl y el ected members of t he
gram panchayat commenced t hei r work wi t h a l ot of admi ni strati ve and fi nanci al powers t hat Panchayat Raj
I nsti tut i ons i n t he country never enj oyed before. Bi nkadakatti Gram Panchayat, whi ch covers t he nea rby
Hi rehandi gol vi l l age too, arranged i ts fi rst gram sabha to di scuss the for mul at i on of the fi ve·year pl a n i n
general and i ts fi rst annual pl an for 2005-2006.
Accountabi l i ty: U nder the Ka rnataka Panchayat Raj Act, gram sabhas have been concei ved as bodi es to
whi ch the gram panchayats are a ccountabl e a nd to whom the panchayat s shoul d present a ccounts, and
consul t them on t he for mul ati on of pl a ns. The Act a l so has a provi si on for ward sabhas t o ensure greater
parti ci pati on of the peopl e i n the runni ng of the l owest of the three-ti er Panchayat Raj I nsti tuti ons.
Deci si ons: The gra m sabha i s at l i berty to return governments schemes that are of no rel evance or ut i l i ty to
them and prepare thei r own pl an for the al l · round wel fare of the peopl e of that parti cul ar area. They (members)
shoul d ensure that no person sl ept hungry a nd no chi l d i s out of school .
Vi si on: Mr. Bal i ga r ( Pri nci pal Secretary, Dept of Rural Devel opment & Panchayat Raj) u nvei l ed a vi si on under
whi ch the vi l l age panchayat coul d go i n for pl anni ng, meet the needs of i nfrastructure, secure economi c
ema nci pat i on by gi vi ng work to every pai r of hands, and provi di ng a purposeful rol e f or the Stree Sha kti
groups. The panchayat coul d consi der i denti fyi ng the agri cul tural l abourers and arra nge to get them fi ve
guntas of l a nd so that they coul d go i n for cul ti vati on of vegetabl es and frui ts whi ch shoul d make them sta nd
on thei r feet. (A hi stori c day i n pa nchayat raj hi story, Madan Mohan, TH. B, 05. 04. 05, XI I )
State governments and Uni on terri tori es have been a sked to compl ete the mappi ng for di fferent ti ers of the
Panchayat Raj I nsti tuti ons ( PRl s) i n the next three months. The mappi ng was to be compl eted by the end of
the l ast fi nanci al year. The 1 1th fi ve-year Pl an woul d be based on the pl ans prepared by the Di stri ct Pl anni ng
Commi ttees, whi ch woul d consol i date the pl ans prepared by panchayats and muni ci pal i ti es. The 1 2th Fi nance
Commi ssi on has recommended a provi si on of Rs 20, 000 crore for panchayats for fi ve years, accordi ng to a n
offi ci al rel ease. The meet i ng, chai red by Waj ahat Habi bul l ah, Secretary, Mi ni stry of Panchayati Raj , was hel d
to review the progress of the i mpl ementati on of the 1 50 recommendati ons of the seven round tabl e conferences
of state Panchayati Raj mi ni sters held l ast year. The process was to be undertaken on the basi s of i denti fi cati on
of acti vi ti es rel ati ng to the devolved functi ons of PRl s through the pri nci pl e of subsi di ary. ( Earl y mappi ng of
panchayats sought , FE. B, 1 3. 04. 05, X I I )
The Uni on Mi ni ster of Law and Justi ce, K . R . Bhardwaj, sai d that the Government was drafti ng a separate l aw
on panchayat courts (gram nyayal ayas) whi ch woul d be i ntegrated i nto the exi sti ng Panchayati Raj system
but not at the cost of di l uti ng the qual ity of j usti ce. Stati ng that he had al ready started i nteracti ons wi th the
Mi ni stry of Panchayati Raj , and the Nati onal Advi sory Counci l ( NAC), Mr. Bhardwaj sai d he woul d consul t non·
governmenta l organi sati ons that had worked i n thi s fi el d before drafti ng the l aw.
Poi nt i ng out that the exi sti ng panchayat system had become pol i ti ci sed i n many states, Mr. Bhardwaj sai d
t hat peopl e i n rural areas shoul d not feel t hat thei r ri ghts woul d he s natched away by t he proposed panchayat
courts. Mr. Bhardwaj sai d that the pl an for panchayat courts woul d i nvol ve at l east 2000 courts and more
than 4000 j udges. He sai d that he woul d l i ke to i nvol ve more women j udges and that the Government woul d
i ntroduce t he el ement of l egal ai d by payi ng for l egal ai d l awyers t o a ssi st t he courts. (Panchayat courts l aw
bei ng drafted, Rural peopl e wi l l be protected: Bhardwaj , Si ddharth Nar rai n, TH. B, 2 1 . 08. 05, XI I )
The Centre a sked state governments not t o di vert funds meant for Panchayats, sayi ng such "i nterventi ons"
di srupt the effective functi oni ng of the l ocal bodi es. "I am of the strong vi ew that the funds sancti oned by the
gover nment s houl d di rectl y go t o the panchayats and t here s ha l l be no i nterrupti on and i n terventi on by
.? 0 0 5 0 6 j Documentat ion Update j
a nybody, " Mi ni ster of State for External Affai rs E Ahmed sai d. I n such a scenari o "panchayats fi nd i t di ffi cul t
t o ful fi l t hei r rol es due to pauci ty of funds. " (Centre asks states not to di vert funds of l ocal bodi es, FE. B,
25. 01 . 06, X l ! )
Uni on Mi ni ster for Petrol eum and Natura l Gas and Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Ai yar expressed shock at the
state of the Panchayati Raj system i n Lakshadweep. He sai d that there was no Panchayati Raj worth i ts name
i n Lakshadweep. He was compl eti ng a one-day vi si t tothe Uni on Territory duri ng whi ch he attended a combi ned
meeti ng of vi l l age and di stri ct panchayats at Andrott. Mr. Aiyar sai d that i t was a tragedy that the governance
was vi rtual l y concentrated i n t he hands of bureaucrats renderi ng the panchayats mere appendages to a
whol ly Government- run admi ni strati ve system of pl anni ng and representati on. He sai d unl ess the Centre set
an exampl e of outstandi ng Panchayati system i n Uni on Terri tori es, as i t was responsi bl e for Uni on Terri tori es,
i t woul d become an emba rrassment for the Government to seek better Pa nchayat i Raj system i n States. Mr.
Ai yar sai d that he, a l ong wi th Mr. Reghupathy, had worked out a draft acti on pl an for revi vi ng the Panchayati
Raj system i n the archi pel ago, whi ch was agreed on between the Central offi ci a l s and a spectrum of el ected
vi l l age a nd di stri ct panchayat members. The acti on pl an woul d be fi nal i sed i n Del hi . (Panchayati Raj only i n
name i n Lakshadweep: Mi ni ster, TH. B, 25. 01 . 06, Xl ! )
X12 Tri bes and Devel opment
The Centre has deci ded to a mend the Forest Conservati on Act 1 980 t hat wi l l enabl e Schedul e Tri bes to get
ownershi p ri ghts on the l and where they were l i vi ng. The a mended l egi sl ati on wi l l be tabl ed in the Monsoon
Sessi on of Pa rl i ament. Tri bal s have no ri ght on the l and where they l i ve. The total popul ati on of tri ba l s i n the
country i s 8. 5 crore. Now the government has deci ded to a mend the Forest Conservati on Act 1980. Proi si ons
of the FCA shoul d be sui t abl y amended t o a l l ow devel opment a cti vi ti es to be taken up i nsi de the forests.
Most of the states are dema ndi ng amendments t o t he act to faci l i tate the regul ari sati on of settl ements
i nsi de forests. (Centre may amend act to hel p tri bal s get l and, Pramod Kumar, AA. B, 24. 07. 05, X1 2)
X14 Human Ri ghts of Tri bes
The Punarvasan Sangharsh Samiti (PSS), Nandurbar, and vari ous other tri bal rights organi sati ons i n Maharashtra
have l aunched a month· l ong campai gn for the i mmedi ate tabl i ng of the Schedul ed Tri bes ( Recogni ti on of
Forest Ri ghts) Bi l l , 2005 in Parl i ament even a s conservati oni sts and the Forest Depa rtment are opposi ng i ts
provi si ons.
Encouraged by the i ntroducti on of the Nati onal Rura l Empl oyment Guarantee Bi l l i n Parl i a ment, t here has
been mobi l i sat i on i n the a di vasi a reas of Maharashtra f or the bi l l to be passed. Si nce August 16, from
Nandurbar i n Maharashtra, the PSS has l aunched a seri es of mass meet i ngs i n vari ous tri bal pockets, whi ch
wi l l end i n Gandhi nagar i n Guj arat, on September 19.
The Campai gn for Survival and Di gni ty, a federati on of adi vasi and forest peopl e' s organi sati ons from across
the country, has been puffi ng pressure for t hree years for securi ng forest ri ghts to t r i bal peopl e. The Bi l l
envi sages, for the fi rst t i me, recogni ti on of the ri ghts of forest· based communi ti es.
However, even as the Forest Department says t hi s bi l l wi l l sound the death knel l of I ndi an forests, vi l l ages i n
Mel ghat and other protected areas a re qui te keen on havi ng t hei r ri ghts restored t o t hem. The affected
peopl e do not seem to have much knowl edge of the bi l l a nd i ts provi si ons. The Bi l l proposes "to recogni se
and vest the forest ri ghts and occupati on i n forest l and i n forest dwel l i ng schedu l ed tri bes who have been
resi di ng i n such forests for generati ons but whose ri ghts coul d not be recorded. "
Obj ect i on: The Mi ni stry of Envi ronment a nd Forests has al ready stated i n a note that i t does not agree wi th
the i ntroducti on of the proposed bi l l . I n a meeti ng hel d i n January thi s yea r, the MoEF sai d that there i s no
need to bri ng i n a fresh l aw as suffi ci ent provi si ons al ready exi st u nder the Forest Conservati on Act and the
gui del i n es i ss ued i n 1 990. I t a l so sai d t hat the draft bi l l puts a questi on mark on t he very exi stence of
Nati onal Parks and Sanctua ri es where the current pol i cy is to shi ft the habi tati ons outsi de t he protected area
as has been done al ready i n the Mel ghat Ti ger Reserve.
Ki shore Ri t he of t he Amravati based Nat ure Conservati on Soci ety sai d t he new bi l l woul d regul a ri se
encroachments and pave the way for contractors to offi ci al l y denude forests. The Bombay Natural Hi story
| Documentation Update | 2 0 05 - 0 6
Soci ety ( BNHS) has a l so opposed the bi l l . The BNHS bel i eves that the Bi l l i n i ts present for m wi l l nei ther
promote forest conservati on nor soci a l j usti ce. (Campa i gn for forest ri ghts to tri bal ; I mmedi
a
te tabl i ng of the
Schedul ed Tri bes ( Recogni ti on of Forest Ri ghts) Bi l l demanded, Meena Menon, TH. B, 24.08. 05, X1 4 / X20a)
A day after vi ol ence cl ai med 1 3 l i ves i n Kal i nga Nagar, seri ous questi ons are bei ng rai sed on the i nadequate
rehabi l i tati on pol i cy of the Ori ssa Government whi ch cl ea rl y tri ggered the bl oody cl ash between the tri bal s
and the admi ni strati on. Even as the i nci dent has sent shock waves and the agi tated tri bal s conti nue to stage
road bl ockade for the second successive day, the State Government i s sti l l undeci ded about a ny i nqui ry.
Meanwhi l e, negoti ati on for wi thdrawal of l oad bl ockade was conti nui ng. The Government had acqui red 2, 000
acre of l and at Kal i nga Nagar, Duburi i n 1 992 for the i ndustri al compl ex. As per R&R package drawn up t hen,
the oustees were gi ven Rs 37, 000 per acre as compensati on. However, no evacuati on was made. Of t hat bi g
chunk, the Tatas were handed over 2, 000 a cre i n December 2004, A total of 760 househol ds were to he
ousted by thei r project. Last year, fol l owi ng conti nuous protests, the State Government announced an enhanced
package whi ch offered Rs 25000 per acre ex·grati s on the ori gi nal compensati on, al ong with an a ssurance of
one guara nteed j ob per fami l y. ( Day after, Ori ssa rehab pol i cy under scanner. I E. B, 04. 01 . 06, X14)
The tri bal s of Kal i nga Nagar i n Ori ssa's Jaj pur di stri ct have taken a vow not to vacate t hei r l and to make
space for steel pl ant s or other i ndustri es. The ki l l i ng of 1 2 tri bal s i n pol i ce fi ri ng recentl y has steel ed thei r
resol ve to fi ght agai nst di spl acement and l oss of l i vel i hoods.
The number of t ri ba l s havi ng proof of t hei r l and i s very smal l i n the regi on. A vast maj ori ty i n Cha ndi a and
nearby vi l l ages coul d be termed as encroachers of government l and as they do not posses l and of thei r own.
They l ack l and ri ghts, as t here has been no l and settl ement i n the l ocal ity si nce 1 928. The l andl ess tri bal s are
equal ly i nvol ved i n the agi tati on agai nst i ndustri al i sati on as they have l i ttl e hope of getti ng compensati on for
thei r evi cti on.
Hi ghway bl ocked: Two km away from Chandi a, acti vi sts of Vi sthapan Vi rodhi Janmanch, an organi sati on of
l ocal t ri ba l s, a re bl ocki ng the Dai tar i · Pa radi p express hi ghway at Gobarghati si nce the day of the fi ri ng. "The
a uthori ti es have never taken our demand of adequate compensati on and rehabi l i tati on seri ously, whi l e many
ri ch peopl e and outsi ders have managed to acqui re l and ri ghts i n recent yea rs . Over 80 % of the tri bal s i n
t he a rea are l andl ess, " sai d Chakradhar Hai buru, presi dent of t he Janmanch. "Through our agi tati on, we wi l l
now t ake u p the pl i ght of the tri bal s di spl aced i n the past across the State a n d prevent setti ng u p of new
i ndust ri es i n tri bal pockets. "
The effect of the fi ri ng seems to be spreadi ng to other par ts of the State. Hundreds of tri bal s bl ocked the
entry poi nts to Rourkel a ci ty demandi ng that the Rourkel a Steel Pl ant return i ts sur pl us l a nd whi ch i t had
taken from t hem about 50 years ago. The tri bal s who started an i ndefi ni te economi c bl ockade of the townshi p
set at l east si x vehi cl es afi re on the outski rts of the ci ty. (Kal i nga Nagar tri bal s t ake vow not to vacate l and
f or i ndustri es, Praful l a Das, TH. B, 1 1 . 01 . 06, X1 4)
Based on a report submi tted by the Nati onal Human Ri ghts Commi ssi on ( NHRC) Speci al Rapporteur Chaman
Lal on t he steps taken by the Karnat aka Government for the rehabi l i tati on of t ri bal fa mi l i es di spl aced by the
Kabi n i Reservoi r and Bandi pu r Nat i onal Par k projects, the NHRC has expressed i ts sat i sfact i on wi th the
Government' s efforts. Fami l i es i n and around N. Begur i n H. D. Kote tal uk of Mysore di stri ct were di spl aced by
the constructi on of the Kabi ni Reservoi r proj ect i n earl y 1 970s and the for mati on of the Ba ndi pur Project
Ti ger Nati onal Park i n 1 973· 74. A status report fi l ed before the commi ssi on by the Deputy Commi ssi oner of
Mysore on measures for 1 54 tri bal fami l i es di spl aced by the Bandi pur Project Ti ger Nati onal Park shows that
the Government has i ssued certi fi cates of agri cul tural l and a nd resi denti a l pl ots and benefi ci ari es' i dentity
cards to them. The Government has t aken steps to construct two resi denti al l ayouts for them and deposi ted
Rs. 1 1 .80 l akhs for power connecti ons i n the l ayouts. ( NHRC happy wi th rehabi l i tati on efforts, TH. B, 04. 02. 06,
X1 4)
Al i enati ng l arge tracts of tri bal l and wi thout consul ti ng the tri bal s, i n the name of devel opment, was a cl ear
vi ol ati on of the ri ghts vested i n the 5th Schedul e of the Consti tuti on, sai d Communi st Party of I ndi a (Marxi st)
Pol i t Bureau member Bri nda Karat. The Mi ni stry of Envi ronment was cl eari ng a number of projects wi thout
protect i ng the basi c ri ghts of tri bal s, whi ch woul d be rai sed i n Par l i ament . She sai d t hat the i ssue was
di scussed at t he party Tri bal Commi ttee i n New Del hi . " I n J harkhand, t he State Government has entered i nto
42 memoranda of understandi ng to a l i enate l arge extents of l and for sett i ng up even pri vate project s, " she
2 0 05 - 0 6 | Documentation Update |
sai d. ' The Tatas have even a cl ause i n the MoU, whi ch does not permi t the Government to gi ve out detai l s of
the l and al ienati on, those ful l y annul l i ng the basi c moti ve of the I nformati on Act, " Ms. Karat sai d. Tri bal s were
bei ng gi ven a raw deal i n Andhra Pradesh, Chhatti sgarh and Jharkhand, she sai d. Referri ng to ti l e Pol avaram
i rri gati on project as di sastrous, she sai d that 3, 725 hectares of pri me forestl and woul d get submerged, but
envi ronment cl earance was gi ven i n j ust two days. ( Projects cl eared i n vi ol ati on of tri bal ri ghts, says Bri nda
Karat, TH. C, 20. 02. 06, X1 4)
X20a Acts, Bi l l s, Ordi nances
Some of the greenfi el d speci a l economi c zones (SEZ) i n the country that had been l angui shi ng for l ack of
regul atory ci a ri ty are getti ng acti ve aga i n wi th the SEZ Act set to get the nod soon.
Scrappi ng the ' sunset cl ause' mooted by the Fi na nce Mi ni stry wi l l pave the way for smooth fl ow of FDI . The
Commerce Mi n i stry had been support i ng the i ndustry' s stance on t hi s i ssue, and the i mpasse coul d be
sol ved only wi th the i nterventi on of the Pri me Mi ni ster' s offi ce.
As per the SEZ Bi l l , whi ch was cl eared, an i ncome tax hol i day spanni ng 1 5 years has been proposed, where
the fi rst fi ve years i s 1 00 % tax free and the ensui ng bl ocks of fi ve years each wi l l have part i al and condi ti onal
tax hol i days. Whi l e it i s sti l l shy of 20 years as demanded by t he i ndust ry, i t was onl y too gl ad to t ake i t .
(SEZ Act t o pave way for FDI f l ow, Vi nod Mathew, BL. B, 07. 05. 05, X20a)
Much i s spoken a bout the proposed Tri bal Bi l l 's concern for wel fare of schedul e tri bes. The Left parti es are
unhappy wi th Uni on Uni ted Progressive Al l i ance ( UPA) Government for not i ntroduci ng the Bi l l i n Parl i ament.
I n real i ty, the Bi l l i s nei ther goi ng to hel p the tri bes nor wi l l give them ri ghts over the l and they dwel l on. On the
one hand, the Bi l l wi l l destroy whatever forests remai n i n the country, whi l e maki ng t he tri bes conti nue to l i ve
i n sub· human condi ti ons. Worse i s that it wi l l spel l doom to wi l dl i fe, whi ch is protected only i n three to four %
of the l and of the country? I nteresti ngl y, nei ther wi l dl ife bi ol ogi sts nor forest conservati oni sts were i nvol ved i n
prepari ng the Bi l l . Whi l e the soci ol ogi sts argue for ' harmoni ous co· exi stence of t ri bes' a n d ' sust ai n a bl e
devel opment ' , i n real i ty, 80 % of t he l and has been uti l i sed by human bei ngs. Bes i des, over 1 6 % of the
remai ni ng l and i s not protected. For the wi l dl ife, the onl y sol uti on i s compl ete i sol ati on and protecti on. Thi s
woul d al so hel p conserve t he l ast tract of ' sustai nabl e l and' . The Bi l l contravenes vari ous Forest Acts. There
are a l ot of contradicti ons wi t hi n the proposed draft Bi l l i tsel f, whi ch, whi l e al l owi ng col l ecti on of mi nor forest
produces ( MFP) for ' l i vel i hood of tri bes ' , i t prohi bi ts thei r use for commerci al purposes. No one knows how
non· commerci al col l ecti on of MFP wi l l i mprove the l i ves of tri bes. (Tri bal Bi l l : Where soci ol ogi sts t ake over
forests, Vi nay Madhav, I E. B, 07. 06. 05, X20a)
Wi th wi l dl i fe enthusi asts and tri bal ri ghts acti vi sts di vi ded on the proposed Bi l l to recogni se tri bal s' ri ght on
forest l a nd, the Mi ni stry of Envi ronment i s draft i ng an a l ternati ve Bi l l to tone down the exi sti ng one. Those
opposed to the exi st i ng Bi l l prepared by the Tri bal Affai rs Mi ni stry say that i f the hol d of tri bal s on; forest
l and i s strengthened, i t wi l l i nterfere wi th wi l dl ife conservati on. The deci si on to draf the new Bi l l was taken at
a recent meet i ng of the Cabi net Commi ttee on Tri ba l Affai rs. The two Bi l l s wi l l be compared before one i s
accepted.
The Envi ronment Mi ni stry's al ternative devi ates from the Schedul ed Tri bes (Recogni ti on of Forest Ri ghts) Bi l l
2005 on t hree key poi nts: I t puts a cap on the tot al a mount of l and that woul d be gi ven to t r i ba l s. The
previ ous Bi l l had no l i mi t. The new Bi l l wi l l not i ncl ude wi l dl i fe sanctuari es and protected forests i n the l and
cl ai ms. I t wi l l , however, endow l ivel i hood ri ghts to those l ivi ng on forest margi ns. ( Mi ni stry works on 2nd tri bal
l and Bi l l , Ni r mal a Ganapathy, I E. C, 1 5.09. 05, X20a)
Promi si ng that a new Bi l l to protect the ri ghts of the unorgani sed l abour sector i n the country woul d soon be
i ntroduced i n Parl i ament, UPA chai rperson Soni a Gandhi sai d the Centre was confi dent of sol vi ng the probl ems
of the worki ng cl ass i n the country. "We are al so consi deri ng a pensi on scheme for the aged and women i n
t hi s sector, as wel l as schemes such as heal th i nsurance". The Congress presi dent ci ted stat i sti cs, sayi ng, i n
Maharashtra, onl y 1 0% of the l abour cl ass worked i n t he organi sed sector and stressed that unl ess they got
proper wages and thei r problems were not solved, the country's progress woul d not be compl ete. ( Unorgani sed
Sector Bi l l comi ng: Soni a, EIB, 24. 02. 06, X20a)
' Documentation Update ¸ 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
X2I I ndi a' s Devel opment
Thi s year, as t he fi rst fi ve- year revi ew of progress towa rds t he Mi l l enni um Devel opment Goal s a pproaches,
I ndi a can be proud of i ts accompl i shments. I n January, the Mi l l enni um Project report announced that I ndi a
was on a better track than sever al other devel opi ng countri es t o reach the Mi l l enni um Devel opment Goa l s
(MDGs) by t he target date of 201 5. I ndi a 's commi tment t o reduci ng poverty i s refl ected i n t he numerous
i ni t i ati ves i t has taken, l eadi ng to the progress made over the l ast decades. Three-fourths of I ndi a's poor
popul ati on, or 1 93 mi l l i on peopl e, l i ve i n rura l areas. Schedul ed Tri bes and Schedu l ed Castes are among the
poorest i n I ndi a and const i tute 40 % of the i nternal l y di spl aced popul ati on. These groups, and especi a l l y
women, suffer a hi gher i nci dence poverty, greater vul nerabi l i ty and l ower soci al status than others. Targeti ng
rural poverty, parti cul arl y among Schedul ed Tri bes and Schedul ed Castes, and women, wi l l better enabl e
I ndi a to reach i ts ful l devel opment potenti al i n a susta i nabl e manner. (Enabl i ng rural fol k to overcome poverty,
Lennar t Bage, TH. C, 09. 05. 05, X21 )
Even a s I ndi a appears to be a t the forefront i n terms of economi c growth, i t cont i nues to l ag i n the qual i ty of
l i fe as measured by i ts Human Devel opment I ndex; it remai ns unchanged at a low 1 27 among 1 77 countri es.
I n compari son, t he Uni ted Nati ons' Human Devel opment Report 2005 has a word of prai se for nei ghbouri ng
Bangl adesh i n vi ew of the rapi d human devel opment i t has achi eved i n spi te of i ts moderate growth. Despi te
i ts l ow r anki ng i n the HDI carri ed out each year by the Uni ted Nati ons Devel opment Progr amme ( UNDP),
I ndi a, however, has shown progress i n HDI val uati on, havi ng gone up from . 595 l ast year to . 602 i n thi s year's
report.
No decl i ne i n poverty: The UNDP report on human devel opment has cl earl y brought out the fact that whi l e
I ndi a has moved a head and j oi ned the premi er l eague of worl d economi c growth, the accel erated growth has
not resul ted i n a commensurate decl i ne i n poverty. On the Human Poverty I ndex ( HPI · I ), i t i s sti l l ra nked at
58 among 103 devel opi ng countri es. ( I ndi a sti l l behi nd i n human devel opment: U. N. report, TH. B, 09. 09. 05,
X2 1 )
X22a Ri ght to I nformati on
A path· breaki ng bi l l seeki ng to provi de ri ght to i nformati on was passed by the Lok Sabha ami dst an opposi ti on
boycott wi th Pri me Mi ni ster Man mohan Si ngh a sserti ng the measure woul d see t he dawn of a new era i n
governance a n d el i mi nate the scourge of corrupt i on.
I nterveni ng i n t he di scussi on on Ri ght t o I nformati on Bi l l , 2005, Si ngh sai d everyone, i ncl udi ng ci vi l servants,
shoul d see the measure i n a "posi ti ve spi ri t" and "not as a draconi an l aw for paral ysi ng government". The PM
wanted the bureaucracy t o consi der t he bi l l as an i nstrument for i mprovi ng gover nment ci ti zen i nterface
resul ti ng i n a fri endly, cari ng a nd effective government. The bi l l was passed by a voi ce vote after government
got 1 50 amendments to the draft approved by the house. The PM sai d the Right to I nformati on Bi l l was "more
far·reachi ng and effecti ve" than the exi st i ng Freedom of I nformati on Act. "I t has the wi dest possi bl e reach
coveri ng central and state governments, Panchayati Raj i nsti tuti ons, l ocal bodi es and reci pi ents of government
grants, " he sai d. ( LS nod for Ri ght to I nformati on Bi l l , VIB, 1 2. 05. 05, X22a)
Ratanj an vi l l age, over 50 km from here, i n Maharashtra was recentl y i n the news. About 50 persons sat on a
hunger str i ke i n front of the Tal uka Agri culture Offi ce at Barshi earl i er thi s month demandi ng i nfor mati on on
the schemes i mpl emented i n thei r vi l l age under the Empl oyment Guarantee Scheme. I n May, the vi l l agers had
sought i nformati on under the Maharashtra Ri ght to I nformati on Act ( MRTI ) on nal l ah bundi ng, farm ponds,
contour bunds and other works goi ng on i n the vi l l a ge. However, i t was not gi ven to them. Thi s gave r i se to
suspi ci on that a l l was not wel l . There were compl a i nts of i nfl ated muster rol l s, fudged payments and fal se
work records. Under the MRTI , i nformati on has to be provided wi thi n 1 5 worki ng days fai l i ng whi ch the offi cer
concerned i s l i abl e to be penal i zed. ( Ri ght to i nformati on el udes vi l l agers, Under the Maharashtra Act.
i nformati on has to be provi ded to peopl e wi thi n 1 5 worki ng days, Meena Menon, TH. B, 22. 09. 05, X22a)
X32 Women and Law, Vi ol ence aga i nst Women
The Protect i on of Women from Domesti c Vi ol ence Bi l l cl ea red by the cabi net i s l ong overdue and path·
breaki ng i n many ways. For the fi rst ti me, l awmakers have wi dened the defi n i ti on of ' domesti c vi ol ence' to
i ncl ude verbal , emoti onal and economi c vi ol ence. The Bi l l al so covers rel ati onshi ps outsi de marri age. But we
can' t be compl acent, because experi ence shows that l aws al one cannot counter vi ol ence agai nst women. I n
I ndi a, the res ponse to domest i c vi ol ence has been to reassert women's res pons i bi l i ty for pol i ci ng men' s
2 0 0 5 0 6 ¸ DO(,ll 1ll enlatiol l Updat e |
vi ol ence. Few efforts have taken up the chal l enge of ' pri mary preventi on' ; i nterventi ons i ntended to stop men
a nd boys from usi ng aggressi on. Wi thout a radi cal goal to el i mi nate rather t han respond to mal e vi ol ence
agai nst women, preventi on tends to be di rected towards vi cti ms or potenti a l vi cti ms. Empoweri ng women i s
not enough to combat domesti c vi ol ence. To break the cycl e of vi ol ence, we need to move beyond a n emphasi s
on women' s responsi bi l i ti es and stri ke at the root cause: gender soci al i sati on. We have to i nvol ve men and
t he young t o combat domest i c vi ol ence i n I ndi a . ( Rambos Not Wanted At Home, Domest i c vi ol ence Bi l l
necessary, but not suffi ci ent, Mal i ni Sen, TOI . B, 05. 07. 05, X32 1 X20a)
X40 Chi l dren
The Centre rel eased a nati onal pl an of acti on for chi l dren, i t s goal s rangi ng from endi ng femal e foeti ci de to
abol i shi ng chi l d l abour. Acti on Pl an 2005, whi ch l i sts goal s and strategi es in 1 2 key areas, i s an update of a
si mi l ar pl an drafted i n 1 992. It a i ms at el i mi nat i ng chi l d l a bour from hazardous occupati ons by 2007, and
" progressi vel y move" towards i t s compl ete eradi cat i on. Chi l dren bel ow 1 0 s houl d be removed f rom the
workforce by 201 0. (Centre rel eases nati onal a cti on pl an for chi l dren, AA. B, 2l . 08. 05, X40)
X41 Chi l d Ri ghts
Draft Chi l dren' s Ri ghts Bi l l , 2005, copi es of whi ch have been ci rcul ated among l egi sl ators and general publ i c
for el i ci ti ng thei r vi ews and suggesti ons on i t, has proposed to i ntroduce several cl auses, i ncl udi ng the ri ghts
of the chi l d for educati on and heal th, prohi bi ti on of chi l d l abour, protection agai nst chi l d abuse and consti tuti ng
a State Commi ssi on for Chi l dren to oversee the i mpl ementati on of the provi si ons of the Act a nd consti tuti on
of a speci al court for chi l dren.
Accordi ng to Law a nd Parl i amentary Affai rs Mi ni ster H. K. Pat i l , who i s i nstrumental i n prepari ng the draft wi th
assi stance from l egal experts i n the State, the Bi l l i f i ntroduced i n the Assembl y wi l l set a trend.
The ri ghts of chi l dren enshri ned i n the Bi l l are to enjoy chi l dhood, l earn accordi ng to hi s taste, ski l l and tal ent,
a nd no i ndi vi dual or i nsti tuti on shal l i nterfere wi th thei r basi c freedom. The Bi l l has provi ded speci al cl auses
t o protect gi rl chi l d agai nst any ki nd of di scri mi nat i on a nd no gi rl wi l l be deni ed access t o educati on, mi ni mum
l evel of nutri ti on, access t o heal th servi ces, and expl oi ted i n househol d acti vi ti es a s unpai d l abour. Al l forms
of vi olence agai nst gi rl chi l d - physi cal and mental are prohi bi ted. The Government wi l l formul ate and enforce
a regul ati on cal l ed Chi l d Code to lay the norms of behavi our and i nteracti on of adul ts, especi al ly, use of sl ang
and abuse i n conversati on wi th chi l dren. The Government wi l l establ i sh chi l d pol i ce stati ons after t he Act i s
enacted t o safeguard chi l dren from cri mi nal s. The pol i ce wi " be sensi ti zed t o t he i ssue of chi l d abuse, he
a dded. (Draft Bi l l for ensuri ng speci al ri ghts of chi l d, I f t he Bi l l i s i ntroduced i n t he State Assembl y, I t wi l l set
a trend, says H. K. Pati l , T V Si va na ndan, TH. B, 29. 08. 05, X41 )
X42 Chi l d Labour
The Andhra Pradesh government has confi rmed that t he menace of chi l d l abour i s rampant i n the state.
Offi ci al s have establ i shed that i n the cotton seed farms i n Adoni i n Kurnoo.l a bout 3 1 , 000 mi nor chi l dren are
engaged. Further, among these chi l dren i ncl ude a l arge number of gi rl s. Thi s apart, the government has found
t hat engagement of chi l d l abour i s growi ng i n four di stri cts i ncl udi ng Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Kurnool and
Mahboobnagar. Chi l dren bel ow t he age of 14 yea rs i ncl udi ng gi r l s were bei ng expl oi ted i n vari ous unski l l ed
servi ces at restau ra nt s, grocery shops, farm l a nds, pl asti c manufacturi ng, agri - processi ng etc. Besi des,
they are bei ng engaged as domesti c servants i n the state, a gover nment survey poi nted out.
Accordi ng to a n esti mate, there are a bout 40, 000· chi l d l abour i n Nandyal a nd a nother 45, 000 i n Kurnool
area. (Menace of chi l d l abour rampant i n Andhra , FE. B, 24. 05. 05, X42)
I n response to a query by the Nati onal Human Ri ghts Commi ssi ons ( NHRC) the Maharastra Government has
agreed to submi t a report i n two weeks detai l i ng i ts course of acti on agai nst empl oyers usi ng chi l d l abour. A
senor ofi ci al i n the Chief Secretary's office confi rmed that the NHRC notice, whi ch fol l owed the recent detection
of over 400 chi l d l abourers by the Mumbai pol i ce, had been sent to the Departments of Labour and Women
and Chi l d Wel fare. On June 1 , the Mumbai Pol i ce rescued 465 chi l d l abourers worki ng i n vari ous i ndustri a l
uni ts, i ncl udi ng shoe maki ng, bag maki ng, zari and bufi ng. The rai ds were conducted wi th the hel p of the "Say
No to Chi l d Labour Task Force, a coal i t ion of 46 NGOs. Fol l owi ng the rescue operati on, the NGOs col l ected
i nformati on from the chi l dren regardi ng thei r hometowns and empl oyers. ( Report on chi l d l abour soon; Move
fol l ows NHRC noti ce to Mahara stra, TH. B, 1 2. 06. 05, X42)
| Documentation l Tpelote | 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
• Z MI SCELLANEOUS .
ZIO NGOs
The Ori ssa government i s contempl ati ng bl ackl i sti ng some non-government organi sati on (NGOs) i n the state
whi ch i t says are posi ng hurdl es i n the ongoi ng i ndustri al i sati on process on the pretext of soci al and envi ronment
i ssues. A confi dent i al note prepared by the state home department has recommended deba rri ng at l east
four non-government organi sati ons that are perceived to be i nvolved i n anti - i ndustry acti vi ti es i n tri bal pockets.
The non-government organi sati ons on the fi ri ng l i ne are Rayagada- based Agragamee, Ankuran, Laxman Nai k
soci ety of Rural Devel opment and Weaker Secti ons I ntegrated Devel opment Agency. The home department
has recommended that the government stop a l l grants to these four non·government organi sati ons and ask
the centre to cancel thei r l i cences under the Forei gn Contri but i on Regul ati on Act.
I t may be noted that, eager to accel erate the process of i ndustri al i sati on, the Ori ssa government has si gned
up steel , al umi ni um and al umi na pl ants i n the past one year.
Some of the projects are i n remote tri bal bel ts where these non-government organi sati ons are mostl y acti ve.
The state has l ost a few projects i n the past to protracted agi tati on by t ri bal s backed by the non-government
organ i sati ons. (Ori ssa pl ans to ban ant i · i ndustry NGOs, Di l l i p Satapathy, BL. B, 30. 06. 05, Z1 0)
Central Soci al Wel fa re Board presi dent Raj a n i Pat i l sai d the Board woul d set u p a task force to moni tor
NGOs. She sa i d more t han 20, 000 NGOs come under the Board, of whi ch the State accounts for 794. I t
recei ves compl ai nt s aga i n st NGOs and thei r offi ce· bearers, she sai d. (Task force to moni tor NGOs, I E. B,
06. 0 1 . 06, Z 10)
2 0 05 - 0 6 | DOClll1U'll i ut iol1 Updul e |
• TSR - TSUNAMI .
General
To prevent a decl i ne i n the number of touri st s vi sit i ng I ndi a after tsunami , the Government i s taki ng up wi th
the Worl d Touri s m Organ i sati on (WTO) t he i ssue of refra i n i ng from descri bi ng t he country as an u nsafe
desti nati on. Uni on Touri sm Mi ni ster Renuka Chaudhury sai d ' we are taki ng up the matter wi th the WTO i n
Spai n a n d a l so ta ke up wi t h those countri es whi ch had posted a n ' advi sory' i n websi tes caut i oni ng i t s
ci ti zens agai nst travel l i ng t o I ndi a, parti cul arly the north eastern regi on i n vi ew of i nsurgency' . Ms Chaudhary
sai d her Mi ni stry had wri tten to the Uni on Home Mi ni stry to revi ew i ts restri cted area permi t (RAP) pol i cy
preval ent i n some parts of the north east, to enabl e more touri sts to vi si t those areas. (Touri sm advi sori es:
I ndi a to take up matter wi th worl d body, FE. B, 1 6. 04. 05, TSR)
The I nternati onal Fi nance Corporati on, the Worl d Bank Group' s pri vate sector fi nanci ng arm, has sai d that i t
wi l l proi de upto to $1 50 mi l l ion as l oans to compani es that can hel p reconstruct commerci al touri sm ventures
i n tsunami · affected countri es i n South Asi a a nd South· east Asi a . The l oans wi l l be granted on commerci al
terms a nd are ai med at establ i shed hotel compani es that requi re capi tal for reconstructi on or refi nanci ng, an
I FC press rel ease sai d. I t sai d the fi rms shoul d be commi tted t o sound soci al and envi ronmental pol i ci es wi th
a posi ti ve t rack record i n operati ons and a portfol i o of properti es cateri ng to di fferent segments of t he
market. ( I FC t o support tsunami touri sm, AA. D, 1 6.05. 05, TSR)
Keepi ng up wi th the Nati onal Common Mi ni mum Programme' s promi se of provi di ng a government that i s
' tra nsparent a nd accountabl e a t al l t i mes' , Pr i me Mi ni ster Manmohan Si ngh h a s come out wi th a report,
Tsunami - a report to the nat i on. The report, rel eased recentl y, detai l s the a mount recei ved and spent on
tsunami · rel ated rehabi l i tati on and reconstructi on work i n the country, as al so how far the work has progressed
i n t he affected states.
The esti mated total package for tsunami rel i ef, rehabi l i tati on and reconstructi on was Rs 1 1 , 907. 29 crore, of
whi ch Rs 3, 644. 05 crore came from the speci al Raj i v Gandhi Rehabi l i tati on Package a pproved by the Centre,
Rs 3, 61 0. 35 crore was recei ved from mul ti l ateral agenci es and di stri buted among states, and RsA, 652.89
came from other sources, l i ke Pl an assi stance, ba nks, fi nanci al i nsti tuti ons etc. (PM rel eases tsunami - rel ated
ai d, rehabi l i tati on report, FE. B, 06. 06. 05, TSR)
Al ong the famous whi te sands of Phuket' s Patong beach, stray dogs outnumber tour i sts, who si x mont hs
after t he tsunami are sti l l stayi ng away from t he once packed shore. Al though touri sm off i ci al s i n I ndi a, Sri
Lanka and the Mal di ves a re cauti ously opti mi sti c a bout the future, vi si tors remai n rel uctant to vi si t Thai l and' s
beaches, where hal f the tsunami vi cti ms a re bel i eved to be forei gn hol i day· makers. Thai authori ti es admi t
touri s m has been sl ower t o rebound t han they had hoped, and i ndustry offi ci al s say they expect t he comi ng
peak travel season starti ng i n November to be wea ker t han norma l , wi t h a ful l recovery possi bl e by l ate
2006. Thai l and' s nati onal economy has absorbed the shock even as i t sputters on hi gh oi l pri ces, but tsunami ­
hi t provi nces a re payi ng a hi gh pri ce. Offi ci al numbers f or the fi rst quarter of the year pai nt a di re pi cture:
a rri va l s of Swedes and Bri tons, who usual l y vi si t i n greater numbers t han other nati onal i ti es , a re down by
67% over the same peri od l ast year.
German touri sts have dropped off by 74% and French 70%. Asi an touri sts a re a l so stayi ng away: a rri val s of
South Koreans are down by 64% a nd Japanese by 86%. (Touri sm' s sl ow recovery a l ong tsunami · hi t beaches,
FE. C, 20. 06. 05, TSR)
One yea r on, most of t he affected resorts have achi eved a n i mpressi ve t urnaround, and some a re even
better t han before. "Most hotel s that were hi t , certai nl y i n Sri Lanka, took the t i me to make si gn i f i cant
devel opments and, as a resul t, cl i ents a re experi enci ng a much better hol i day than before t he tsunami , " sai d
Loui se Newton of Sr i Lanka s peci al i st Somak Hol i days.
Repai ri ng the damage to touri sts' percepti ons of t he region has been harder. Hotel s may have been qui ck to
re· open, but tour i st s have been sl ower to retur n, pa rt i cul arl y to a reas that took a di rect hi t , l eavi ng many
properti es wi th empty rooms for much of l ast yea r.
The Andaman coast of Thai l and had 1 5 to 20 % fewer vi si tors from key regi ons such as the UK l ast year than
i n 2004, whi l e vi si tor numbers to the Mal di ves were up to 25 % down for the f i rst 10 months of l ast year and
Sri La nka suffered a 7 % drop.
Resorts on the Andaman coast, whi ch suffered terri bl e damage, have made a remarkabl e recovery. Most
hotel s i n Phuket, the l argest resort affected, have reopened, some after extensi ve refurbi shment.
However, i n nearby Khao Lak, whi ch was j ust fi ndi ng i ts feet as a hol i day dest i nati on when the tsunami struck,
i t' s a di fferent story. The death tol l there topped 2, 000, and several hotel s were destroyed. The presti gi ous
Anantar a, for i nstance, wi l l not be rebui l t . Bri tons have been sl ow to ret urn to the whol e of t he Andaman
coast. Vi si tor numbers t o Thai l and a s a whol e were up 5 % i n 2005, but numbers t o t he Andama n a rea were
down by 1 5 to 20 %.
The Bay of Bengal bore the br unt of t he t i dal wave, so the country' s mai n touri st dest i nat i ons survi ved
rel ati vel y unscathed. The southern ti p of the coast al state of Keral a and the Andaman I sl ands were hi t, but
the touri st resorts were not affected.
UK ar ri val s were u p a bout 1 6 % l ast yea r, partl y due t o the l a unch of a tra nche of new fl i ghts by Br i t i sh
Ai rways, Vi rgi n At l ant i c, Ai r I ndi a and Jet Ai rways . Ai r fares have fal l en a s a resul t . Thi rty· two of the 72
resorts i n the Mal di ves were affected by the tsunami , but onl y 15 a re sti l l cl osed. Onl y one of the fl ooded
resorts, the Cl ub Med Farukol hufushi , wi l l not reopen.
The i sl ands have been gi ven a wi de berth by the I ta l i ans, Germans and Japanese si nce the tsunami but the
Bri ti sh have been more resi l i ent. The tsunami has done nothi ng to deter i nvestment i n the Mal di ves, where
the l oss of l i ves was rel at i vel y s ma l l , and several new resorts a re due to open t hi s yea r a nd next. A new
l uxury yacht, t he Rani a, whi ch can be hi red wi th i ts own pri vate i sl and, has a l ready been l aunched, and Four
Seasons wi l l open a second l uxury hotel i n t he Mal di ves i n February.
Mal aysi a suffered onl y sl i ght damage, havi ng been l argel y shi el ded by t he i sl and of Sumatra . Damage i n
Penang, such as sand i n swi mmi ng pool s, f l ooded restaurants and debri s o n beaches, was qui ckl y cl eaned
up. (Tsunami one year on: Touri st resorts achi eve a remarkabl e turnaround, Li nsey McNei l l , BL. B, 02. 01 . 06,
TSR)
I n the aftermath of l ast year's catacl ysmi c tsunami , Dr. Gregory Stone of the New Engl and Aquari um co· l ed
an expedi ti on to survey the damage caused t o Tha i l a nd' s cora l reefs.
As reported i n a recentl y rel eased techni cal report avai l abl e on the New Engl and Aquari u m websi te and i n
December' s i ssue of Nati onal Geographi c, t he expedi ti on' s resul ts i ndi cate a qui ck recovery for most of the
reefs.
The dive touri sm i ndustry i s a major part of the regi on' s economy and l ocal l y caught fi sh are a pri mary source
of protei n i n the di et of the peopl e i n the regi on. The coral reefs there a re a mong the most beauti ful i n the
world.
An i nternati onal tea m of ei ght sci ent i st· di vers, led by Dr. Gregory Stone of Boston and Dr. Geral d Al l en of
Austral i a, t ravel l ed to the coast of Thai l and a pproxi matel y three and a half months after the tsunami struck
i n order to rapi dl y a ssess the extent of damage to reefs.
After more than 500 di ves at 56 si tes, t hough the team found pl enty of damage, there appears to be reason
for opti mi sm. Of the reefs a ssessed, 36 % s howed very l i ttl e to no da mage, whi l e 50 percent showed a
moderate a mount of tsunami - rel ated damage. Only 1 4 % of the surveyed reefs had suffered severe damage .
•• The sci enti fi c team concl uded that the rare devastati on of the tsunami was l ess of a l ong· term threat to the
20 05 - 0 6 | Documentat ion Updat e |
coral reefs than ongoi ng human-caused damage such a s over-fi shi ng, poorl y pl an ned coastal devel opment
a nd gl obal warmi ng. (Tsunami : coral reefs can recover qui ckl y, TH. B, 06. 01 . 06, TSR)
Tami l Nadu & Pondi cherry
The Tami l Nadu Touri sm Devel opment Corporati on has brought out a col ourful brochure as a post-tsunami
update t o i nsti l confi dence i n travel l ers. Accordi ng to the brochure, a" templ es i n t he t suna mi - hi t areas a re
unaffected; beach resorts i n Mamal l apur am on the East Coast Road stret ch, whi ch were affected by the
tsunami are functi oni ng agai n; there was no l oss of l i fe of foreign touri sts; most of the major touri st attracti ons
i n the State a re l ocated i nl and and were not affected; and new monuments were unearthed at Mamal l apuram
after t he tsunami . The pa mphl et has pi ctures of t reasures unea rthed from t he sea by t he t sunami at
Mama l l a pura m, the mangrove forest of Pi chava ram, the Dani sh Fort at Tranqebar (Ta rangambadi ) , t he
Vel ankanni Church i n Nagapatti nam, a nd the Vivekananda Rock Memori al at Kanyakumari a nd t he Pamban
Br i dge a t Rameswaram. I t a l so has pi ctures of many overseas touri sts a rri vi ng by l uxury l i ners after the
tsunami . ( Brochure to al l ay fears of touri sts, TS. Shankar, TH. C, 05_ 05. 05, TSR)
Wi th a vi ew to revi tal i se the economy of the tsunami - ravaged di stri cts, TN chi ef mi ni ster J J ayal al i thaa has
sought a 1 O-year exempti on from exci se duti es on goods manufactured by new i ndustri al units whi ch operate
i n the affected regi on_ I n a l etter to the Pr i me Mi ni ster, she a l so requested a t hree- yea r exempt i on from
exci se duti es on steel , cement, pi pes and other constructi on materi a l s used for establ i shi ng new i ndustri al
uni ts i n t he tsunami affected di stri cts. She drew a paral l el , wherei n t he Cent re had i ssued si mi l ar orders
granti ng exci se duty exempti on to exci sabl e goods manufactured by new i ndustri al uni ts i n Kutch whi ch was
devastated by a massi ve earthquake on January 26, 200 1 . (Jaya seeks 1 0 year exci se hol i day i n tsunami ­
hi t a reas, TOI . B, 08. 06. 06, TSR I MI l )
The Pondi cherry government has chal ked out several pl ans for promoti ng ethni c· cum- l ifestyle based touri sm
at the t sunami · ravaged coastal haml ets of the Uni on terri tory. Accordi ng to rel i ef and rehabi l i tati on
commi ssi oner B V Selva raj , every settl ement whi ch has been created under the Tsunami Rehabi l i tati on Project
woul d be provi ded wi th a strong i nterface for promot i ng l i festyl e based touri sm havi ng l i vel y i nteracti on wi th
the fi shi ng and coastal communiti es. Proper l andscapi ng woul d be done i n these haml ets and cottages woul d
be constructed i n such a way that the i nfrastruct ure woul d encourage forei gn a nd domesti c touri sts t o vi si t
these vi l l ages. The enti re activity i s bei ng consci ously devel oped as a part of provi di ng al ternate and di versified
vocati on for young fi shermen. Moreover, the ethni c· cum· l i festyl e based touri sm woul d be eco-fri endl y a nd
empl oyment i ntensi ve. Deta i l i ng the tsunami rehabi l i tati on work, he sai d that t i l l now, 1 3 non-government
orga n i sat i ons and the gover nment of Ma hara shtra have been worki ng i n cl osel y wi th t he Pondi cherry
government to construct 4,997 hou
s
es for tsunami ·affected vi cti ms i n 22 settl ements. ( Now, tsunami haml ets
to be touri st spots, AA. D, 27. 02. 06, TSR)
Andaman & Ni cobar I sl ands
Envi ronmental i sts have sl ammed a touri sm deal by I ndi a' s tsunami · hit Andaman i sl ands wi th Thai l and, sayi ng
such a move woul d dest roy i ts fragi l e ecol ogy and encourage the sex trade. The Dec. 26 tsunami ki l l ed
thousands of peopl e on I ndi a's remote Andaman a nd Ni cobar i sl ands, caused massive envi ronmental damage
a nd deci mated the smal l touri sm i ndustry i n the rai n forest-covered i sl ands ri nged by coral reefs. I n a move
to breathe new l ife i nto the shattered economy, authori ti es si gned a five-year deal i n J une wi th the resort town
of Phuket i n Tha i l and, famous for i ts beaches but a l so for a burgeoni ng sex trade. The dea l woul d al l ow
touri sts vi si t i ng Phuket to t ake a short f l i ght to the Andamans. But envi ronmental i sts warned the i sl ands'
i nfrastructure as wel l as i ts ecol ogy coul d not cope wi th a bi g number of touri sts. ( Envi ronmental i sts f l ay
I ndi a' s Thai touri sm pl an, FE. B, 04. 08. 05, TSR)
The Andaman and Ni cobar I sl ands admi ni strati on has sai d i t wi l l provi de at l east one dai ly wage job for a year
to each fami ly affected by the tsunami . About 6, 31 3 fami l i es have been i denti fi ed for the scheme after a door·
to·door survey was conducted. Pri me Mi ni ster Manmohan Si ngh a nnounced l ifti ng of the ban on recrui tment
i n the Uni on Terri tory to fi l l the 650 vacant Gover nment posts. He sa i d there woul d be an i ncrease i n the
number of a nga nwadi workers. The admi ni st rat i on has a l so drawn an acti on pl a n for agri cul t ure, ani mal
husbandry, fi sheri es and rural devel opment. (Manmohan announces l ivel i hood pl ans for Andaman and Ni cobar,
Aarti Dhar, TH. B, 06. 01 . 06, TSR)
| Documentation Update ¸ 2 0 0 5 - 0 6
• Source I ndex .
Code Newspaper
BL. B Busi ness Li ne, Banga l ore
FE. B Fi nanci al Express, Bangal ore
ETB Economi c Ti mes, Bangal ore
I E. B I ndi an Express, Bangal ore
AA. B Asi an Age, Bangal ore
DH. B Deccan Heral d, Bangal ore
TOI . B Ti mes of I ndi a, Bangal ore
VTB Vi jay Ti mes, Bangalore
TH. B The Hi ndu, Bangal ore
AA. D Asi an Age, Del hi
FE. D Fi nanci al Express, Del hi
ETD Economi c Ti mes, Del hi
I E. D I ndi an Express, Del hi
TOI . D Ti mes of I ndi a, Del hi
TH. D The Hi ndu, Del hi
HTD Hi ndustan Ti mes, Del hi
TPD The Pi oneer, Del hi
TS. D The Tel egraph, Del hi
I E. C I ndi an Express, Chennai
FE. C Fi nanci al Express, Chennai
ET. C Economi c Ti mes, Chennai
BL. C Busi ness Li ne, Chennai
HE. G The Heral d, Goa
GTG Gomatak Ti mes, Goa
NTG Navhi nd Ti mes, Goa
Readers are wel come to wri te to u s for a ny of the materi al s l i sted in the Update.
though we woul d request for a contri buti on towa rds photocopy and mai I i ng expenses.
• •
Establ i shed i n 1985, EQUATI ONS i s a research,
campai gni ng and advocacy organisation charged with a
vi si on of democrati si ngtouri sm.
We bel ieve that the alternatives to the current model s of
mass touri sm are vi abl e and have demonstrated thi s i n
i nnovative partnershi ps that pl ace local communi ties'
needs and rights at the center of deci si on-maki ng and
benefits of touri sm development.
We bui l d networks of people grassroots organi sati ons,
l ocal communi ti es, panchayats and l ocal sel f governance
bodi es, activists, researchers, trade uni ons, l egal and
pol i cy experts-who are concerned, as we are, wi th
e n s u r i n g t hat t our i s m p l a n n i ng, pol i cy a n d
i mpl ementation i s equi tabl e, people·centred and just.
I n the l ast two decades, our work has focused on the
i mpacts ari si ng out of unregulated and irresponsi bl e
tourism development i n I ndi a and the developi ng worl d.
We do thi s through research, information anal ysis and
di ssemi nati on, campai gns, advocacy and lobbying. We - .
actively, support communi ti es and l ocal groups i n thei r
efforts to change the paradi gm of unjust and
unsustai nabl e touri sm development.
The DocUpdate is a compi l ati on of media reports and
research arti cl es on touri sm and development i ssues. The
publ i cati on ai ms to provide an anal yti cal perspective to
the debate on touri sm and development and i s useful for
researchers, touri sm institutes and activists.

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