AGARTALA, Jan 24 - Tripura�s unexplored tourism sector looks set to receive a major boost with the Centre clearing a number of tourism projects under flagship programme Swadesh Darshan.
So far ignored tourist destinations like Narikelkunja, Manidirghat and Rashyabari would witness a major change in the days to come.
Union Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned Rs 17 crore for overall development of Narikelkunja, an almost abandoned tourist destination due to the decades-old insurgency problem.
�Massive development works will be done at Narikelkunja situated in the midst of Dumbur lake in newly-created Karbook subdivision in Gomati district�, State Tourism Minister Ratan Bhowmik has confirmed.
Besides, Rs 1.11 crore has been sanctioned for Mandirghat development, close to Narikelkunja. �The Tourism department has already prepared a master plan for facelift of two major tourist destinations � Narikelkunja and Mandirghat�, he said while speaking to the media in his office recently.
Bhowmik said an amout of Rs 1.38 crore has been earmarked for development of Raishyabari tourist destination. �Although the government had plan to develop tourism infrastructure at Dumbur lake and its vicinity, the fund constraint remained a major hurdle. Now, the funding problem has been removed after the Tourism Ministry�s approval of fund�, he said.
Ujjayanta Palace will have sound and lighting show once again with the Centre sanctioning a project amounting to Rs 4 crore. Earlier, the State Government had created the facility but could not sustain it for long.
Neermahal, only lake palace in eastern India also looks set to receive fund to create tourism-related infrastructure. �The Ministry of Tourism has allocated Rs 7.50 crore for site development of Neermahal in Sepahijala district�, he said. Recently, retrofitting of Neermahal has been done at a cost of Rs 8 crore since the royal structure was century- old.
The Union Ministry has also sanctioned a project to create Wagha border-like facilities to show ceremonial parade by border guards of India and Bangladesh. �Rs 10 crore has been sanctioned for Akhaura Check Post, at the outskirts of Agartala to create Wagha-like facilities for conducting ceremonial parade�, he said adding that separate fund amounting to Rs 10 crore has been earmarked to introduce battery-operated vehicles in Sepahijala Zoo.