Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme government aims to make the Northeast an attractive destination for tourists
Two tourist circuits have been launched in Arunachal Pradesh as part of the Swadesh Darshan scheme of the Ministry of Tourism.
The first circuit will link Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang from the inter-state border with Assam in Sontipur district to the western end of the state which borders China and Bhutan. The second route connects different towns and wildlife sanctuaries like the Nafra-Seppa-Pappu-Pasa-Pakke Valley-Sangdupota-New Sagalee-Ziro-Yomcha.
The Centre had sanctioned the development of Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang project in 2015 for Rs 49.77 crore. Under the sceheme, facilities like accommodation, cafeteria, wayside amenities, connectivity, pathways, toilets, multipurpose hall at Jang have been developed. The Sorang Monastery, Lumpo, Zemithang, Bumla Pass, Gritsang TSO Lake, PTSO Lake, Thingbu and Grenkha Hot Spring, Lumla and Sela Lake have also been renovated under the scheme.
The other circuit connecting Nafra-Seppa-Pappu, Pasa, Pakke Valleys-Sangdupota-New Sagalee-Ziro-Yomcha was sanctioned for Rs 97.14 crore. The facilities developed under this project include helipad, wayside amenities, trekking trails, rafting centre, log huts, craft bazaar, eco-park, tourist facilitation centres, parking, multipurpose hall and a festival ground.
The Swadesh Darshan scheme is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Tourism for development of thematic circuits in the country. Under this scheme, the government is focusing on development of quality infrastructure in the country with the objective of providing better facilities to visitors which is also expected to create employment avenues and foster economic growth.
Similar to some other states in the Northeast, Arunachal Pradesh has shown an upward trend in tourism over the past several years. The Northeast received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourists during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016, registering a growth of 16.7 per cent. During the 11th Five Year Plan, 42 projects were sanctioned by the ministry for Rs 156.02 crore for creation of infrastructure in the state.
The development of the two circuits in Arunachal Pradesh is also part of the Centre’s efforts to make the Northeast an attractive destination for tourists. For development of infrastructure in the region, the Ministry had sanctioned 16 projects for Rs 1349.04 crore covering all the states under schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD.
Arunachal Pradesh is one of the least developed states of India according to Raghuram Committee Report (2013). However, the government is of the view that the hill state has immense potential for development of tourism. It is home to as many as 26 major tribes and more than 100 sub-tribes, each one with their own dialects, dances, festivals, tradition and belief system which could be a major tourist attraction.
The state has also been organising theme-based events like Tawang festival, Ziro festival of music, Arunachal spring carnival, adventure of Mechuka and Kameng river festival. Arunachal Pradesh was adjudged as the 4th Best Region by Lonely Planet, BBC’s globally circulated magazine in 2012.
The state was also voted as the ‘Favourite Upcoming Destination’ by Outlook Traveller readers, based on a survey conducted in 2012 through the magazine and its website in January 2013.
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