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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Artificial lakes in Himachal to be developed as vibrant tourists destinations: CM Sukhu

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SHIMLA, July 1 (PTI): The Himachal Pradesh government is contemplating to develop artificial reservoirs as vibrant tourist destinations offering a range of adventure activities like water sports, angling, bird watching and eco-tourism, chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Saturday.

In a statement issued here, he said rules are being formulated to govern the operations of these activities with an objective to prolong the stay of tourists besides offering them a variety of memorable experiences.

The hill state is endowed with bountiful lakes and reservoirs, mainly with glaciers as their source. The state government has plans to explore the possibility of giving a fillip to lake tourism to empower local communities by promoting home stays, street food corners, restaurants, resorts and hotels in close proximity to these artificial water bodies, he said.

The chief minister said the state also intends to promote water based attractions such as house boats, cruises, yachts as well as water sports in its reservoirs.

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The main focus is to start such activities at Pong dam in Kangra, Kol dam, Bhakra reservoir in Bilaspur, Larji reservoir in Kullu, Tattapani near Shimla and Chamera dam in Chamba, he added.

Meanwhile, the Kangra administration has been directed to identify suitable sites to create an artificial lake, spanning one to two kilometers along a perennial river route.

“Additionally, 5.75 hectares of land has been identified in Nagrota for setting up a wellness centre and an artificial lake with world-class fountains. The government has allocated Rs 70 crore for promoting adventure tourism activities in Pong Dam in Kangra district which will attract adventure sports lovers to the state,” Sukhu noted.

The state intends to increase the influx of tourists, that is, to attract 5 crore tourists in the coming four to five years which will significantly contribute to employment and self-employment avenues for the youth besides strengthening the economy of the state, he added.

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