BENGALURU: If everything goes well, you will come across ‘’Highway Villages’’ in the state where you can relax when you travel long distance. To provide basic amenities to travellers, the state government is considering a proposal to build wayside amenities on the lines of similar facilities in Europe.Tourism Minister C T Ravi who attended a meeting with Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa told The New Indian Express that the proposed wayside amenities will have lodging and boarding facilities, fuel pumps, hotels and shopping complexes and also emergency services like small hospital/medical shops. It is likely to be announced in the March 5 state budget.
Ravi said that his department is doing a survey of long route destinations and highways where there are potentials to set up wayside amenities. “We are planning to make them similar to those in Europe,’’ he said. The minister who had travelled to the United Kingdom recently said, “We will call for applications. People who have land or space to construct (such facilities) can apply. We have proposed the same to Yediyurappa and we are confident he will include this in the budget.’’
This apart, the government is also planning to organise a tourism investors’ meet on the lines of the Global Investors Meet, focusing on the tourism sector. “We will select places that have potentials to be developed into tourist places. It could also be an abandoned quarry. In the Phillipines, an abandoned quarry is converted into a tourist place. We will also include unused mining spots like Kolar Gold Mining, part of which can be developed. This will also help visitors get glimpses mining sites,’’ he said.
Ravi said they will list out many such places and historical sites that need attention. The same will be displayed in the investors’ meet so that they will have a wide range of selection. “We do not have enough funds to develop all these places at a time. So we have decided to take help from private players, including foreign investors. Ownership will be with us. This initiative will give us funds through taxes and direct employment to local youths. Before organising the investors’ meet, we will call for registration,’’ he said.
Shopping complex where one can get local handicrafts