Uncertainty looms large over a number of tourism projects, with the ongoing agitation against state bifurcation in the Seemandhra region for the last over 60 days.
Out of `104 cr sanctioned under Central financial assistance for development of tourist destinations across the state during 2012-13, about `62.78 crore worth projects are either yet to take off or stuck at different stages. Besides, out of the `37 crore sanctioned by the state government for new projects acorss the state, about `24 cr worth of projects are in the Seemandhra region.
These projects are required to be completed before October 2014. They include a `10-crore budget hotel at Alipari, Tirupathi.
However, tourism officials maintain that most of the projects are at the work tenders stage, while some have already been completed.
“There is no impact of the Seemandhra agitation so far. Agitations have not affected our works in any manner. Some of the works at the tenders stage and others are in progress. There is no cause for worry as of now,” said V Madhu Sudan, officer on special duty, Tourism and culture department.
Among the coveted projects in Seemandhra is the `45-crore Visakhapatnam-Bheemunipatnam beach corridor project. Projects with the Central aid include `7.5-crore East Godavari tourism circuit development, `4.5-crore beach park at Kakinada and `4.8-crore heritage tourism circuit in Ananthapur district.
The `50-lakh rural tourism project at Pedana in Krishna district, the `3-crore beach resort at Perupalem in West Godavari and the `3-crore beach development works at Kodur in Nellore are tangled in land acquisition issues. Tourist amenities at Bhavani Island, Vijayawada, have been developed at a cost of `1 crore, according to officials.
M Balasubramanyam Reddy, joint director, department of tourism, has stated that none of the employees of the tourism department or the AP Tourism Development Corporation are taking part in the agitation. “There is certainly less occupancy at our hotels, but otherwise, there is no impact. We have taken all precautions and hope to complete the projects within the stipulated 18 months,” he said. His department is evan preparing new proposals to be sent to the Central government, he said.