Hoteliers Demand 'Land Bank'

Hoteliers of the State on Monday reiterated their demand for a ‘land bank’ in the wake of framing of the Odisha tourism policy.

Published: 03rd December 2013 12:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2013 12:16 PM   |  A+A-

Hoteliers of the State on Monday reiterated their demand for a ‘land bank’ in the wake of framing of the Odisha tourism policy.

They asked the State Government to make land easily available to eligible entrepreneurs, if it wanted to maintain a robust growth of the tourism sector.

At the first Odisha Tourism Conclave organised by the Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association (HRAO), the hoteliers decried non-allotment of land to prospective entrepreneurs even as the State lags behind in terms of availability of accommodation facilities.

They said the Government should create a ‘land bank’ identifying suitable land in various places of importance as well as tourism interest and provide the same to the entrepreneurs. They sought a special package including identification of at least 100 acres of land in tourism zones of every district and allotting it to hotel industry.

Odisha accounts for only 158 rooms of the current 80,405 hotel rooms under construction in the country. Andhra Pradesh has 4,985 rooms under construction, Gujarat 2,033, Tamil Nadu 5,272 and Haryana 4,376 while Maharashtra has 22,303 rooms. The main drawbacks in the State are land and lack of incentives like interest subsidy provided by other States, chairman of HRAO JK Mohanty said.

Speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the conclave, Tourism Minister Maheswar Mohanty admitted that the State’s share in addition of rooms was very little compared to its counterparts across the country. “Allotment of land was still a cumbersome and lengthy process but now steps are being taken to simplify the procedures for accelerated implementation of infrastructure facilities,” Mohanty said.

The HRAO members also sought implementation of tourist police in important locations and promotion of tourist spots like Satkosia, Bhitarkanika, Koraput, Satapada, Phulbani and Debrigarh in eco-tourism sector. Except Bhubaneswar and Puri, no other place has been explored to the fullest.

Stating that Odisha Tourism has always been given negative publicity, the members said appointing a brand ambassador like Gujarat and West Bengal is need of the hour.

A Road Between Heritage Sites

Speaking on the occasion, MLA Ashok Panda said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has given his nod to the ambitious Dhauli-Khandagiri road. The road, which was proposed to shorten the distance between the two heritage sites, will start from NH-203 near Daya river and converge at NH-5 near Dharma Vihar. Panda said Chief Minister has agreed to provide `50 crore for road.

“People coming from Khurda, Nayagarh and nearby areas will benefit. The new, wider road and its quality will definitely attract more tourists,” said Panda. He urged Tourism Minister to develop a ‘River View Project’ from Daya right embankment to Kuakhai right embankment.



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