Swadesh Darshan 2.0 boost to Koraput tourism

Koraput despite being popular for its beautiful hills, waterfalls and other sites, does not have sufficient infrastructure for visitors.
Work on various components of tourism development in Koraput under the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 scheme will begin within the next three to six months.
Work on various components of tourism development in Koraput under the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 scheme will begin within the next three to six months.

BHUBANESWAR: Work on various components of tourism development in Koraput under the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 scheme will begin within the next three to six months.

The Ministry of Tourism, which is implementing the scheme, is in the final stage of signing an agreement with Odisha Tourism and the project development and management consultant, informed the regional director (East) at the Ministry of Tourism Sagnik Chowdhury.

The district, replete with tourism products including Deomali, Kolab, Machkund, and Jolaput, is the only destination in Odisha to have been selected under the Central scheme this year. The proposal to include the district in the scheme was sent by Odisha Tourism.

Chowdhury said under the project, work will be carried out to highlight both tangible and intangible heritage of Koraput, apart from its tourism prospects. “Under the physical components, tourism amenities like tourist interpretation centres, accommodation units, public amenities, gazebos, solar lighting, among other things, will come up at all tourist places,” he said.

Koraput despite being popular for its beautiful hills, waterfalls and other sites, does not have sufficient infrastructure for visitors. Sources said during tourist season, the district gets around three lakh domestic visitors and around 1,500 foreign tourists. Similarly, under the software component of the scheme, tourism stakeholders will be imparted training on marketing and communication. SHGs and communities will also be trained on ways to manage tourism products and generate revenue.

Chowdhury said the comprehensive development plan of Koraput is centred around Deomali Hill - the highest mountain peak of Odisha. The Centre had launched the Swadesh Darshan scheme in 2014-15. While Swadesh Darshan 1.0 focused on the development of circuit-based tourism across the country, version 2 of the scheme focuses on the development of destinations. Under Swadesh Darshan 1.0, Odisha was given Rs 67.28 crore for the development of a coastal circuit comprising Gopalpur-Tampara-Barkul-Satapada in 2016-17. As per reports, the state has so far utilised Rs 63.25 crore so far and the project is 94.7 per cent completed.

Meanwhile, sources said Odisha Tourism officials are also considering the inclusion of another district in the Swadesh Darshan 2.0 scheme. The ministry had asked every state to name two districts under the scheme.

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