Develop Chanshal valley for adventure activities: Virbhadra Singh


    There are abundant potential of adventure activities in Chanshal valley connecting Dodra Kwar, the remote belt of district Shimla and for introducing ski sports on the slopes of Chanshal (4,520 meters) said Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh while presiding over the 8th  meeting of HP Tourism Development Board today.


    After going through the presentation of Indian Mountaineering Federation, which highlighted the plentiful scope of Trekking, Paragliding, River rafting, skiing in and around  Chanshal, the Chief Minster said that Chanshal was having open vast green pastures suitable for skiing over its ridges spread in kilometers and other activities. He said that there were few small lakes and over a dozen trekking routes backed by snow covered mountains connecting Sangla valley of Kinnaur, Rampur and Uttrakhand and have a lot more to offer to adventure lovers and high end tourists.


    He said that as compared to Rohtang pass (3,978 meters) there were more offers for the visitors in Chanshal valley and steps should be taken to improve connectivity besides other amenities. It was also discussed to provide some relaxation for few ropeway projects for which no bids were received despite inviting expression of interest several times. These projects include, Toba to Naina Devi, Shahtalai to Deotsidh, Neugal to Palampur and Sarahan to Bashal Kanda.


    Suggestions poured in for either developing adventure park or a Golf course in Baddi instead of leasing it out for developing from tourism point of view. Similarly to develop Jhatingri (Mandi), Shojha in Banjar of Kullu district and Suketi in Sirmour district, it was decided to restructure the bid parameters to attract investors.


    It was informed that the department through HP Infrastructure Development Board (HPIDB) was in process to develop ropeways projects which includes Rs 150 crore Dharamsala to Mcleodganj project for which in-principle approval has been granted under FCA, the 5.80 Kilometers  Adi Himani to Chamunda ropeway project, the alignment and survey for which has been finalized, the 8.63 Kms Palchan to Rohtang ropeway project and Bhuntar to Bijli-Mahadev ropeway project for which the bid has been accepted and formalities for signing the agreement was under process.


    Directions were issued by the Chief Minister for improvement of bus stands at Dharamshala, Dalhousie, Kullu, Mandi, Chintpurni, Nahan, Una, Hamirpur and Dhalli (Shimla). It was in the last meeting that transport department was asked to submit the action taken report which was still awaited for improvement of Dhalli Bus stand. The Board also approved the proposal to prepare promotional films on tourism for which a sum of Rs 50,00,000 was initially earmarked and the bid now has been finalized.


    The Chief Minister also suggested to complete the renovation and restoration work of Sapni Fort in Kinnaur district  in one go. It was approved to provide funds for the development and beautification of Nau-Nag lake in Sarpara in Pandhra-Beesh area of Shimla district and construction of rain shelter and public toilets in Shimla town.  He also suggested to set up statute of Maharana Pratap somewhere in the Pong Dam complex as similar to the one erected in Kangra.


    Vice Chairman HP Tourism Board Shri Vijay Singh Mankotia also suggested various measures for improving tourism activities in Pong Dam. He said that despite several requests to the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) for conducting a meeting with State Government for starting commercial activities on the water of Pong Dam, the BBMB authorities were showing lackluster approach. He urged the Chief Minister to pass clear directions to BBMB on this issue before this financial year comes to end. He also showed concern for developing airport and flights to Shimla.

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    ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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