At least 650 ex-servicemen will be employed as "Green Police" in Karnataka to look after the security and provide guidance to tourists, the state's Minister for Tourism and Infrastructure Development, G Janardhana Reddy, has said.
Addressing leaders from travel and tourism industry at the Crown Plaza hotel in London on Wednesday night, Reddy said, "This is the first time "Green Police Guides" will be enrolled for the security and assistance of tourists."
He said the "Green Policeman" would be provided with a monthly honorarium of Rs one thousand, uniform and ID cards to distinguish them from others.
Reddy said the tourism budget which was Rs 16 crore two years ago has been raised to Rs 223 crore this year. The state has attracted Rs 1,500 crore private investment in the field of tourism during the last one year.
Noting that the state has some surprises waiting for a traveller at virtually every turn, the tourism minister of Karnataka said, "The state is home to two World Heritage Sites, 44 major monuments, five National Parks and 21 Wildlife Sanctuaries."
In an effort to attract tourists, the state has introduced Golden Chariot, a luxurious train, taking the tourists on a 7-day journey back in times, covering several historic spots including Hampi, Pattadakal and Mysore Palace.
Jagdish Chander, Director, India Tourism in the UK, said that there was a vast scope for developing eco-tourism in India.