If the tourism department has its way, the city will soon get a blueprint to develop new tourist spots. Tourism minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday asked the state Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) to hire private consultants to help draw up a master plan for developing tourism amenities and spots and conserving existing ones like city forts, caves and beaches.
Bhujbal also called for the setting up of a co-ordination committee made up of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner, city and suburban collector, Archaeology Survey of India officials and forest officials, who have a stake in the city and are involved in tourism activities.
“If one wants to improve the city’s tourism potential, then some serious thought has to be given on how to conserve existing sites. This requires dialogue between all the agencies,” said Bhujbal during the review meeting at the state secretariat.
Bhujbal suggested that water sports facilities like parasailing should be started on a pilot basis at Juhu and Versova beaches.
Ongoing projects and those on the anvil include restoration of Gilbert Hill, a heritage site at Andheri and forts such as Sewri, Mahim, Bandra and Mahakali caves.
During the review meeting, MTDC director Kiran Kurundkar said the agency expected co-operation from the BMC.
He suggested that a study group be formed under the BMC commissioner to advise and guide MTDC activities.
He also said that MTDC’s plans to set up a ‘Shilpagram’ (handicrafts village) on 15 acres of land at Andheri was pending despite funds from the Centre because the BMC had not handed over this plot to the agency.