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Thrust on ecotourism as Himachal cabinet okays new policy

The new policy lays special emphasis on ecotourism, agro-organic tourism, snow tourism, lake tourism, adventure tourism, religious tourism, cultural and heritage tourism
Hindustan Times, Shimla | By HT Correspondent, Shimla
PUBLISHED ON SEP 16, 2019 11:18 PM IST

The state cabinet on Monday approved the draft of new Himachal Pradesh Tourism Policy-2019, which focuses on the comprehensive development of tourism in the hill state.

The meeting was chaired by chief minister Jai Ram Thakur.

The new policy lays special emphasis on ecotourism, agro-organic tourism, snow tourism, lake tourism, adventure tourism, religious tourism, cultural and heritage tourism. Apart from this, the policy also takes into account health and wellness tourism, film tourism and MICE tourism (Meeting Travel, Incentive Travel, Conference Travel and Exhibition Travel).

The policy aims at diversifying tourism activities through theme-based development, safeguarding tourist destinations in the state through sustainable interventions, benefit host communities, develop quality human resource and capacity building. It also envisages safe and secure tourism and create enabling environment for investments.

The state cabinet also approved ‘Capital Investment Subsidy’ for tourism projects in remote areas and grant for access of roads and water supply to tourism units. A consent to include 428 gram panchayats of 10 districts under the integrated development projects for source sustainability and climate resilient rain-fed agriculture was also approved during the meeting.

The project, sponsored by the department of economic affairs, aims at sustainable development of natural resources available in forest areas adjoining agriculture land of these panchayats.

The cabinet also approved the draft policy for buying back non-recyclable plastic waste and various kinds of single-use plastics including bags.

The policy proposes a minimum support price of 75 per kg to be paid to ragpickers and individuals from households for collecting and depositing the plastic waste to urban local bodies to ensure cleanliness.

A decision was also taken to nominate the senior-most lecturers as vice-principals in government senior secondary schools.  

The cabinet also decided to procure and distribute 9,700 laptops to meritorious students of Class 10 and 12 under the Srinivasa Ramanujan Student Digital Yojana for 2017-18 and 2018-19.

A nod was given to enhance the financial assistance being provided to the Second World War veterans from 3,000 to 10,000 per month and for their widows from 3,000 to 5,000.

The Cabinet also approved the implementation of ‘Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam’ scheme, to link sentiments of the communities to foster their commitment to nurturing both the girl child and plants.

An approval was given to fill up 17 posts of drug inspectors through direct recruitment on contract basis in the department of health safety and regulations to combat the problem of sub-standard medicines and regulate conditions of licenses in sales as well as manufacturing premises.

The cabinet also gave a nod to declare the Yamuna Sharad Mahotsav at Paonta Sahib in Sirmaur district as a state-level fair.

The cabinet also decided to fill up 22 vacant posts of junior office assistant (IT) in Himachal Pradesh public works department on contract and seven posts of Himachal Pradesh Forest Services (HPFS) through direct recruitment.

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