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Amritsar will emerge as tourism capital of north India soon: Navjot Singh Sidhu

The minister said the government is planning to spend more than Rs 800 crore for providing world-class facilities for tourists coming to the city.

punjab Updated: Jun 18, 2018 13:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Amritsar,tourism,north India
Local bodies and tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu with officials of the tourism promotion board at the Partition Museum in Amritsar on Sunday. (HT Photo)

Punjab tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said here on Sunday that Amritsar will soon emerge as tourism capital of north India as his department has come up with a plan to spend more than Rs 800 crore for providing world-class facilities, including a five-day itinerary to visit 18 tourist destinations of Punjab, to the tourists coming here.

Sidhu, accompanied by officials of the Punjab tourism board, visited Punjab StateWarHeroes’ Memorial-cum-Museum, Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Heritage Street, Partition Museum, Durgiana Temple, Gobindgarh Fort, Ranjit Palace, Moran bridge and the Attari border to assess the tourism potential of these tourist destinations.

Sidhu said his department has already got a Rs 590-crore grant and ₹200 crore is expected to be received from the central government very soon. “We will spend this money to provide international level facilities to tourists coming to Amritsar,” he said.

He said to attract a greater number of tourists to the holy city, the department is planning to offer them one-to-five-day trip from Amritsar to around 18 tourist destinations of Punjab. He said besides historical places of Amritsar, Tarn Taran’s Harike Pattan, Kapurthala’s Darbar Hall, Science City, Jang-e-Aazadi museum, and SBS Nagar’s Khatkar Kalan village (Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s village) will be covered in the trip. “After the success of this plan, the tour package will be increased to seven days covering other tourist destinations of the state,” he said.

“We don’t want people to just come here and go back. Short tours do not benefit the local community. Longer stay of tourists means more business for locals. This helps us get foreign exchange and generate jobs,” he said.

Sidhu said Amritsar’s Town Hall will also be converted into a food street akin to Lahore’s food street where Amritsar’s 146 delicacies, including Ram Laddu, Kuje Di Lassi, Jalebi, Kahne Diyan Purian, will be offered to domestic and international tourists.

However, a similar project, Punjab’s first night food street, Urban Haat, set up on the lines of Lahore’s famous food street, has failed to attract customers.

Sidhu visits Durbar Hall, Moorish mosque in Kapurthala

Local bodies and tourism minister Navjot Singh Sidhu reviewed the ongoing repair work at the 126-year-old Durbar Hall and Moorish Mosque here on Sunday.

The renovation of the Durbar Hall, built by Maharaja Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala, has missed several deadlines in the past years. The work was started by the state government in July 2015 .

The renovation project worth Rs 5 crore is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the department of cultural affairs, Punjab.

The minister asked the private firm to complete the work as soon as possible.He said, “Jagatjit Palace and Darbar Hall will be developed as tourist spots.”

He said that the state government will soon improve the dilapidated condition of the Sainik School here. He said that the state government would allot 100 acres of land for the school and bear the cost of construction of the new school building.

First Published: Jun 18, 2018 13:39 IST