By Ashoke Raj
New Delhi (India), July 27 (ANI): The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture on Tuesday submitted a report to the Parliament making suggestions and some important highlights in the field of Tourism-Culture and Aviation Committees.
The report after taking up for examination the Potential of Tourist Spots in the Country- Connectivity and Outreach|| for examination emphasised ways to create employment, better connectivity and infrastructure in the said sector including the redevelopment of tourist spots.
The Committee has been informed that the Ministry of Tourism has identified 15 themes under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS) for the development of theme based circuits. As on date, Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned 75 projects across 31 States/Union Territories for an amount of Rs.5865 Crore under the SDS of which an amount of Rs.3877 Crore has been released for implementing the projects.
The committee said it has found 295 places in the country, which can be promoted as tourist spots and whose infrastructure can be developed to attract more tourists.
The committee has mentioned a proposal to develop sustainable tourism in the Himalayan region under the January 2015 launched SDS, which is a scheme planned for the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits for the development of tourism infrastructure in the country.
The House panel cited a report by Niti Aayog in which tourism in the Indian Himalayan region has experienced continued growth and increasing diversification over the last few decades and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 7.9 per cent from 2013 to 2023.
"Keeping in view the tourist potential in the area the committee recommends that tourist sites under the Himalayan circuit of Sudesh Darshan scheme should be developed on priority basis with modern infrastructure and other connectivity to boost both domestic and international tourism," the Committee report suggested
The committee said it will recommend the development of sites be done on a priority basis and with a clear project implementation timeline to ensure completion of projects and that all stakeholders have the potential to attract both international and domestic tourists.
Rajya Sabha MP TG Venkatesh, who is also chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Culture told ANI: "Before presenting the report in Parliament, we have discussed many times with many leaders of political parties and have suggested an important aspect in the report."
"Our committee is like a mini parliament and we have several experts along with political leaders from different parties who have suggested key issues in the report. We have mentioned in the report how to develop infrastructure in the field of tourism and aviation sector and how to generate employment through pilot training institute, MRO for airlines in India," said Venkatesh,
The committee members suggested that the number of pilots in India is not as per the demand, and stressed the need to develop a pilot training institute at every airport or near the airport so that more pilots can be produced in the country.
"Keeping in view the growth in the Indian aviation industry and shortage of pilots faced in India, the committee recommends that the ministry should give serious thought to setting up a new institute for pilot training and to revamp the existing ones by providing modern simulators and also augment the capacity intake of students in the existing institutes. The committee recommends that the ministry issued officials setting up pilot training institute adjusting to the airport, at least in one airport in its state. The ministry should also take necessary steps to ensure that a sufficient number of trainers are made available by offering incentives which would attract them to this field," the Committee's suggestion read.
The Committee chairman also stressed, "In the coming days, a pilot training institute is coming up in Kannur (Andhra Pradesh). Kannur has a small airstrip which the pilot training institute can take advantage of, for pilot training."
Venkatesh said that several members of the committee have suggested that the airports in India should install high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for air-conditioning amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"The plane already has a HEPA filter, but, the airport and its lounges does not. So, the airport should HEPA filter air conditioners at airports to avoid the risk of deadly COVID-19 virus," said the Committee chairman.
The Committee under the Chairmanship of Venkatesh also suggested regularly monitoring the progress of sites under the PRASHAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive) scheme.
"The Committee feels that the progress of implementation of sites under PRASHAD scheme needs to be monitored regularly through a dedicated mechanism to ensure that there is no time overrun and cost escalation. The committee notes that the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic hampered the construction activities under the PRASHAD scheme," added the Committee report. (ANI)