Govt Gears Up To Ramp Up Lahaul Infrastructure For Increasing Tourists

Shimla April, 12; Keeping in mind the tremendous increase in tourists inflow expected after the commissioning of Rohtang tunnel, School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) New Delhi has been asked to prepare the Master Plan for the tribal district of Lahaul Spiti. Even though it may take more than a year for the ambitious project which will facilitate all-weather connectivity keeping in mind the preparedness aspect, the Town and Country Planning department has roped in SPA to undertake this task.

The team from the SPA is expected to visit the district to prepare the Master Plan which will help in regulating construction activity and creation of facilities as per norms.The Tourism Department too had prepared a Perspective Policy in 2013 so that the infrastructure is accordingly created and strengthened once the tunnel is through. The Perspective Policy was prepared with technical assistance from the World Bank.

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As of now Lahaul Spiti is accessible only for six to eight months in a year, with a sizeable number of foreign tourists evincing keen interest in seeing the ancient Buddhist monasteries and cultural sites located here.“The fact that the Rohtang tunnel will result in a considerable increase in tourist inflow to Lahaul Spiti, we have assigned the task of preparing the Master Plan of the tribal district to SPA,” revealed Manisha Nanda, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development and Town and Country Planning.

Facilities for stay of tourists, parking, centre and above all roads which can handle the increased traffic volume will have to be in place before the Rohtang tunnel if officially thrown open.Considering the strategic importance of the Rohtang tunnel, the Centre is too keen that the tunnel is made operational at the earliest. However, limited working season and geographical constraints makes the project very challenging. The traffic on the Rohtang route is expected to increase tremendously, also because of the defence vehicles, for whom it will be a very reliable and safe route.

Many parts of Lahaul Spiti are witnessing unregulated haphazard construction which could spoil the pristine beauty of the district which is home to ancient Buddhist monasteries replete with antiques and many temples, depicting beautiful wood architecture. A large number of foreigners visit Tabo monastery and other areas in the vicinity. The Tourism Department has specially developed a special Buddhist circuit linking various places of interest, both in Lahaul Spiti and Kinnaur districts.

News Source Tribune India

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