Integrated development of tourist facilities

13/01/2019

Over two years have lapsed since the sanctioning of the project by the Union Tourism Ministry under Swadesh Darshan Scheme yet integrated development of tourist facilities at Mantalai and Patnitop has yet not picked up the momentum Even full first instalment of Rs 19.58 crore has not been utilized by the implementing agency so far although release of remaining Rs 78 crore is linked to the timely submission of Utilization Certificates (UCs) to the Ministry of Tourism. A project for integrated development of tourist facilities at Mantalai, Sudhmahadev and Patnitop was sanctioned under Swadesh Darshan Scheme by the Union Government in the month of September 2016 with the approved cost of Rs 97.82 crore. Subsequently, in the same month administrative and financial sanction was accorded to the project and first instalment of Rs 19.58 crore was released to the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC) in September 2017.
However, work on different components of the project has yet not picked up the required momentum due to lack of cooperation between the NPCC and concerned authorities of the State Government, which is evident from the fact that procedural formalities including handing over of land to the NPCC was completed only in the recent past, sources informed. Against first instalment of Rs 19.58 crore, the project implementing agency has registered expenditure of Rs 15.17 crore till date and it would be only after submission of Utilization Certificates of full first instalment that Union Ministry of Tourism will release subsequent instalments of remaining nearly Rs 78 crore for which no time-frame can be specified in view of dilly-dallying work. On Tourist Facilitation Centre and other facilities at Mantalai, expenditure of Rs 1.35 crore in the shape of excavation, columns and shear wall up to ground floor slab level has been made so far. Similarly, an expenditure of Rs 3.74 crore has been made on raising of basic structure for eco log huts while as orders have been placed for other material. All this clearly indicates that integrated development of tourist facilities at Mantalai and Patnitop has yet not gained momentum and if the work on all the components is not geared up as early as possible there are remote chances of Government meeting the deadlines conveyed to the High Court.

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