A spokesman of Tourism Department said that Infrastructure Development Investment Progam for Tourism (IDIPT) envisages an environmentally and culturally sustainable and socially inclusive tourism development of Himachal Pradesh. He said that the project uses a sector loan approach through a multi-tranche financing facility modality likely in five tranches planned from 2011-2020. The expected impact of the project is sustainable and inclusive tourism development, in priority, State tourism sub circuits divided into marketable cluster destinations that exhibit enhanced protection and management of key natural and cultural heritage tourism sites, improved market connectivity, enhanced destination and site environment and tourist support infrastructure and enhanced capacities for sustainable destination and site development with extensive participation by the private sector and local communities.
He said that the project implementation falls under the components of Urban Infrastructure and Service Improvement, Connectivity Improvement, Quality Enhancement of Natural and Cultural Attractions, Community based activities and Capacity Development Community Participation and Project Management. He said that under the project two information centres are being developed, one at Pong Dam and second at the Masroor for the entire Pong Dam area. In addition to the above, one more information centre was already being separately established at Nainpukhar alongwith the office of the Project Implementation Unit, which will be monitoring the execution work of the ADB funded project in the area.
Spokesman added that development of the Pong Dam region was to leverage on the existing tourism/ pilgrim circuit from Chintpurni and Kangra/Dharamshala side. This integration of the pilgrimage circuit and the Pong Dam sanctuary region will enhance the western tourism circuits in Himachal Pradesh and will lead to extended stay in the region providing additional socio-economic opportunities to the residence of the Pong region.
The spokesman said that the circuit of Pong Dam area includes the project components at Kangra, Masroor (Conservation and restoration of Rock cut Masroor temple, Information Centre and Parking facilities at Masroor ), Pong Dam (Rest House and Camping at Dhameta, Nagrota and Suriyan, Information Centre, Parking and toilet facilities, Camping Site, Jetty development, landscape and signages, etc.) including the Islands of Ranser and Karu (Jetty Development, Rest House improvement, Treks including landscaping and signages and Watch towers). He said that skill development activities were also envisaged as part of the project, which would generate employment opportunities e.g. eco guides, boat operation, support infrastructure/services etc.