The Board of Directors of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited (HPTDC) have approved the 100% payment of balance arrears in respect of revision of pay scales to its employees and leave encashment on revised pay scales to post-2006 retirees. The liability on account of above arrears on HPTDC will be Rs.2.95 crore. This was disclosed by Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister and Chairman HPTDC in 129th meeting of the Board of Directors here last evening.

Chief Minister informed that five luxury coaches worth Rs. 1.30 crore will be added to the existing fleet of four Volvos and 15 deluxe buses of Transport Wing by the 2nd week of April 2012 which will ply on Manali-Rohtang Pass route to reduce the traffic congestion of this region. This will also increase the efficiency of the Transport Wing of the Corporation and provide better facilities to the tourist visiting Himachal Pradesh especially to Manali region.

Prof. Dhumal further said that the performance of the Corporation for the period from 1st April, 2011 to 29th February, 2012 was reviewed and discussed in detail in the meeting. He expressed his happiness for achieving a turnover of Rs. 65.07 crore by the Corporation thus registering an increase of 5.57 percent as compared to the last year’s performance. Apart from this, approval for filling up the posts lying vacant in different categories under direct recruitment quota was also reported to have been approved by the BoD.

Chief Minister directed the Department of Tourism and HPTDC to make a proposal to have an International Convention Facility at Tourist Complex Kiarighat which would be a mega tourist destination project having the provision of big conference hall, tourist mart, parking and staying facilities. The project would cost around Rs. 20 crore to be sent to the Government of India for approval. Dhumal further said that a unique project on Sky Bus in and around Manali was also explored which will go a long way in promoting tourism and providing much needed facility to the tourists visiting Manali area.

Prof. Dhumal said that the State Government was exploring possibilities of erecting escalators in capital town of Shimla in coordination with the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, especially to connect the new Inter State Bus Terminal with old bus stand to facilitate commuters travelling to and fro the town. He underlined the need for upgradation of the professional services by upholding the high traditions of Himachali hospitality.

Lokender Chauhan, Managing Director, welcomed the Chief Minister, and apprised him of the activities of the Corporation besides conducting proceedings of the meeting. Gobind Thakur, MLA, Prof. S.P.Bansal, Head Department of Tourism Management, HP University, non-official members, Rajwant Sandhu, Chief Secretary, Dr. Shrikant Baldi, Principal Secretary Finance, Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Dr. Arun Sharma, Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Yogesh Behl, General Manager, HPTDC, were present in the meeting.