NGO laments govt’s ‘indifferent’ attitude towards tourism in city

NGO laments govt’s ‘indifferent’ attitude towards tourism in city

Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, patron, AVM

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 15

A local NGO has expressed concerns over the ‘biased’ and ‘indifferent’ attitude of the Punjab government towards the development of tourism in Amritsar. Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) president Manmohan Singh Brar and patron Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala said Amritsar, which was the centre of tourism, was being ignored by the state government, which was more interested in Mohali.

They said according to figures of the state government, an increase of 27% in domestic tourists and 30% in international tourists was due to the holy city, which was contributing more than 90% of all tourists coming to the state. Amritsar receives one to two lakh tourists daily which no other city could boast of. The Amritsar airport, which crossed 25 lakh visitors in 2018-19 and would touch 30 lakh passengers in 2019-20, has direct air connectivity to London, Doha, Birmingham, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Sharjah and Tashkent. An incubation centre of the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) would become functional in the next six months, so the Punjab government should develop an IT park to attract more IT companies to the city. However, the government was developing IT park in Mohali and was least bothered to provide such facilities here, they said.

The city was hosting the 14th Punjab International Trade Expo, which created business of more than Rs200 crore every year. But the government was not serious about establishing a permanent exhibition centre for such trade fairs. The project was pending for the last 10 years, they said. The NGO said an international convention centre was an urgent requirement for the development of tourism in the city. A world-class tourism park consisting of aquarium, theme park, water sports, etc, should also be developed to keep tourists engaged for more days, said Gumtala.

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