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Posted at: Nov 15, 2016, 12:50 AM; last updated: Nov 15, 2016, 12:50 AM (IST)

Decks cleared for mini-cruise at Pong Dam

BBMB gives its nod | Attraction first of its kind in North India | 10 boats have already been purchased

Rs 3.5 cr to promote the Pong Dam circuit

  • In its bid to promote the Pong Dam and offer good stay facilities to visitors, the Forest Rest House located at the Ransar island has also been refurbished and given a facelift.
  • The government has been making all efforts to promote the Pong Dam circuit and attract tourists.
  • A sum of over Rs 3.50 crore has already been spent onpromoting the Pong Dam circuit
  • Though the water reservoir at Pong holds great potential for water sport the absence of proper stay facilities is hampering its growth.

About the dam

  • The Pong Dam, also known as the Beas Dam, is an earth-fill embankment dam on the just upstream ofTalwara in Himachal
  • The purpose of the dam is water storage for irrigation and hydro power generation. As the second phase of the Beas Project, construction on the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1974
  • At the time of its completion, the Pong Dam was the tallest of its type in India
  • The lake created by the dam, Maharana Pratap Sagar, became a renowned bird sanctuary.
Decks cleared for mini-cruise at Pong Dam
Efforts are on to link the Kangra tourist circuit with the Pong Dam. File Photo

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 14

Decks have been cleared for start of a mini cruise at the Pong Dam reservoir in Kangra with the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) giving its nod for the launch of the attraction, which will be the first of its kind in North India.

Though the Asian Development Bank (ADB) had already approved a sum of over Rs 6 crore for the purchase of the mini cruise in the absence of a nod from the BBMB, the ambitious projects of the department of Tourism and Civil Aviation had been pending. The department is now in the process of finalizing the formalities pertaining to tender process for purchase of the eco-tourism boat, which will have a deck and a restaurant and can accommodate about 50 persons.

“The BBMB authorities at a meeting with the Tourism Department officials on November 8 have agreed for launch of the eco-tourism boat at the Pong Dam,” conformed VC Pharka, Chief Secretary, who is also holding the portfolio of Tourism and Civil Aviation. The government is hopeful that the launch of the cruise service will help attract tourists, especially from Punjab, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir to the Pong Dam area which has immense potential for water sports. The department has in fact given a facelift to the restaurant of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) at the Ransar island located in the Pong Dam.

In its bid to promote the Pong Dam and offer good stay facilities for visitors, the Forest Rest House located at the Ransar island has also been refurbished and given a facelift. However, it is still not certain whether the Rest House will be run by the HPTDC or the Forest Department.

The government has been making all out efforts to promote the Pong Dam circuit and attract tourists. A sum of over Rs 3.50 crore has already been spent on promoting the Pong Dam circuit and 10 boats have also been purchased for the entertainment of tourists. Though the water reservoir at Pong holds great potential for water sports the absence of proper stay facilities was hampering its growth.

Efforts are on to link the Kangra tourist circuit with the Pong Dam and also develop the site of the monolithic temple at Masrur, which is amongst one of the few such temples in the entire country.

The department is hoping that the launch of the mini-cruise will prove be a major attraction and help increase tourist influx.

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