Tourism facilities at Atal Tunnel’s south portal likely to be delayed : The Tribune India

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Tourism facilities at Atal Tunnel’s south portal likely to be delayed

Land use frozen, TCP Dept’s approval needed for construction

Tourism facilities at Atal Tunnel’s south portal likely to be delayed

The Tourism Department had planned a cafeteria, selfie point and parking lot among other facilities at Dhundi near Atal Tunnel. file



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, May 10

The recent constitution of the Atal Tunnel Planning Area and freezing of the existing land use of this area, which includes revenue villages of Lahaul and Spiti district, is likely to delay the development of tourism facilities at the south portal of the tunnel at Dhundi.

The Tourism Department had chalked out a plan to build a cafeteria, parking lot, pavilion and selfie point among other facilities at a cost of Rs 6 crore on 4 bigha area.

It had also uploaded the FCA case of the land for providing the above mentioned facilities in this area in February. Now, it might have to seek an approval from the Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department, which will further delay the provisions of amenities. The target of the department and the administration was to prepare this site for the coming winter season so that people can get the facilities. However, now there was uncertainty over the amenities after the constitution of the Atal Tunnel Planning Area.

Kullu District Town Planner Rasik Sharma said the land use had been frozen in the area. He said a map of the area would be prepared to identify the existing structures. “I will have to take up the matter with the higher authorities regarding the approved project of the Tourism Department,” Rasik added.

District Tourism Development Officer Sunayna Sharma said the modalities would be known after the notification about the Atal Tunnel Planning Area. She said generally, post facto orders were not applicable on the already approved projects. “Only one objection remains to get the FCA clearance and this will be accomplished within a week. The structures will be constructed as per the norms of the TCP Department by recognised architects and even taking its approval will not be an issue,” she added.

A large number of hotels and homestays have come up in the Lahaul area to cater to the growing demands of the tourism industry. As such, the government felt the need to regulate construction activities as per the TCP Act, especially along highways and roads so that the possibility of further expansion does not get blocked. However, this might turn out to be a hurdle in developing basic amenities in the area.

#atal tunnel #Kullu #Lahaul and Spiti


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