| Visitors in Bodh Gaya. Picture by Suman |
Patna, Aug. 10: If you are planning to visit places of tourism interest in Bihar this winter, go ahead with your plan without fear. A special force will be in place at the tourist spots to bail you out from any hassle.
If all goes well, the state tourism department will raise a tourist protection force within three months to ensure safety of tourists.
Five districts — Nalanda, Gaya, Vaishali, Patna and East Champaran — have been chosen for the deputation of the tourism protection force personnel in the first phase.
The selection has been made on the basis of the importance of the tourist spots and the inflow of visitors.
Each tourist spot in the chosen districts is likely to have five to 10 tourism protection force personnel.
A final call will be taken on the basis of the number of tourists visiting the site concerned.
Instead of taking personnel from the state security forces, the tourism department has decided to seek the services of security agencies for supplying the manpower to raise the tourism protection force.
A total of 250 personnel will be selected for the protection force. The appointments will be made on contract.
Tourism department principal secretary Rashmi Verma told The Telegraph: “Each of the selected personnel will undergo a two-week special training module. They will be briefed on practices they should follow while dealing with the tourists.”
The tourism protection force personnel will play the role of guides and ensure that tourists have a hassle-free visit.
In case of any security problem, they will help visitors approach the police.
Verma said: “The tourist protection force personnel will work in close association with the police so that they can help any tourist in case of trouble.”
The tourist protection force personnel will be equipped with mobile phones. Their numbers will be widely circulated so that tourists can contact them easily.
Verma said: “We expect to depute tourist protection force personnel in the chosen districts within the next three months.”
The proposal will soon be sent for cabinet approval.
Sources in the cabinet secretariat said the state government would take up the tourist protection force issue for cabinet approval soon. Once the elections are notified and the model code of conduct comes into force, the state government would not be able to give approval to the proposal for the tourist protection force.