The Telegraph
Friday , October 5 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ethnic halo to dawn on deprived dam
Plans afoot for Hatia resort inspired by Chokhi Dhani

The rapturous ripples of Ranchi’s Hatia Dam can be every zealous traveller’s muse and yet this potential tourist hotspot has suffered years of abuse and neglect. Not anymore, the Jharkhand government has promised itself.

The state tourism department is going the whole hog to transform the ideal — but nevertheless idle — acres around the picturesque reservoir into a pastoral utopia, modelled much like Jaipur’s famous Chokhi Dhani or “fine hamlet”, which has been awarded India’s most innovative tourism project for its fascinating fusion of the modern and the ethnic.

If senior officials in the department are to be believed, a detailed project report in this regard is in its final stages and will be followed by technical sanctions to set Jharkhand’s first rustic resort rolling.

State tourism director Siddharth Tripathi confirmed that the plan was on the drawing board.

“Jaipur’s Chokhi Dhani embodies the true spirit of ethnic tourism. It boasts modern amenities without tampering with a village resort’s rustic charm. We have been thinking on similar lines. We want to help tourists rediscover their experience at Hatia Dam. When they go they will go only with the desire to come here again,” he said.

Tripathi said the project was being undertaken by ITDC. Admitting that the potential getaway was currently nothing less than an eyesore — a sorry and sad situation highlighted by The Telegraph several times in the past — he promised “full state co-operation at all levels and not just one department”.

“When we had leased out the place, it was beauty and serenity personified. But, the agency entrusted with its upkeep failed to maintain the reservoir area. To my knowledge, the DPR is almost in place. Work will begin soon,” the tourism director added.

So, what exactly is Hatia Dam’s bright future?

A department official, preferring anonymity, said that Jharkhand’s first resort inspired by the 5-star Chokhi Dhani will boast modern lounges for corporate and family get-togethers, fitness centres, indigenous and multi-cuisine restaurants, spas and fun and recreation zones amid the state’s ethnic opulence.

Big plans call for big money. But, state tourism officials underscored that funds weren’t a problem.

“The project will be directly sponsored by the Union government. All that needs to be taken into account is whether the state and the Centre are on the same page for successful execution of this ambitious plan,” an official added.

So, when will Hatia Dam bask in this glory?

Senior ITDC official A.B. Kumar, who is monitoring the project, expressed his inability to project a deadline. “It all depends on how fast things move. After the DPR is submitted, seeking technical sanctions and selecting an agency among other things take time in a government set-up. But yes, everyone concerned is dedicated to this job and the DPR work is well-paced,” Kumar offered hope.

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