The government has initiated many projects to attract tourists to the state but a number of these are stuck in limbo.
Tourism minister Sunil Kumar told The Telegraph that his department would not initiate any new project or plan, and would concentrate on the completion of several projects it has already announced. “Work on many projects has stopped because of lack of interest and improper monitoring. This came to light after a review was conducted,” he said.
In different districts, money has been sent for projects but not utilised.
The projects have not been started in some cases, and in others, the pace of work is very slow. The tender has been awarded to contractors in some cases but the work has not started.
“If this continues like this, it will turn into a major problem,” said Kumar, adding that the local administration of different districts was responsible for the quandary.
One of the incomplete projects of the tourism department is the beautification of the four ghats in Patna. The work on the project had started back in 2010 and should have been completed by now, sources said. Last year, the department had announced that a ferry service would be started in the Ganga near Patna. But this plan, too, has not moved forward.
There was also a plan to hire trained tour guides in all the major tourist centres of the state. But guides have been appointed only for a few tourism destinations. Work is yet to start on the construction of a replica of Dilli Haat in Rajgir and Nalanda. While the projects languish, experts believe it is a bad sign for the sector. An industrialist, who did not want to be named, said: “On April 29, the chief minister will chair a meeting of bigwigs in the hospitality sector in Rajgir. The timely completion of projects is essential to boost the sector to attract tourists and bring investments to the state.”
The minister said: “The district administration does not co-operate with the tourism department in some cases. For a district magistrate, construction of roads and law and order are priorities and understandably so. But for most of them, tourism comes at the last. Hence, monitoring of tourism projects by the district administration is not taking place properly.”
So the department will now focus on finishing the incomplete projects. “Once the projects are completed or the work flow becomes smooth, the department will start to thinking of new projects,” the minister said.