Minister vows to develop Vijayapura as int’l tourist hub – Times of India

Vijayapura: The citizens of Vijayapura are expecting the city to get a facelift soon. Their hopes have been kindled with the recent visit of tourism minister HK Patil to the city and his announcement that the state will soon formulate a tourism policy and steps will be taken to develop Vijayapura as an international tourist hub and World Heritage City. Last week HK Patil visited various monuments in the city and held a meeting with officials at the DC office. Later he told the media that the government would formulate a new tourism policy and implement it within two months. The policy includes agricultural and educational tourism and will enable the poor families to visit tourist spots on weekends. The minister also announced that the government plans to make Vijayapura a world heritage site.Announcing that sound and light arrangements at Gol Gumbaz will be made in collaboration with private organisations, he said private parties will be involved in protecting and maintaining the historical monuments of the Adilshahi period. He directed the DC to notify the historical monuments in the district by January end.Given that HK Patil is considered as a proactive minister, the citizens are elated over these announcements, but the elderly people in the city are sceptical about Patil’s plans getting translated into action. Veteran journalist Gopal Naik expressed apprehension over minister HK Patil’s mission becoming a reality. Naik said several ministers in the past have assured of developing Vijayapura into an international tourist hub but nothing concrete has been done. “The government does not release the funds and due to lack of funds the officials ignored the protection and development works,” Naik said. He recalled that during M Veerappa Moily’s tenure as the finance minister from 1980-81, the then Bijapur deputy commissioner J N Choubey had stated at a press conference that Rs 40 lakh had been sanctioned for constructing roads to connect the monuments and people had believed it. “The funds were never released,” he said. “It is doubtful whether the state government which is now deeply engrossed in augmenting funds for fulfilling five guarantees will provide money for tourism development,” said another senior citizen Niganagouda Patil. “It will be really nice if HK Patil gets funds released for the implementation of the tourism policy. But getting funds will be a challenge,” he said.Vijayapura has 110 monuments “protected” by ASI and they were enlisted in 1914. The monuments are classified as defence architecture, religious, water systems and domestic architecture. However, the continued indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned has resulted in several centrally-protected monuments including the world-famous Gol Gumbaz in Vijayapura being encroached upon and facing their decimation.

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