Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Thursday directed the Tourism department to come out with a comprehensive report with regard to identification and development of tourist spots in the state and take necessary approvals for the sector's growth. The Chief Minister on Thursday chaired a review meeting regarding tourism projects in the state with Tourism Minister C T Ravi, Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar and senior officials. An official release from the Chief Minister's office said, Yediyurappa during the meeting gave consent for taking necessary decisions on clearing hurdles in developing tourism spots that have been identified, after holding necessary discussions, as he directed the department to submit a proposal with necessary amendments. The Tourism Minister during the meeting requested the Chief Minister to depute officials by identifying districts that have tourism potential, and highlighted that without officials it has become difficult to even hold review meetings. He suggested that in districts that have tourism potential, Karnataka Administrative Services (KAS) officials can be given additional responsibility. Encouraging tourism should be the aim of the department, the Chief Minister said, identification of tourism spots, their management and protection should be the priority. Projects taken up should be completed and only then can we expect a new era in the development of tourism in the state, he told officials. Noting that a development project at the world famous Jog falls at cost of Rs 120 crore will be implemented by Karnataka Power Corporation Limited, Additional Chief Secretary P Ravikumar, said at the meeting that by the end of this month things will be finalised. The state cabinet on September 3 had decided to improve tourist amenities at Jog falls in Shivamogga district like ropeway, amphitheatre and children's park, and has approved Rs Rs 120 crore to Karnataka Power Corporation Limited for this purpose. It had also decided to cancel the contract earlier given to BRS Ventures for Rs 450 crore in 2016 to develop Jog falls area, as no work had happened. The Tourism Minister also suggested to the CM at the meeting to hand over the responsibility of comprehensive development of famous tourism spots like Kemmangundi and Nandi hills to the department. At the meeting, discussions also took place regarding development of Badami, the release said stating that as the destination attracts lots of foreign tourists, to provide world class amenities there- the APMC land can be handed over to Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) for developing parking and other amenities. The discussions also included developing Srirangapatna and Mysuru Haat. The state had recently unveiled its new Tourism policy, which aims to generate over 10 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the sector and Rs 5,000 crore in investments by 2025. With the new policy, the government aims to increase the contribution of tourism from 14.8 per cent to 20 per cent of GSDP by 2025.
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