Eco-Tourism: Bhadra, Gandhi Ashram to be walking zones by 2011

AHMEDABAD: The state government got serious about congestion and conservation issues and has declared a deadline of two years to turn the Bhadra Fort area and Sabarmati Ashram area into pedestrian zones.

This was announced by state minister for tourism Jay Narayan Vyas at the third edition of Gujarat Tourism Summit hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Saturday. Sabarmati Ashram is a big draw among foreign tourists and there have been several plans to turn it into a silence zone by diverting traffic.

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has already announced a Rs 50-crore project to develop Bhadra Plaza, stretching from the 600-year-old Bhadra Fort to Teen Darwaza, as a walking tour destination.

The current congestion at Bhadra will soon give way to a pedestrian walkway and ethnic food restaurants and is expected to become a cultural centre.

In his presiding address, Vyas said, “Gujarat has been achieving significant growth in tourist arrivals since 2005. This growth has been based on the promotion of events such as Vibrant Gujarat, Navratri festival, International Kite Festival and Modhera Dance Festival”.

CII has targeted 1 million international tourists and 41 million domestic tourists by 2015.

Vyas added that the government would invest Rs 500 crore at Ambaji and Saputara in coming three years and promote Ambaji as a pilgrimage centre comparable to Vaishnodevi and Tirupati.

During the summit, participants pointed out a few issues like need to establish more budget hotels, create special tourism zones, develop eco-tourism, theme-based tourism, rural tourism and night life.

Buddhist conference in Vadodara

The state government will host the International Buddhist Conference from January 15 to 17 in Vadodara to promote Buddhist tourism since Gujarat has some valuable relics of Lord Buddha, said state minister for tourism Jay Narayan Vyas.



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