KOHIMA, FEBRUARY 16: The State Government has been trying to promote tourism with pitiable infrastructure and without manpower for the last 4 decades.
The Committee on Estimates of Nagaland Legislative Assembly in its 144th Report regretted that the Tourism Department, in spite of its existence for over 4 decades, could not establish full-fledged functional offices in the districts and poor infrastructure, and suggested that the Department should have a decentralised functional set up and the necessary infrastructure and the basic amenities to meet the needs of the tourists.
“Therefore the Committee recommends that funds should be sourced and utilised more on building of infrastructure. The Department may undertake a review of the funding pattern and if felt necessary should be streamlined more effectively. This is imperative for the promotion of tourism industry in the State”, it stated.
It also took note of the shortage of staff, as the district officers are functioning only with a Tourist Officer without the support of subordinate staff.
Further, the Committee stated that once the State Government approves its proposal for creation, the Department should recruit and deploy the required staff in all districts for the better functioning of officers.
“The Committee is dismayed to note that the post of tourist guide has been completely abolished during the cadre review by the State Government. The Department should address the problem by introducing State certified Tourism Guides in every district and other places of tourist interest. The certified local tour guides will be able to guide the visitors properly in introducing and interpreting the culture and natural heritage of the area”, the Committee stated.
The Committee appreciated the Department for enacting guidelines and rules to ensure safety and security for the tourists. It also appreciated the Department for introducing Tourist Police for the Hornbill Festival and suggested that be provided throughout the year.
“The Committee regrets that Dimapur Tourist Lodge is the only district lodge run by the Department and the rest of the districts’ tourist lodges are being leased to the private sector. The Committee understands that due to shortage of manpower the Department is finding hard to run the entire tourist lodges. However the committee feels that the Department should find alternate ways by taking necessary steps and take over them and if required they should tie-up with the private parties and manage them as these are the only assets through which the Department can generate revenues”, the Estimate Committee recommended.
Further, the Committee observed that as more tourists flow into the State during the Hornbill Festival and there is a strain on the existing infrastructure and amenities, the Department should strive to maintain a broader perspective for any developmental projects meticulously in order to meet the need of the tourists.
The Committee has asked the Department to furnish the Action Taken Report on the Observation and Recommendations of the Estimate Committee within 3 months’ time.
(Page News Service)