Uttarakhand tourism minister Satpal Maharaj on Wednesday sought the Centre’s permission to open the Corbett National Park and popular shrines in the state to revive tourism.
“I have written to the Centre requesting them to allow the opening of Jim Corbett National Park and popular holy shrines in the state. It will help to revive the tourism in the state in a gradual manner which is important as the sector is our bread and butter,” Maharaj said.
Corbett National Park is a major wildlife tourism destination and a revenue earner for the Uttarakhand government. The park and the shrines have been closed since the lockdown began in March. Corbett is open for tourists from November 15 till June 15 and is normally shut during the monsoon.
Maharaj also announced that the state government will provide financial help of Rs 5,000 each to all the river rafting guides in Uttarakhand amid lockdown.
“There are about 560 river rafting guides registered with the government to whom we will provide a financial assistance of Rs 5,000 each. We have also waived off the yearly license renewal fees of river rafting and aero-sports firms in the state amid losses due to lockdown,” the minister said.
At present, the river rafting firms have to pay an annual fee of Rs 9,118 to the tourism department and Rs 3,038 to the forest department. Similarly, the aero sports firms have to pay an annual fee of Rs 7,500 every year.
River rafting on the Ganga normally takes place in Rishikesh and at other places further upstream.