The ruling Democratic Front government plans to sell 'Maharashtra
Tourism' as a brand by executing several major tourism projects
costing Rs.228 crore, Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister
Ajit Pawar said Monday, while presenting the state budget for the
2012-13 fiscal here.
The important projects to be taken up include development of the
world famous salt water Lonar Lake, Buldana district, formed by a
meteor and the Khas Plateau, known as Maharashtra's Valley of
Flowers in Satara district, besides setting up a world-class Sea
World and Theme Park in Sindhudurg district.
Announcing the budget proposals, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar
also said that approach roads to sea coasts and the existing
houseboat projects in Konkan region would be improved.
In addition, Pawar announced an outlay of Rs.176 crore under the
State Plan scheme, Rs.50 crore under Tribal Sub-Plan and Rs.10
crore under Special Component Plan for forest development and
Under these heads, Rs.8 crore has been proposed for the promotion
of tourism and eco-tourism while Rs.15 crore will be utilized for
establishing new zoos in Gorewada, near Nagpur and Goregaon, in
Another major tourist and academic spot, the Mahatma Gandhi
Ashram-Sevagram, near Wardha, would be equipped with new
facilities on the occasion of its 75th year this year.
Matheran, the famous vehicle-free hill station on the outskirts of
Mumbai will get a new monument dedicated to the great martyr, Bhai
Kotwal, at a cost of Rs.1 crore.
As part of cultural activities which are a major tourist
crowd-puller, Pawar assured necessary finances to undertake
various activities in six revenue divisions for organising film
festivals of Marathi and Hindi cinemas which have received awards,
organise seminars and related activities, as part of the ensuing
centenary of film industry in India, in May.
The government also proposes to launch a new scheme named after
Bharatratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, which would take up activities
like promoting classical music in the classical Gurukul
traditions, offer scholarships, organize festivals and awards with
an outlay of Rs.1.18 crore.
Since quick accessibility is a major requirement to boost tourism,
Pawar has proposed Rs.438 crore for civil aviation projects this
This would utilized for acquiring land to develop airports at
Shirdi, Rajgurunagar, Amravati, Kolhapur, Karad, and development
of runways and other works under the ongoing MIHAN project in