From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Jun 14: Tourism and Environment Minister C P Yogeshwar has announced Covid relief of Rs 5,000 each to the Tourist Guides registered with the State Tourism Department.
The minister made the announcement during the review of the Tourism Department on the adverse impact of the Covid lockdown on the tourism sector in Bengaluru on Monday.
The Tourism Department has 384 registered Tourist Guides and all of them will be provided with cash relief of Rs 5,000 each.
The State Finance Department was holding discussions on granting Covid relief of Rs 3,000 each to the hotel workers and a government order was likely to be issued shortly, he said.
The meeting decided to hold the foundation stone laying ceremony for the construction of three star hotels from the Department at Vijayanagar, Hampi and Badami by the end of June.
The minister directed the officials to issue guidelines for the Tourism Policy and also with regard to grant of industry status to three star hotels by the end of this month.
Yogeshwar directed the officials to expedite work on starting heli-tourism, see-plane and water sports in all reservoirs in the State besides speedy execution of the work on ropeway project at Nandi Hills and other places. All the tourism projects proposed in the coastal and Kalyana Karnataka region must be completed in a time-bound manner, he said.
Earlier, the Karnataka Tourism Society office-bearers led by President K Shamaraj, Vice President Vineeth Verma and Secretary Mahalingaiah met the minister and submitted a memorandum on the problems and demands from the tourism sector.
Grant of Rs 3,000 each Covid cash relief to all drivers of tourist vehicles and suspension of motor vehicle taxes on all tourist vehicles for six months, waiver of the property tax, 50% reduction in the liquor licences fees and extending the time limit for paying the balance 50% till December along with concession in the electricity tariffs besides grant of industry status to all hotels in the State on par with Star hotels were among the major demands from the Society.
The Society also urged the minister to prevail upon the State Government to allow all hotels and restaurants to operate from June 21, when the extended lockdown period is scheduled to end.
It also wanted the government to consider sanctioning Covid relief to all the taxi drivers in the State, including Ola and Uber services, as the total number of drivers the State was 3.30 lakh.
State Tourism Department Secretary Pankaj Kumar Pande, Director Sindhu B Roopesh, KSTDC Managing Director Vijay Sharma and Managing Director of Jungle Lodges and Tourism Guest Houses Pushkar along with other officials attended the meeting.
After the meeting, the minister launched the vaccination drive organized by the Karnataka Tourism Society for the Tour Operators and Drivers at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat. He also promised to ensure that all those involved in the Tourism Sector were vaccinated on priority basis.