Centre grants Rs 10 cr for tribal tourism circuit in Telangana

Kuntala Waterfalls

The Union government has finally granted Rs 10 crore to the Tribal Welfare Department for creating the maiden tribal ecotourism circuit of Telangana, proposed three years ago.

The Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA)-Utnoor has begun the process of inviting bids from agencies to prepare a detailed project report for developing three tourist spots which are part of the circuit.

To give a fillip to the tourism sector, provide employment to aboriginal tribes and preserve their unique culture, the Union Ministry of Tourism envisaged to form a tribal ecotourism circuit for the first time in the State in 2017. Accordingly, authorities of the Tourism Department prepared proposals and sent the same to the Ministry, seeking its nod.

The circuit, which was proposed under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, begins at Dichpalli of Nizamabad district and connects popular tourist spots such as Shyamgarh Fort in Nirmal, Koratikal waterfalls, Kuntala waterfalls, Gayatri waterfalls, Utnoor Fort of Adilabad district, Sapthagundal waterfalls and Jodeghat Valley of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

A slew of wayside amenities, beautification of the attractions and introduction of adventure activities were planned at an estimated cost of Rs 141 crore with a State government’s share of Rs 20 crore.

“Recently, the Union government sanctioned Rs 9.96 crore for developing the ancient Utnoor Fort, creating a tribal village, comprising ethnic resort and eco-friendly cottages, at Kuntala village in Neradigonda mandal of Adilabad and giving a makeover to Sapthagundala waterfalls near Pittaguda village in Lingapur mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district. Applications were invited from agencies for expressing their interest to prepare DPRs relating to the circuit,” ITDA-Utnoor Project Officer Bhavesh Mishra told ‘Telangana Today’.

According to the IDTA authorities, the expressions of interest will be presented before a committee which would finalise an agency for developing and beautifying the tourist spots. The works will commence once this process is complete.

The three attractions would be able to draw tourists from different parts of the country soon. The remaining spots of the circuit would be developed in a phased manner, the officials said.
“Besides creating basic facilities and beautifying the spots, the focus can be laid on introducing activities and adventure sports such as rappelling, trekking, rafting, boating and kayaking. Local tribes must be trained in receiving tourists.

Ensuring safety and branding of the tourist spots will help draw the attention of the tourists belonging to not only Telangana but also neighbouring States,” K Ranga Rao, chairman of Adventure Club of Telangana, opined.

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