Saturday, August 25, 2007

ADB conducts study for developing community based Sikkim tourism

Tharpu (West Sikkim), Aug 24: " A pre-feasibility study is being conducted by Asian Development Bank (ADB) to integrate Sikkim in a 500 million US dollar tourism scheme.The scheme is meant for promoting community based tourism infrastructure in India over the next five years. Besides the Sikkim circuit, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and one more circuit in India is being targeted for the ADB proposal, which is in the initial stages, said Mike Sharrocks, a special representative from the ADB and also the consultant for Union Ministry of Tourism.Speaking to UNI at Tharpu in West Sikkim, Mr Sharrocks said he was visiting Sikkim as a part of pre-feasibility study for the ADB scheme, which aims at promoting community based tourism. He said Sikkim fitted in the tourism circuit development measure and was being targeted as a gateway to Eastern India.West Bengal and Orissa are also a part of the Sikkim circuit, he said.After visiting Gangtok, Daramdin and other parts of Sikkim, Mr Sharrocks visited Tharpu yesterday where the 27th foundation day of Limboo Cultural Society were being observed with a cultural extravaganza. Lavishing praise on the unique Sikkimese cultural enormity and plurality presented at Tharpu, Mr Sharrocks said he hoped that Tharpu would also get a part of the ADB funding.He also interacted with the state tourism minister R B Subba at Tharpu. Tharpu, an emerging tourism spot is located near several tourism hotspots like Daramdin, Hee Bermoik and Soreng from where the popular Barsey trekking originates. The ADB representative highlighted the pristine environment, beautiful mountainous landscapes, strong cultural identity and peacefulness as the advantages of Sikkim.After his tour, a Project Preparatory Technical Assessment (PPTA) team would be visiting Sikkim to look into the selected projects in a more detailed manner, said Mr Sharrocks.
--- UNI