Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) [India], September 27 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath emphasized the state's commitment to fostering green investments and harnessing tourism opportunities and said that efforts are being made to exclusively introduce electric vehicle services (e-bus and e-rickshaw) at key tourist destinations.
"There should be no movement of vehicles running on diesel or petrol. Private operators will be encouraged for this," he added. The Chief Minister was addressing the function organized at Yogiraj Baba Gambhirnath Auditorium on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
During this, the CM inaugurated the exhibition based on tourist places of Uttar Pradesh, released 'A to Z' booklet based on tourist places of Uttar Pradesh, distributed kits to the members of Youth Tourism Club and honored the leading tourism entrepreneurs of Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said,"This year, the theme of World Tourism Day is 'Tourism and Green Investment'. This initiative will not only enhance the overall environment but also create a serene and uplifting atmosphere for visitors. We should plan the development of tourist destinations so that no electricity is provided by generators, and we should install solar lighting. Make plans to complete the area's green energy electrification."On the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Chief Minister extended his greetings to all and emphasized the transformative power of tourism, which introduces fresh perspectives and lifestyles. He highlighted the need to unlock the multitude of possibilities within tourism to infuse enthusiasm and excitement into the lives of every citizen.
"If we look at India or Uttar Pradesh from the tourism point of view, two primary categories emerge: religious and entertainment. Both types of tourism form a vital part of the ecosystem, with one rooted in faith and the other offering entertainment and information," the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister remarked that when considering Uttar Pradesh, it's challenging to find a place elsewhere in the world as culturally rich and spiritually significant as this state.
The Chief Minister said that in the last one year, over 30 crore tourists visited different holy places from religious point of view in Uttar Pradesh. "This 30 crore is not just a number; an entire ecosystem is hidden behind it. This would have provided employment to people associated with vehicle movement, flower, prasad sellers, hotel, Dharamshalas, and restaurant businesses, among many others, and their livelihood would have been enriched," he said.
CM Yogi noted that during the month of Sawan alone, approximately two crore devotees made pilgrimages to Baba Vishwanath at Kashi Vishwanath Dham. This marked a significant increase in visitor numbers compared to previous years.
He attributed this growth to the improved facilities at various sacred sites, including the birthplace of Lord Shri Ram in Ayodhya, Mathura-Vrindavan, and Maa Vindhyavasini Dham.
CM Yogi said that the cruise is going to be operated very soon in Ramgarhtal, a location that, just six years ago, was notorious for crime and considered unsafe. He also directed the administration to develop an action plan for introducing a sea plane service, with take-offs and landings from a floating jetty on theTal (lake).
"This development will provide opportunities for people to celebrate birthdays and conduct auspicious ceremonies aboard the forthcoming cruise," he said.
The Chief Minister emphasized the collective responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and beauty at tourist destinations. He urged individuals not to litter, especially by spitting paan or gutka, and to refrain from discarding plastic items.
He highlighted that litter can be carried by the wind, endangering livestock and causing blockages in drains that contribute to diseases such as dengue, encephalitis, chikungunya, and malaria.
Maintaining cleanliness not only preserves the area's reputation but also invites positive remarks from visitors and outsiders.
"Therefore, do not spread filth yourself, nor allow others to spread it," he said.
CM Yogi highlighted the remarkable transformation of Ramgarhtal in Gorakhpur, stating that just five to six years ago, it was a place people avoided. However, today, from 5 pm to midnight, it attracts 15,000 to 20,000 visitors and their guests who come to enjoy tourism activities.
The inclusion of boating has not only provided livelihoods for boatmen, but has also created opportunities for approximately 200 street vendors to earn their living. The Chief Minister emphasized that Uttar Pradesh offers a plethora of eco-tourism sites alongside its rich spiritual tourism destinations.
The Chief Minister said that the government is improving connectivity to develop the potential in the tourism sector. "Express highways and four lanes have been constructed. Air connectivity has strengthened. Till 2017, only two airports were operational in Uttar Pradesh; today, nine airports are operational. 12 new airports are about to become operational," he informed.
The Chief Minister emphasized the importance of multilingual signage at tourist destinations, suggesting that signage be displayed not only in the local language, but also in the languages of states or countries from which a significant number of tourists originate.
He proposed that local youth be trained as guides and equipped with basic information in these languages. Additionally, he advocated for travel and accommodation information to be made available in the languages commonly spoken by tourists.
Furthermore, CM Yogi encouraged the promotion of employment opportunities through home stays in the tourism sector. He also recommended the establishment of businesses focused on crafting incense sticks, perfumes, and incense from flowers offered in temples, with the waste from this process being repurposed for composting.
The Chief Minister pointed out that Gorakhpur possesses the potential to emerge as a hub for spiritual and heritage tourism. From a spiritual perspective, the city is home to the Geeta Press, while the Gorakhnath Temple holds significant religious importance. In terms of eco-tourism, the region offers attractions such as Ramgarh Lake.
Additionally, historical sites like Chaurichaura, which played a pivotal role in the freedom struggle, and Dohariya, known for its fighters, are being developed as heritage tourism destinations.
On this occasion, MP Ravi Kishan Shukla, Zila Panchayat President Sadhna Singh, Mayor Manglesh Srivastava, MLA Vipin Singh, Mahendrapal Singh, Vimlesh Paswan, Pradeep Shukla, MLC, and BJP State Vice President Dharmendra Singh, Mukesh Meshram were prominently present.
Earlier on Wednesday morning, the Chief Minister flagged off the buses of school youth tourism club members, Nehru Yuva Kendra volunteers, and media representatives from Gorakhnath Temple to visit the Mahaparinirvana site of Gautam Buddha in Kushinagar. (ANI)