By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 5 Sep: State’s Tourism, Culture and Religious Affairs Minister Satpal Maharaj has hinted at setting up of a Mela Authority to manage the state fairs and other fairs in the state. Speaking to select mediapersons at his residence, Maharaj said that the Mela Authority would be set up under the Culture Department. All the fairs held in the state whether state fairs or others would be brought under the jurisdiction of this authority, he stated. He also added that constitution of the Mela Authority would help availability of funds for various Yatras and fairs held in the state.
Maharaj said that setting up of the Mela Authority would also help improving facilities for the pilgrims and tourists at the Mela and Yatra sites. At present there were a large number of fairs and yatras being held across the state for which there was no provision of granting funds and the organisation of these fairs suffered due to lack of funds. Setting up of the Authority would help tackle this problem, he claimed. He informed that the Jagda fair at Mahasu temple, the Devidhura Mela, the Nanda Dev Raj Jat Yatra and even the Kanwad Yatra and the Kanwad Mela would be brought under the Authority and then these fairs could be organised in a better manner.
He informed that recently the Jagda mela organised at Hanol had been declared as a state fair and this would help improving the facilities there.
Maharaj also added that the government was also focussing on promoting tourism in border and remote areas like Om Parvat, Adi Kailash, Timmarsain Mahadev, Nelang, Nabhidang, Jadung and Kali temple at Indo-Nepal border.
The cabinet minister also said that the government would pursue the issue of relaxation of ASI norms to allow construction of infrastructure facilities at several ASI recognised sites. At present the rules did not permit any construction at the ASI recognised sites. This was negatively affecting the tourism, he claimed.