Mangalore, September 9: Mr R V Deshpande, minister for tourism and higher education, headed a Costal tourism meeting, on Monday September 8th at Hotel Ocean Pearl here and emphasised on the need for relaxing provisions under Costal Regulatory Zone (CRZ) and the minster expressed hope for relaxation of these norms by the central government in order to facilitate development of areas close to beaches with a vision of revitalising beach tourism.
The state government took the lead to put forth the request to the union government to ease the CRZ regulations that come in the way of developing the beaches. He said a team deputed by the central government had visited three states, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala in connection with this request. Karnataka has identified 44 beaches as well as some islands as having rich potential for development of costal tourism and submitted the request to union ministry of environment and forests.
He expressed optimism at the meeting that the CRZ would be relaxed to develop the coast. He pointed out that according to prevailing norm of CRZ, development of beaches up to a distance of 200 metres from high tide point cannot be taken up. Karnataka government had asked the ministry to amend the norms by reducing this distance to 50-100 metres for integrating infrastructure, he revealed.
He even made a remark at the meeting that one cannot expect the government to do everything on its own, adding that participation of people in development measures of the government is of utmost importance. He obliquely urged the private players to come forward to develop tourism in the coastal districts in on public-private participation model, while district in charge minister responded by commenting that local people here are prepared to move two steps ahead in developing the region if the state moves one step.
Mr Deshpande said that, he would concentrate on training skilful guides in tourism sector. He expressed that skilled guides are meagre on the ground and a comprehensive teaching would solely strengthen the quality of guides. He explained that for the convenience of tourists, the trainees under this programme will be taught to converse in different languages. He revealed that, post training; they would carry on their work on their own and the state government will not be providing them any salary.