K.J. Alphons, Union Minister for Tourism inaugurated the project “Development of North East Circuit: Rangpo– Rorathang- Aritar- Phadamchen- Nathang-Sherathang- Tsongmo- Gangtok-Phodong- Mangan- Lachung-Yumthang- Lachen- Thangu-Gurudongmer- Mangan- Gangtok-Tuminlingee- Singtam” in the presence of Ugen T. Gyatso, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Government of Sikkim in Gangtok, Sikkim yesterday.
The project implemented under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India was sanctioned by the Ministry in June 2015 for Rs. 98.05 Crores and is the first ever project in Sikkim under the scheme. Under this project, the Ministry has developed tourism infrastructure facilities like Tourist Information Centre, Meditation Centre, Organic Eco Tourism centre, Log Huts, Zip Line, Flower Exhibition Centre, Walkways, Souvenir Shops, Cafeteria, Rain Shelters, Wayside Amenity, Last Mile Connectivity, Parking, Public Toilets etc,.
Inaugurating the project, Alphons appreciated the efforts taken by the state in completing the project and added that Gangtok is incredibly clean that it can match with any city in the world in terms of its level of cleanliness and hospitality.
The ongoing Swadesh Darshan project in Sikkim that the Ministry has sanctioned is “Development of North East Circuit: Singtam– Maka- Temi-Bermoik Tokel- Phongia- Namchi –Jorthang- Okharey- Sombaria-Daramdin- Jorethang- Melli” in September 2016 for Rs.95.32 crores. The work under the project is in progress.
The efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the Foreign tourist arrivals in the region has shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists in turn has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.