After taking charge of the tourism portfolio, Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya, made her first visit to Visakhapatnam on Saturday and addressed the media. Noted to be the youngest minister on the cabinet, Akhila Priya expressed great interest in taking the tourism scenario forward. Talking of the maiden flight of SriLankan Airlines that landed in Visakhapatnam, she stated that as traffic between Sri Lanka and Visakhapatnam would increase, it would give way to tourism, especially medical tourism. She added that the team would also go to Sri Lanka to promote tourism there.
Talking about projects, the minister shared that many of them would come to the city. Of the 100 MoUs that have been signed in the state 28 projects pertain to Visakhapatnam alone. However among those only 8 have clarity and Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) need to be prepared. Others have either been stopped or need to be addressed and some of these will be taken to the central government.
Andhra Pradesh Tourism needs to make its presence felt, and Akhila Priya noted that changes need to happen right from re-branding. Having been in the Cabinet for just a few months now, she is focusing on both new project proposals and existing ones. A few projects under DPR include the INS Virat, Special Tourism zone in Bhimili and Araku Tribal Circuit. A sum of 100 crs is to be allocated for this, and proposal would be sent to Central Govt. Under coastal corridors, 14 beaches are also likely to be developed and a jetty at Bhimili under the Sagaramala project has also been sanctioned. Tenders have been called for Lambasingi, Rushikonda South Side and Rallapalli to build resorts. Speaking of privatising the Rushikonda resort, she shared that if it wasn’t making profits, the government may decide to go for privatization. With 12 MoUs being signed, we are reviewing the feasibility of few projects. HoverCraft project also needs to reviewed, at the moment we can’t confirm said the Minister.
Assuring that AP will definitely move ahead in terms of tourism, she added that while it’s difficult to say what would complete by 2017, the year would surely mark a promising start for many projects.