New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) The Indian government on Monday signed an agreement for a $123.51 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for tranche three of the Infrastructure Development Investment Programme for Tourism to upgrade tourism infrastructure and services in Punjab, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
The loan will be used for development and conservation of places of tourist attractions. It will also be used to improve basic tourism facilities, and to build the capacity of sector agencies and local communities in the three states.
The third tranche loan is part of the $250 million multi-tranche financing facility that ADB approved in 2010.
ADB’s country director for India M. Teresa Kho, in a statement, said the loan will support conservation of important heritage structures, including some century-old structures, and new facilities including centres for arts and crafts in the three states. Eco-parks and eco-tourism will also be developed to help the states attract more tourists.
To improve income opportunities for the local communities, more than 4,000 community members are set to be trained in tourism-related skills such as guides, crafts, and other recreational activities, while at least 30 community-based societies will be made operational in the management of natural and cultural heritage sites.