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UP plans balloon rides, ropeways

The Uttar Pradesh government Wednesday in-principle cleared the way for setting up helium balloon ride facility at Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Varanasi, and for restarting light and sound show at the Residency in Lucknow to woo tourists.

A high-level meeting of Empowered Committee on Public Private Partnership [PPP], chaired by Infrastructure and Industrial Development Commissioner [IIDC] Anil Kumar Gupta, decided that the government would follow public-private partnership to unlock the immense potential of religious, spiritual, historical and eco-tourism in Uttar Pradesh. The committee gave its approval for issuance of Request for Qualification [RFQ] document for the helium balloon rides facility.

Further, the committee selected consultant for preparing Detailed Project Report [DPR] for setting up ropeways at three places and also gave in-principle approval to encourage development of roadside amenities by private developers.

In the first phase, helium balloon ride facility is proposed at Shilpgram-Agra, Rahi Gulistan Tourist Complex-Fatehpur Sikri and Sant Ravidas Ghat-Varanasi. It was also decided that possibility of helium balloon ride facility at Lucknow will also be explored.

To be developed by selected private developers, the government will facilitate provision of land. It is estimated that around 3,000 to 4,000 square metre of land would be required for each of these projects, while the estimated capital cost is Rs 6 crore. It was decided that RFQ should be issued after incorporating appropriate provisions.

'Endowed with rich cultural and historical heritage, Uttar Pradesh has enormous possibilities in religious, eco and historical tourism. The state government has decided to promote tourism through public private partnership in order to realise this potential,' said infrastructure and industrial development commissioner Anil K Gupta.
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