Identified tourism sites can be turned into green zones with use of only biofuels: Petroleum minister

Union cabinet minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday recommended a proposal under which identified tourist sites or iconic spots will be turned into green zones where vehicles using only eco-friendly fuel will be allowed to ply.

He said the proposed project will be the joint effort of the ministry of tourism and the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

Speaking at a virtual event organised by the tourism ministry on the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day 2020′, Pradhan, Minister of petroleum and natural gas, and steel, said the project’s aim will be to turn such sites of tourist importance into completely green energy driven areas.

“The secretaries of the two ministries can jointly work on this. They can pick the iconic sites already identified by the ministry of tourism or 100 sites of tourist importance and turn them into completely green energy driven regions,” he said.

“This should be done taking the state governments on board. We have to look towards modern technology to create sustainable fuel and ensure that we use battery operated vehicles, LNG, PNG, LPG in their vicinity rather than diesel and petrol vehicles,’ the minister said.

Pradhan also launched another initiative called SAATHI — System for Assessment, Awareness, and Training for the hospitality industry — to assist the sector in their preparedness to continue operations safely and mitigate risks arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hailing the initiative, Pradhan said people have spent months cooped up in their homes and might want to venture out. But there is apprehension about the pandemic and the hospitality industry must follow protocols to provide safety to tourists, he said.

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Addressing the event, tourism minister Prahlad Singh Patel reiterated that the ministry launched the Dekho Apna Desh (DAD) initiative in January 2020 with the objective of creating awareness among citizens about the rich heritage and culture of the country, encouraging them to travel widely within the country and enhancing tourist footfalls leading to development of the local economy and creation of jobs at the local level.

During the pandemic, the ministry has been organizing a series of webinars under the overall theme of DAD, showcasing the diverse culture, heritage, destinations and tourism products of the country, he said.

The minister informed that as on date 54 webinars covering different States/Union Territories have been organized as part of the initiative.

Patel further said the programme will help in enhancing the overall experience of tourists, who would benefit from the knowledge of the local tourist facilitators and it will also help in creating employment opportunities even in the remotest parts of the country.

Pradhan also launched a film titled ‘Pathik’, an initiative on Incredible India Tourist Facilitators Certification Programme (IITFC) and an ICPB MICE Promotional film.

The objective of the promotional film is to communicate a positive message for welcoming events to India when competing destinations are already actively marketing their products.



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