The 30th Surjakund International Crafts Mela-2016 got off to a colourful start at Surjakund in Faridabad, on Monday, with announcements for ambitious tourism projects and promotion of tourism.
While Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal announced that Wanda Group of China would invest 10 billion USD (Rs 60,000 crore) for a 3,000 acres project of weekend getaway for people in Delhi-NCR, apart from a township in these ranges. Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, said that the Union Tourism Ministry was preparing a special scheme to attract tourists to the 7,500 kilometre coastal area of India. Union Railways Minister, Suresh Prabhu said that the official website of Indian Railways, www.irctc.com, is in the process to market handicrafts and offer craftspersons a global market.
Haryana CM also unveiled the Surajkund Mela table calendar and announced the Surajkund International Crafts Mela officially open. After entering from Dhanteshwari Gate, a traditional welcome was extended to the Chief Minister by Surajkund Mela Authority and Haryana Tourism. Manohar Lal took a round of the Theme State Telangana’s craft-huts and interacted with the craftspersons and weavers. Japan and China are the main partner countries for the Mela.
Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Fair, the Chief Minister said that there are abundant possibilities for ecotourism in Shivalik and Aravalli ranges. The project by Wanda Group of China would offer an option for weekend getaway for people in Delhi-NCR, apart from a township in these ranges. This would also boost tourism in the National Capital Region, he added.
The Chief Minister said that the Surajkund International Crafts Mela infuses new energy among everyone and offers a platform to people of different cultures to learn from each other.
He told that the Union Tourism Ministry has announced a Rs 175-crore scheme to develop Krishna circuit in Kurukshetra. This circuit would comprise 138 places associated with the epic Mahabharata. A scheme would be prepared to attract tourists by offering a special seven-day package. Similarly, the Kalka-Kalesar stretch also has great potential for tourism, he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Tourism and Culture Minister, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, said that the Surajkund International Crafts Mela has attained the status of being an international calendar event. He also complimented the efforts of the Haryana Government to boost its tourism by identifying the Krishna circuit and reviving sacred river Saraswati. He said that the Union Tourism Ministry was preparing a special scheme to attract tourists to the 7,500 kilometre coastal area of India. Tourists could be attracted through ecotourism, golf tourism and rural tourism.
Union Railways Minister, Suresh Prabhu, expressed happiness that this Mela is a symbol of pride and has brought great repute for the State.
Haryana Tourism Minister, Ram Bilas Sharma, said that participation from 23 countries in the 30th edition of Surajkund International Crafts Mela signifies the growing importance of this Mela. He said that this Mela offers an ideal platform for the hardworking craftspersons.
Noted film actor Dharmendra, the Brand Ambassador of Haryana Tourism, expressed gratitude towards, Haryana Government for giving him an opportunity to be the brand ambassador of the Department. He further said that Surajkund Mela is Haryana’s pride and an honour for the country.
The inauguration ceremony of the Mela also saw enthralling performances being presented by Haryanavi dancers based on saving the girl child, apart from performances by Telangana and Japanese artistes. Secretary, Tourism, Vinod Zutshi and Principal Secretary, Haryana Tourism and Vice-Chairperson, Surajkund Mela Authority, Dr. Sumita Misra, also spoke on the occasion.