Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked the Uttarakhand government to promote homestays in a big way in the Himalayan state and sought development of a website with their photographs, phone numbers, booking details, information on food availability to make it easy for pilgrims and tourists to book a homestay, unleashing the sector’s full potential.
Modi said this while launching the physical distribution of Aadhaar-like property cards under Svamitva (survey of villages and mapping with improvised technology in village areas) scheme on Sunday through videoconferencing, which was attended by Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat.
Modi spoke about homestays during an interaction with one of the beneficiaries- Suresh Chand- from Pauri Garhwal. Suresh Chandra apprised PM Modi that people in his village would like to develop their homes into homestays with the help of bank loans.
During the interaction, Modi wanted to know from Suresh Chandra, if villagers faced any problems in getting property cards; what was the population of his village; whether he believes the new scheme will bring transparency; what he intends to do after getting loan from a bank?
Suresh Chandra thanked the PM and said the process of demarcating properties was conducted transparently without any dispute. He said after getting property cards, it would be easy for him and others in his area to seek loans.
Talking about his love and association with the Himalayas, Modi said he has lived and travelled a lot in the Himalayas. “Your village abounds in natural beauty. As you have put curtains in the background, I am not able to view your beautiful Himalayan village. You are lucky to view such magnificent sacred peaks from your area,” the PM said, adding that it would definitely become a popular tourist spot.
Suresh told the PM that residents in his village can view several sacred Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath and Chaukhamba. He said villagers like him would like to renovate their houses and develop them as homestays using bank loans, which should be accessible after the creation of an official record of his property under the Svamitva scheme.
Further exploring the potential of developing homestays in the state, PM Modi suggested creating a website with all necessary details.
“I would like to tell the minister (in the state), to develop a website for homestays where all details like the type of food, number of rooms, photos of rooms, contact details like phone numbers and email, how long the pilgrims and tourists want to stay are mentioned. When this is done, homestays will run in a very good way,” Modi said.
In Uttarakhand, 6,804 people from 50 villages will get Aadhaar-like property cards by Sunday evening.
HC Semwal, director, directorate of Panchayati Raj in Uttarakhand, said that in the first phase, 10 villages from Pauri Garhwal and 40 villages from US Nagar were selected for the distribution of property cards.
“After PM launched the scheme, the cards will be distributed to 6,804 beneficiaries in all the 50 villages in these two districts by Sunday evening,” he said.
Semwal said all villages will be soon covered under the scheme. “These cards will ensure clarity in ownership of land and houses in the villages and help the villagers to avail loans and benefits of other schemes in an efficient and transparent way, besides reducing property-related disputes,” he said.
Source- Hindustan Times.