Infrastructure & Safety

MoT working on cleanliness index for cities

DELHI

The union tourism ministry is working on a “cleanliness index” that will list the top five cleanest cities in the country, a step aimed at encouraging their dirty counterparts to “clean up”.

“We are preparing a cleanliness index. The methodology has been finalised. We will not tell you which are the five dirtiest cities. We will certainly tell which are the five cleanest cities. I hope they will be shamed that they should not be the dirtiest,” Tourism Secretary Parvez Dewan said, according to NDTV.

Tourism and Culture Minister Shripad Naik on Friday spoke about the measures the government has taken to boost India’s share in global tourist arrivals to one per cent from current 0.64 per cent with Buddhist circuits and north-eastern destinations being the focus areas.

Mr Naik said the ministry has identified 50 circuits for development and work on developing five tourist circuits around specific themes has already begun.

The ministry said the project for the development of Varanasi ghats, a pet scheme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was on schedule. The Uttar Pradesh government will carry out the drive which could take up to four years.

Painting an optimistic picture of the tourism scene, Mr Dewan said the growth rate of foreign tourist arrivals in June, July and August had been nine per cent, 12.9 per cent and 16.9 per cent respectively.

When asked about India’s measly share in global tourism, Mr Naik said “small incidents keep happening” which impact the industry”.

The ministry is now putting emphasis on “safe and honourable” tourism.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had recently sparked a controversy when he appeared to be referring to the infamous gang-rape incident in the capital as a “small incident” which was “advertised” world over, adversely affecting tourism.

Musafirnamah Bureau

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