Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today inaugurated ‘Shimla Heritage Museum’ at historic United Services Club (US Club). The purpose of this museum is to acquaint the tourists to the glorious past of the town and prolong their stay for a couple of days in the town, thereby giving boost to tourism in the State based on the popular coffee table book ‘Har Ghar Kuchh Kehta Hai’.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister said that the Asian Development Bank had sanctioned Rs. 428 crore tourism infrastructure development project to the State out of which Rs. 19 crore would be spent on restoring the historic Municipal Corporation Building and beautify The Mall under the first Phase. He said that the US Club building housing the Shimla Heritage Museum had been restored to the meet the requirement of the Museum. He said that the Museum had been developed after carrying exhaustive research over the heritage importance of various buildings in the town which could generate curiosity amongst the visitors about the history of such heritage properties in the town. He said that the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation after the success of the ‘Har Ghar Kuchh Kehta Hai’ would be launching similar campaign to popularize the concept of ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ revealing interesting facts about villages in Himachal Pradesh. He said that the objective of all such programmes had been to give renewed momentum to tourism promotion activities in the State. He said that the ‘Home Stay Scheme’ of the Department had been responded well by the villagers by registering their houses under the scheme to offer visitors typical Himachali hospitality and cuisines. He said that Shimla Heritage Museum would be the starting point for Heritage Walks of Shimla town.
Dhumal said that ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ had won the Best Rural Tourism Promotion Award in India International Travel Mart at Banglore from July 29 to 31, 2011, thereby adding another feather in the cap of State Tourism. He said that the new well equipped modern Inter-State Bus Terminal at Tutikandi was nearing completion and would soon be dedicated to the people of the State. He said that the Tutikandi Tourist Information Centre was also being redesigned and beautified to facilitate tourist in getting all tourism related information adjacent to the Inter-State Bus Terminal. He said that various tourism promotion programmes were under implementation in the State to facilitate the visits of the visitors from all walks of life and fit into the taste of all categories of tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh during all seasons and for all reasons. He appealed to the people to create tourist friendly atmosphere so that tourism could add to the income of the people. He also directed the state police personnel to extend their supportive and cooperative hand to the visitors by providing them correct information and guidance which would go a long way in earning name and fame for the State the world over.
Dr. Arun Sharma, Director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, welcomed the Chief Minister and introduced him to the historic pictures displayed in the museum. He detailed the tourism promotion activities taking place in different parts of the State and future plans of the department. He informed that a number of new initiatives were being taken by the Department to attract maximum number of visitors to the State.
Suresh Bhardwaj, local MLA, Parveen Sharma, Vice Chairman, Water Management Board, Gyan Chandel, Chairman, APMC, Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary Tourism, Dr. Nagin Nanda, Secretary, Environment, Vineet Kumar, Managing Director, HPTDC, B.D.Sharma, Director of Information and Public Relations, Dr. M.P.Sood, Secretary, HP State Electricity Board, R.K.Sharma, Engineer-in-Chief, IPH, other senior officers and representatives of tourism industry were present at the occasion.