<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan is the best choice for Special Tourism Zones (STZ) due to its proximity with New Delhi and the Union ministry for Tourism should approve it, said Chief minister Vasundhara Raje during her meeting with Union state minister for Tourism, Alphons Kannanthanam in New Delhi on Thursday. Raje was meeting Alphons for the first time after his election as Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan. Raje also asked the minister to release pending Rs 438 crore for the ambitious tourism projects in the state.“The ministry has a proposal to develop five STZs in the country in order to attract investment and boost infrastructure in the states. Rajasthan is the best choice for the project, as it has proximity with the national capital and also it has great tourism potential ,” Raje said, according to a statement released by the government. Notably, Modi government had announced to set up up five Special Tourism Zones in partnership with state this February. These will be anchored as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and set to be planned along the lines of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs).A boost to air services in Rajasthan was another important issue Raje raised in her meeting. She asked for direct air services from Jaipur -Goa-Agra and Jaipur-Kochi, as these destinations are hot tourism spots desired by both foreign and domestic tourists. Various tourism related projects in the pipeline and pending for approval at the level of union ministry were also taken up by Raje. The CM, particularly requested the minister, to sanction Rs300 crore under Swadesh Darshan Scheme to promote tribal tourism, eco-adventure and mega desert circuit.Raje also urged the minister to get released Rs438 crore fund proposed for heritage works, underground parking, sub-way and beautification works in Jaipur meant to boost domestic and religious tourism. “Also, there should be special grant of Rs 600-800 crore for Johari Bazar under-parking project, Rs100 crore for integrated tourism project in Dholpur and Rs25 lakh each year to organise Indian Travel Bazaar,” said Raje. ACS NC Goel, JMC commissioner Ravi Jain and other senior officers were present in the meeting.

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CM Vasundhara Raje presents bid for Tourism STZ to Alphons Kannanthanam