Would you rather stay in Mirzapur’s historic Chinar Fort on the banks of the Ganges or Lucknow’s magnificent Chattar Manzil, the former palace of the Nawabs? This may soon be possible as the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to convert 10 historic forts and heritage monuments into hotels or resorts.
News18 has accessed the bid submitted by the state government this week calling for a consultant to prepare feasibility reports for the exercise. According to the document, the idea is to “promote the reuse of identified forts to convert them into heritage properties for use as hotels, resorts etc. while maintaining their heritage character. ” It says 10 forts and historical monuments of historical importance have been identified in the state to promote them as centers of tourism activities, thereby creating value creation and employment opportunities in UP.
These places are Chitar Manzil in Lucknow, Chinar Fort in Mirzapur, Kothi Gulestan-e-Aram in Lucknow, Kothi Roshan-ud-Daula in Lucknow, Barwa Sagar Fort in Jhansi, Kothi Darshan Vilas in Lucknow, Takit Rai Baradari in Bithoor near Kanpur, Shukla. Pond in Kanpur, Barsana Jalmahal in Mathura and Raghunath Rao Mahal in Jhansi. The above mentioned buildings in Lucknow all date back to the Nawabs of Oudh, Bar Sagar Fort was the summer palace of Rani Lakshmi Bai, Shukla Pond in Kanpur is associated with India’s First War of Independence in 1857 and Tantia Tope. Barsana Jalmahal in Mathura is associated with Radha Rani and is a 5 storied palace built in water.
How to benefit from tourism
The consultant has been asked to assess the tourism potential of the area for reuse and re-purposing of the identified forts to assess the strengths and constraints of the location, analyze investment potential, market Prospects, future development trends, and stakeholder consultation can be assessed. Identify concerns and expectations on the project and parameters that will improve the attractiveness of the proposed concept. The consultant will also review transport connectivity – road, rail and airstrip or airport.
The idea behind the initiative is to leverage tourism as an engine of growth to be a hub for regional economic growth and employment generation, creating an ecosystem for urban and tourism development and for the private sector, the document said. Opportunities should be created to develop tourism and related infrastructure. The UP government says this will bring socio-economic benefits to the community and protect, enrich and promote Uttar Pradesh’s unique cultural heritage, natural resources and environment in an efficient and integrated manner.
A conceptual plan for the proposed project/fort area will be prepared and supported by benchmarking examples from national and international best practices. The bid document states that the concept plan will propose a conservation plan for the fort and its vicinity, intervention planning for adaptive reuse and the proposed plan to attract private investment and tourist arrivals. So it has good earning potential.
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