Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Urgent need to promote tourism in Bidar

The proposed tourism plaza will provide tourists with details on places to visit, like the Ibrahim Rauza, in Vijayapura.— FILE PHOTO

An initiative to promote tourism in north Karnataka is scheduled to begin in Bengaluru on Wednesday. North Karnataka observers say it is long overdue. North Karnataka has great tourism potential. But promotion efforts by the government and other stake holders have been few and patchy, they say. For example, Bidar that earned a place on the World Monuments Watchlist in 2014, is yet to appear on the bucket list of tourists. The challenges are many — protection of monuments, beautification of the city, ease of travel, good hotels, reliable information about the city and guides. Moves to boost sale of Geographical Indication-tagged Bidri art would add to these efforts.

The mountaintop town that served as the capital of medieval Deccan, has 98 monuments. However, only three national monuments are protected by the Archaeological Survey of India and 14 by the State Archaeology Department.

“After 67 years of independence, the State government has posted a tourism development officer to the district. This shows how indifferent it was to our cause all these years,” says B.G. Shetkar, president of the Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

There are only around 100 families engaged in Bidri art left in the city now. “They need logistics and marketing support. Most artisans are illiterate or uneducated. They need training in new designs and in finding remunerative markets, says Abdul Bari, a young Bidri artisan.

“Bidar needs a quality hotel,” says Helen Phillon, historian and founder of India Deccan Foundation. It should be spotlessly clean, serve hygienic food and should have friendly staff who can give information about tourist places around the city, she said.

According to Sanjyant Kumar, a travel enthusiast, the government should promote adventure tourism in the hills around the city, the moat surrounding the fort or the Karez, the underground water supply system built in the 15th century.

P.C. Jaffer, Deputy Commissioner. “The district heritage committee constituted last year is documenting the monuments and other places of tourist interest. We are also working with Wikipedians to increase the number of articles about Bidar on Wikipedia and put up QR codes near monuments,” he said. The Yeshwatnpur –Bidar train will become a daily

from January 20. We are in touch with investors who can start an eco-tourism hotel. We are also trying to put up an exhibition cum sale venue for Bidri art, the DC said.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Togadia to attend Bidar samavesh


Praveen Togadia, international working president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, will speak at the Virat Hindu Samavesh in Bidar on Tuesday.

Balbir Singh, president of the gurdwara prabhandak committee, Gurdwara Guru Nanak Jhira, will be preside over the event at Ganesh Maidan at 4.30 p.m.

The parishad is organising such events around the country to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The themes of the Bidar one are ‘dharmo rakshati rakshitaha’ (dharma protects those who protect it) and ‘hindavaha sodara sarve’ (all Hindus are brothers), Rajshekar Gada, president of the reception committee, told presspersons here.
  BIDAR, January 19, 2015


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Water Shortage in Bidar.

Two monsoon seasons with scanty rainfall and delay in the completion of a 24x7 water supply scheme have resulted in a severe drinking water scarcity in Bidar.

Water supply has been disrupted in the city for over a month now.

The city municipal council has rationed water supply down to once every three to four days.

Bidar gets an annual average rainfall of 900 mm, according to the Agriculture Department. But there have been long dry spells this year. Rainfall in the arriving and retreating monsoon seasons did not cross 600 mm. This has pushed down the water levels and most open wells are drying up.

This is significant as around 10,000 of the 22,000 houses in the city, depend on open wells. Only around 12, 000 houses have taps.

The residents’ woes are compounded by the fact that the 24x7 water supply scheme started two years ago is not complete yet.

The scheme implemented by the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation aims to provide 40 lakh litres of water fromt the Karanja, purified and supplied through a network of overhead tanks and pipelines.

Officials say some technical snags in the last phase of the project are delaying the supply of water to the city.

A project of this scale needs a variable water pumping motor. But the initial design approved by the State-level technical committee included a constant flow motor. “We are trying to change it,” a senior official said.

“We would be able to resume daily supply once the technical issues are resolved,” Deputy Commissioner P. C Jaffer said.

He inspected pipeline laying works on Friday and said that he has asked the engineers to complete the work in three days.

--> Bidar gets an annual average rainfall of 900 mm

-->Rainfall in the arriving and retreating monsoon seasons did not cross 600 mm