New Delhi: Going ahead with its ambitious 'Clean India' campaign, the Tourism Ministry has roped in oil PSU ONGC to keep six major tourist sites, including Taj Mahal and Konark Temple clean and environment-friendly.
"ONGC has expressed its willingness to join the Clean India campaign and take up six tourist destinations across the country as part of their corporate social responsibility," said a senior Tourism Ministry official.
The six sites are Taj Mahal, Khajuraho Temples, Konark Temple, Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Bodhgaya and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminal.
"The modalities are being worked out and an MoU with ONGC will be signed soon for keeping these sites clean and environment-friendly," the official said.
The oil explorer major will take up responsibility of the cleaning work, maintenance, upkeep and refurbishment of these sites as per the requirement.
Lack of hygiene and cleanliness at tourist destinations has negatively impacted tourism in the country.
Tourism Ministry has taken the initiative of launching the Clean India campaign with a vision to ensure an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene practices at tourist destinations which would be sustained through involvement of private and public sector stakeholders as a part of their corporate social responsibility.
The Clean India campaign was launched recently with ITDC, a subsidiary of Tourism Ministry, adopting Qutab Minar.
For realisation of its full potential, Tourism Ministry envisages a target of 12 percent growth rate in foreign tourist arrivals as well as domestic tourist visits during the 12th Five-Year Plan period.
There were 6.29 million foreign tourists who had visited India in 2011.
"We are aiming to double the foreign tourist arrivals in the next five years. This will generate creation of three crore jobs in the country," the official said.
The Tourism sector has been acknowledged as a key driver for economic development and employment generation across the world and can contribute to faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth particularly for women and youth.
First Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012, 14:16