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Govt plans Indian version of Davos WEF meet, to issue tenders for infra blueprint

LiveMint logoLiveMint 28-03-2017 Jyotika Sood

New Delhi: State-run National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corp. Ltd (NHIDCL) will shortly issue a global tender for a consultant to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) on the creation of its own version of Davos.

Davos, set in the Swiss Alps, is a ski resort with a conference centre that hosts the annual World Economic Forum meetings attended by government and business leaders and policy makers. NHIDCL has been entrusted with the task of creating the infrastructure in the pristine, high-altitude region between Joshimath, a Hindu pilgrim destination, and the ski resort of Auli in Uttarakhand, where the government proposes to replicate Davos.

The DPR will contain the blueprint for creating tourism, infrastructure and transportation (road, rail and air connectivity) facilities in and around the chosen area, which is between a height of 6,500ft and 10,000ft. “I have asked NHIDCL to undertake the tendering process. The work is in progress,” said Nitin Gadkari, Union minister of road transport and highways.

“Yes, we are soon going to issue tenders for preparing detailed project report (DPR)...,” NHIDCL managing director Anand Kumar said. “The project would be time-bound where the consultant would be required to prepare blueprint for infrastructure between and around the two places.”

He added that tenders might be open for global firms.

India’s Davos play between Joshimath and Auli will comprise ski-resorts, adventure sports such as skiing, trekking, rafting, camping, mountain biking and paragliding, with advanced transportation facilities and hotels to host large business conclaves.

The area is bound by the snowy Himalayan peaks wherein the hilly terrain offers sceneries of oak-fringed slopes and coniferous forests.

“The central government is in talks with the state government of Uttarakhand to take the project,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity. “The project report will have short, medium and long term projects pertaining to tourism, infrastructure, transportation that will include road, rail and air connectivity along with environment conservation to keep the natural and pristine beauty of the area.”

The official added that the DPR consultant would be given six months to prepare the report as the minister wants the project to be expedited. Gadkari hit upon the idea during his visit to Davos earlier this year.

At a media interaction earlier, Gadkari said Uttarakhand, which the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party won by a landslide in the recent assembly elections, was the most conducive location for a Davos-like resort. The project will create employment for over 10,000 people.

“After coming to Davos, I felt why can’t we develop a township like this in that area, where people will come in sub-zero temperatures and which will have hotels and tourism facilities and will even go to Mansarovar,” Gadkari told Press Trust of India in an interview at the Make in India lounge on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January.

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