High Court asks Jharkhand govt to open information kiosks at major centres

Naulakha Mandir, Deoghar

The Jharkhand High Court referred about a more “proactive role” of the state government to promote tourism in the state. The HC has suggested that the government should open information kiosks at Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi and railway stations to help visitors.

A division bench of Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh and Justice Ratnaker Bhengra, while hearing a PIL filed by one Babloo Kumar, said the kiosks could come up at the airport and railway stations of primary districts to begin with.

The bench noted that districts like Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Deoghar, and Dhanbad could have tourist information kiosks which should be manned round-the-clock. The kiosks, it added, should be made attractive with friendly faces behind the counter to help connect with tourists.

“The kiosks should provide information about trains to various tourist destinations, details of hotels, and accredited taxi services. They should be a one-stop solution for tourists. Safety and security of tourists should also be taken care of,” the bench said.

Deputy director of the state tourism department Bidyanand Sharma, in a signed affidavit to the court, said several steps had been taken to promote tourism, which had been categorised into three sectors, namely, tourism circuits, tourist destinations and restoration of heritage sites.

On tourism circuits, Sharma spoke of developing Patratu, the Netarhat-Betla zone on the Mussourie-Dehradun model and the ropeway at Kauleshwari in Chatra. Special tourist destinations at Deoghar, Hazaribagh and Ranchi would also be promoted in addition to heritage sites like the Maluti temples. He said the department had also begun training taxi operators, dhaba owners and volunteers and guides at tourist spots.

Kumar, in his PIL, claimed that Jonha, Dassam, Hirni and Sita falls, along with Panchghag, suffered from state apathy and were in need of immediate attention. He pleaded that the court direct the tourism department to complete construction of toilets, water kiosks and seating areas at these waterfalls.

The high court later enlarged the scope of the PIL and included tourist spots across the state, as reported by Telegraph.