Jharkhand, famously known as “The Land of Forests”, is not just the ultimate destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts, but has increasingly emerged as a golden pasture for strategic investments in the tourism sector. The state’s potential can be gauged from the fact that during the “Momentum Jharkhand 2017” summit held in Ranchi on 16-17 February, the state attracted investment proposals worth Rs 2,273 crore for the tourism sector alone.

Blessed with unparalleled beauty including hills, mountains, forests, and waterfalls, this naturally rich state makes for a perfect holiday destination, especially for people looking for a rendezvous with nature. The abundant natural beauty of Jharkhand along with its several attractions such as holy shrines, museums, and wildlife sanctuaries, together contribute towards Jharkhand tourism.

An artist’s impression of Patratu as a future ‘Smart Tourist Destination’. Source: KPMG

The state government under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister Raghubar Das firmly believes that the development of the tourism sector would have a cascading effect on the development of other sectors in Jharkhand. The formulation of the Jharkhand Tourism Policy 2015-20 aims to develop Jharkhand as a dynamic, sustainable and a most favoured tourism destination by increasing domestic and international visitations, offering high quality experience to visitors, facilitating and accelerating investments and improving livelihood opportunities at the local level. The policy lays stress on accelerating and facilitating private investments and promoting entrepreneurship in the tourism sector. Great stress has been laid on generating local employment and promoting entrepreneurship.

Swadesh Darshan and Prasad schemes

The Jharkhand government plans to set up a ropeway at Pahari Mandir and develop Ram Rekha Dham (Simdega), Anjan Dham (Gumla) and Baba Baidyanath Dham (Deoghar) under the Swadesh Darshan and Prasad schemes. The governmnet would also focus on showcasing rural and travel heritage and will introduce the Rajrappa Festival.

Potential Projects for Tourism Infrastructure Investments

With the intent to promote tourism for all-round development of the state and providing greater choice of destinations to tourists, the state government proposes to take up the development of the proposed projects on a Public Private Partnership mode. The government has accorded tourism the status of “Industry” in the state. It is also proposed to have Single Window Clearances for Tourism Development projects. It is also proposed to develop Private Tourism Zones with the extent of land not less than 20 acres, wherein the state government shall strive to provide required supporting infrastructural facilities.

WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

Hatia Dam

Hatia dam is located in Ranchi district. It is proposed to develop a Convention Center and a Resort with amusement and recreational part park on the identified site of 8.0 acres.

Presently, the park has an exhibition space, eateries, space for cultural programme, entrance gate, toilets etc. The land is encumbrance free and within boundary wall. The site has a immense potential to be developed as a weekend destination for extended stay.

Chandil Dam

Chandil dam is one of these identified sites which have great potential for tourism. The dam is located in Saraikela Kharsawan district and approximately 100 km away from Ranchi (via NH 33), the capital of the state Jharkhand.

The Jharkhand government proposes to develop Eco-Tourism Infrastructure at Chandil dam for creating unique tourism experience in the state, providing options and opportunities to the travelers for recreation. This dam would also be developed as a Camping and adventure tourism destination with suitable tourism infrastructure to provide varied and fulfilling experience to the tourists.

Getalsud Dam

Getalsud dam is located in Ranchi district and approximately 95 km away from Ranchi (via NH 33), the capital of the state Jharkhand. In the case of Getalsud / Rukku, currently the domestic segment tourists (approx. up to 80%) are visiting the spot for recreational purposes mainly.

The site can be developed as an overnight tourist destination with multiple activity magnets, promoting extended night stays, specially from the visitors from neighboring States. It is proposed to develop ecotourism resorts with adventure sports, water sports and tented accommodation on an identified site of approximately 12.0 acres.

Tilaiya Dam

Tilaiya dam, on the most picturesque dam site, is located in Koderma district. It is proposed to develop Urwan, Koderma as Tourism Destination Hub to enhance the tourism sector and attract more tourists to this Destination. The site is about 9.62 acres and the existing facilities include a food court along with a Restaurant, four blocks of Quarters (under-construction), guest house building blocks, circular conference & dormitory Building. This development will include camping facilities along with food court and other ancillary infrastructure. A banquet hall along with a 3-star hotel to target destination wedding is also proposed under PPP framework.

Kanke Dam

Offsetting the huge, dark boulders of the Gonda hills, lies the huge reservoir of the Kanke Dam. This lake is great for fishing and makes a perfect picnic spot. Tourists can find numerous water hyacinths floating on the lake’s rim. Close to this place lies the Rock Garden, which is a huge hit amongst the tourists and the locals alike. It has everything from well laid lawns, artistic sculptures, swings and waterfalls which make it a great place for the tourists to enjoy.

Netarhat

Located in Latehar District in the state of Jharkhand, Netarhat is a town, popularly known as ‘Queen of Chotanagpur’. This hill station is situated at a height of 1,128 metres. Netarhat is visited by a large number of tourists every year to watch the sunrise and sunset. Located at a distance of 10 km from Netarhat, Magnolia Sunset Point is one of the most prominent attractions of Netarhat. Other popular attractions of the destination include the Upper Ghagri Falls and the Lower Ghagri Falls. In Netarhat, it is proposed to integrate additional tourism related facilities in the existing infrastructure.

Maithon dam

Maithon is a town located on the Jharkhand-West Bengal border. Most of the township part and reservoir is in Jharkhand and the hydel is located in West Bengal. The place stretches between Dhanbad district in Jharkhand and Burdwan in Bengal. The dam is the biggest of the Damodar Valley Corporation and was built for flood control and power generation. It is proposed to develop this dam as an eco-tourism destination with tourist huts and resorts.

TOURISM FACILITIES AT MAJOR WATERFALLS

Hundru Falls

Hundru waterfalls is located in Ranchi District. Falling from a height of 98 m, it is known as the 34th highest falls in India. The falls is formed due to the course of the Subarnarekha River. During the rainy season, the falls offers a spectacular view to visitors.

Jonha Falls

 Dropping from a height of 43 m, the Jonha Falls is an example of a hanging valley falls over Raru River. Jonha is one of the safest falls in Jharkhand. Presently, the proposed site comprises of 3.76 acres which includes parking facility, small kiosks, toilet and shelters, viewing points, steps to the falls along with safety railing etc.

Pahari Mandir at Ranchi is famous for the temple of Lord Shankara (Shiva). It is located in the heart of the city on a hill.

Dassam Falls

Dassam Falls is a natural cascade across the Kanchi River, a tributary of Subarnarekha River. During rainy season, ten streams (“Dassam”) can be found falling from a height of 44m. The destination is developed with all categories of basic infrastructure facilities.

Panchghagh Falls

The river which creates Panchghagh is River Banai. It is located in Khunti district. It falls from a height of 600m. It is due to the uneven and hard topography that the river gets divided into five different streams and thereby leads to five streams helping in formation of the great Panchghagh falls. Presently, the proposed sites comprise of gateway, overhead tank, newly built kiosks, few old structures and hutments, temple campus, under construction watch tower, among other facilities.

It is proposed to integrate additional tourism facilities such as ticketing counter for visitors and kiosks for promoting local handicrafts.

Considering the potential of adventure sports at these sites, it is proposed to undertake activities such as eco-friendly canopy walk, rock climbing, zip lining etc.

Development of Ropeway at Pahari Mandir

The Pahari Mandir at Ranchi is famous for the temple of Lord Shankara (Shiva). It is located in the heart of the city on a hill. It is a bare black land outcropping in the midst of a flat land. The 2,140 ft. Ranchi hill houses the temple at its summit. This place is fast developing into a religious tourist site. The hillock also known as Richi Buru is famous for its breath taking views of the city and some spectacular sunsets and sunrises. In Pahari Mandir, it is proposed to develop a ropeway through PPP framework.

Proposed incentives under Jharkhand tourism policy 2015-20

The following tourism related activities will be entitled for all incentives admissible to new tourism units:

Setting up of new Hotels/ Motels/Heritage Hotels / Ropeways satisfying the norms/ conditions stipulated by the state government.

Transport facilities with air-conditioned car/coaches with a minimum capital investment Rs 50 lakh.

Motor launches operating at water sports centres notified by the state government with minimum investment of Rs 20 lakh. Aero Sports Centres developed at places notified by the state government with minimum investment of Rs 20 lakh.

New amusement parks with minimum investment of Rs 25 lakh and operated at tourist centres notified by the state government.

Health resorts established at places like hot springs, etc notified by the state government with a minimum investment of Rs 20 lakh.

Capital Investment Incentive

The details of capital investment incentive, admissible to new tourism units, are mentioned in Table 1.

Captive Power Generating Subsidy

The details of capital investment incentive, admissible to new tourism units, are mentioned in Table 2.

Interest Subsidy

The interest subsidy admissbile to the proposed projects shall be admissible in the following manner on the interest actually paid to the financial institutions/banks on loans taken by new tourism units.

Employment Generation Based Incentives

All workers employed in such eligible tourism units would be covered under the Contributory Group Insurance Scheme (CGIS), in which the state would pay 50% of the premium paid by the employer against each such worker/ labourer, for 5 years. This incentive shall be admissible to only such tourism units which employ a minimum of 50 workers, among which at least 30% of workers shall be from Jharkhand.

Luxury Tax

The luxury tax shall be admissible to various hotels operating in the state as per applicable rate slabs.

Entertainment Tax

New Tourism Projects, like amusement park etc., would be exempted from entertainment tax for a period of 5 years from the date of commercial operation.

Commercial Tax

New Tourism units would be charged VAT at the lowest floor rate for a period of 5 years from the date of commercial operations.

Bar Licence Fee

The Bar Licence fee is payable by hotels, restaurant and bar licence holders, which is decided by the Board of Revenue from time to time.

Electricity Duty

Exemption from electricity duty would be admissible to new tourism units for a period of 10 years from the date of commercial operations.

Stamp Duty

New Tourism units would be entitled to register purchase/lease of land or building with 2% stamp duty for a period of 3 years from the effective date.

Road Tax

To promote private sector investment in the transportation sector, relaxation of 50 % of road tax on the existing rate would be extended to such new vehicles for a period of five years, which are operating as tourist coaches and whose capacity is not more than 35+1 .

Such relaxation of road tax would also be admissible to all the tourist transport coaches operating under Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation Ltd.

Road Permit

Tourist coaches, whose capacity is not more than 35+1, would be eligible for relaxation of 25% of the charges payable for obtaining road permit.

Holding Tax

No holding tax will be charged for the first five years for the following new tourism projects:

Classified hotel and restaurants with an investment of more than Rs one crore.

Projects of amusement parks with an investment of over Rs two crore. With the proposed GST system soon coming into operation, the various tax exemptions shall be re-visited.