Gujarat outpost to have Wagah-style ceremony

The Asian Age.  | Sreeparna Chakrabarty

India, All India

The border tourism scheme, which was announced in 2016 by Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, has been infused with Rs 30cr this fiscal year.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. (Photo: PTI/File)

Ahmedabad: After Wagah, the outpost of Suigam in Banask-antha district of Gujarat is coming up as the next big border tourism destination in India. The border tourism scheme, which was announced in 2016 by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has been infused with Rs 30 crore this fiscal year.

The Gujarat tourism department is holding a Wagah-style retreat ceremony by the BSF there, a top official said.

As of now, the retreat ceremony will be held by the Border Security Force (BSF) on the Indian side. However, plans are afoot to request Pakistan to hold a similar ceremony on the other side, sources told this newspaper.

The BSF would also share with people incidents about the 1971 war with Pakistan.

The development of the border outpost is among a host of initiatives being taken by the Gujarat government to rev up tourism in the state. The state government has also renewed its focus on the kite festival, which has become synonymous with the city.

At the festival this year, 44 foreign countries participated in the kite-flying competition. Enthusiasts from Germany, Belgium, US and Korea among others not only participated in the kite flying competition on Sunday, but also set up stalls displaying various kinds of kites.

The festival was inaugurated by Mr Rupani here. In addition to Ahmedabad, this festival is also celebrated at several other places like Dakor, Pavagadh, and Saputara.

In Ahmedabad, an estimated 535 kite fliers participated in the festival. The chief attraction was a kite with Kulbhushan Jadhav as the theme.

According to government statistics, the kite industry earned Rs 572 crore and 28,200 people received employment. The statistics are important in view of the fact that demonetisation is said to have affected all informal sectors.