"The Himalaya Darshan programme which will help pilgrims visit the char dhams and adjoining areas of scenic beauty at minimal costs will commence next week," Chief Secretary N Ravishankar told a visiting delegation of National Defence College officers here.

The June 2013 calamity dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry, the mainstay of the state's economy, and all efforts are being made to lure visitors to the state's picturesque environs, an official release quoting the chief secretary said here today.

Many schemes to revive tourism in Uttarakhand have been launched.

Winter time char dham yatra has been started from this year, whereas, a scheme to take devotees on a pilgrimage to the Himalayan shrines by choppers is also in the pipeline, Ravishankar said.

"By these measures, we want to convey the message of a safe Uttarakhand to the world so that tourists from across the country and abroad start arriving here in large numbers as earlier," he said.

Apart from religious tourism, adventure and wellness tourism are also being promoted, he said.

Rehabilitation work in areas ravaged by the calamity is going on at a fast pace and helipads are being built in high altitude areas to deal with the challenges brought about in the wake of a disaster-like situation, the Chief Secretary said.

Uttarakhand is maintaining a balance between environment conservation and development. Panchayat system is being strengthened. Small hydel project will be constructed by Panchayats.

Work of permanent nature for Ardh Kumbha 2016 has begun. The NDC officers also praised the rehabilitation work being carried out in the affected areas.

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