Dehradun: Launched amidst much hoopla in 2004-05, the village tourism project of Uttarakhand government still remains a distant dream. Seven-year down the line the project is nowhere near its completion, and the tall claims made by the state authorities have proved a damp squib.

The main aim behind starting the project was to attract the foreign tourists towards nature and culture and fillip the financial condition of the state. While tourists have preferred other locations of the state, not many have reflected their inclination to visit the 12 villages of eight districts which were identified under the project.

A string of development works were carried out in villages of several districts like Almora, Uttarkashi, Chamoli and Nainital, but most of them are yet to be completed.

Although the project has failed to derive the desired results, the state authorities have claimed that the development work would be completed within the stipulated time period.

AK Dwivedi, Joint Director of Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board said, “About 70 percent work has been completed in the selected villages under the scheme. Remaining work would be completed at earliest. The people of concerned villages would be given training to boost tourism.”