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    The Maharashtra Government has announced General Rules of the Caravan policy

    Published on March 26, 2021

    Mumbai:  The Maharashtra Government had issued guidelines on the Caravan policy allowing private players to get vehicles for tourism and setting up of Caravan parks in public and private places. The Government has announced General Rules of the policy.

    BENEFITS OF CARAVAN TOURISM

    ·         Remote places with tourist attractions will become easily accessible

    ·         Employment opportunities will be generated

    ·         Beaches, historic forts, caves, heritage sites, etc. will have good source of accommodation

    ·         Under the caravan policy, five sets of caravans can be used – single axle conventional caravan, twin axle caravan, tent trailer, folding caravan and camper trailer, catering to various sizes

    ·         The Caravan park can accommodate small and large caravans

    ·         A committee will be set up to address any issues related to the implementation of the Caravan policy

    ·         It will encourage private investment and allow private investors to reap higher returns with less investment

     FACILITIES TO TRAVELLERS/TOURISTS

    ·         Apart from providing convenience, the luxuriously constructed caravans will also offer a state-of-the-art experience

    ·         There will be special facilities for senior citizens, children and the disabled

    ·         Each caravan van will be equipped with a kitchen, toilet, bed, sofa and a table among other amenities. One can experience a house on wheels where one can cook, eat, sleep, etc.

    ·         These caravans can be self driven or driven by drivers

    ACQUIRING CARAVAN LICENSE

    ·         The caravans must be registered with the Tourism directorate

    ·         For registering a caravan, the vehicle must be compliant with the Motor Vehicle Rules

    ·         It will be necessary that the Transport Department’s rules are followed by the vehicle owner

    RULES FOR CARAVAN PARKS

    ·         Caravan can be parked at forest buffer zone, near the footsteps of fort, hill stations and nearby highway.

    ·         The parking bays will be designed to protect the privacy of tourists and should be compatible with the surrounding area.

    ·         The tourist convenience centre will be set up near the parking bay where maps of the place will be provided through an information booklet

    ·         Waiting room, rest room, travellers guide etc. will be made available

    ·         It will be mandatory to plant native trees under landscaping near Caravan Park

    ·         Rainwater drainage, waste disposal, waste segregation, eco-toilets must be provided

    ·         With the owner’s permission caravan can be parked at religious congregations like Kumbh Mela, Pandharpur yatra and others.

    ·         Apart from the private lands, the Irrigation department, Forest department, Revenue department, and MTDC will develop their lands into caravan parking bays considering the entire basic infrastructure such as water, electricity, security and safety of the travellers.

    ·         Caravan parks can be entirely privately owned, taken on rent or built through a public-private partnership (PPP). Permission from DoT will be required for registration caravan parks

    ·         It is mandatory to get permission from Forest Department, Water Resources Department etc. for building a new caravan park.

    ·         Caravan Parks shall have all necessary trading licenses / NOCs from concerned authorities including fire NOC

    ·         The parks could be standalone or hybrid. Hybrid parks may include resort, water park, garden etc. along with the parking bay

    BENEFITS TO OPERATORS

    There are 3 types of operators involved namely Caravan Operators, Caravan Park Operators and Aggregators.

    ·         Incentives will be given in the form of state GST, electricity duty, stamp duty, and commercial water charges.

    ·         Tourism department will provide training and help for the marketing, publicity and promotion of these caravans

    ·         Caravans used for tourism will be exempted from vehicle tax by transport department.

    The Caravan policy has been adopted in a bid to develop tourism at offbeat destinations and to facilitate, promote and publicize tourism in the State. Also, this will generate 80% employment opportunities.