Maharashtra may get its first Formula One racing track at Choukul in Sindhudurg on the Konkan coast if a proposal to set up a world-class tourism mega project gets approval from the state government.
As part of the project, Konkan will also get a golf course, which may be the largest in India. Officials say such facilities will help attract high-paying tourists to Konkan.
Earlier this week, industries minister Narayan Rane held a meeting with officials of the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) to review the progress of the mega tourism project on a 6,000-acre land in Sindhudurg district. Rane asked for a proposal in this regard to be submitted to the state.
India has just one F1 track at Noida and the plans to have one near Mumbai have been largely stillborn. The Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation was considering Adai near Panvel as a possible location for the country’s second F1 racing track, which would be a possible tourist and sports attraction. However, this had failed to attract interested parties.
A senior MTDC official said the proposal was at the “conceptual stage.”
“This project can also have resorts and hotels to attract tourists with a high-paying capacity,” the official said. The site is a table top one overlooking the sea. “We will go in for detailed planning once we get the go-ahead from the state government,” the official said.
The official noted that the Konkan coast, like Goa, has the potential to attract tourists from India and abroad. Officials say with Goa becoming saturated, Konkan with hill stations and sea shores may serve as a tourist magnet.
Work is also underway on the Greenfield Parule Chipi airport in Sindhudurg, which will provide air connectivity to the Konkan and boost tourism on the coast. The airport, which will be located at Vengurla taluka, will also enhance connectivity to Goa, parts of Western Maharashtra and North Karnataka.
He added that land acquisition for the sea world project at Malwan in Sindhudurg was over and the mapping was underway. The detailed project report is also being prepared. The project had been approved by the state cabinet in 2009.
The MTDC is also planning to convert its existing and future resorts into starred category properties to attract the upper and middle-class tourists. The groundbreaking ceremony for a starred category resort at Mithbaw will also be held in February.