Mumbai: In a bid to overcome the security concerns due to high security installations facing the Elephanta island that does not allow construction of hotels and night stay, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is working on a policy whereby a tie-up between hospitality provider Airbnb and locals that will provide home stay for tourists visiting Elephanta Caves island.
Jaykumar Rawal, minister for tourism said the two day Elephanta Festival which starts from January 27 will be again held on the island itself. After the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks the festival venue was shifted to Gateway of India. He further added 70 years after Independence the island is soon to get proper electricity connection depending upon the testing of the electricity meters goes off smoothly.
The Minister for Tourism stated that there are about 1,200 to 1,500 homes on the Elephanta island. However, since the Caves are declared heritage site by UNESCO and is protected by Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and has high security installations of ONGC and Navy hence no new constructions are allowed.
Rawal further added the government in tie-up with Mumbai Port Trust and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) is planning a Cable Car over the sea connection to the island. Commenting further he added the island is expected to get proper electricity connection within a weeks time.