The Ministry of Tourism, in last 18 months, has sanctioned projects worth Rs 2,333 crore under Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD, the flagship schemes of the ministry of tourism, aimed at infrastructural development of tourism sites with special emphasis on tourist facilities including tourist facilitation centres, illumination, sound and light shows among others
ETW Staff – Mumbai
The Ministry of Tourism, in last 18 months, has sanctioned projects worth Rs 2,333 crore under Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD, the flagship schemes of the ministry of tourism, aimed at infrastructural development of tourism sites with special emphasis on tourist facilities including tourist facilitation centres, illumination, sound and light shows among others. In the meeting of the National Steering Committee (NSC), the apex committee for steering these schemes, the status was reported by the mission directors of Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD schemes. In his inaugural address, Dr Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for culture and tourism, stressed on the need of coordination/ convergence of schemes with central ministries for development of infrastructure in the country.
Speaking on occasion, Vinod Zutshi, union tourism secretary, emphasised upon the need for proper rail, road and air connectivity with places identified under various circuits. A total of 11 projects worth Rs 284.53 crore have been sanctioned so far under the PRASAD scheme in Amravati, Kamakhya Temple, Patna Sahib, Patna, Vishnupad Gaya, Shri Jaggannath Puri, Amritsar, Ajmer-Pushkar, Varanasi, Mathura-Vrindavan, Kedarnath Dham Uttarakhand. They include two projects worth Rs 36.96 crore approved for Varanasi River Cruise and Dwarka. Three projects: Laser show on ghats of Varanasi and projects of Kanchipuram and Vellankanni are under consideration of the ministry.
A total of 13 themed-tourist circuits including Buddhist circuit, eco-tourism circuit, wildlife, Himalayan, spiritual, North East India, tribal, Krishna, rural, coastal, heritage, desert, Ramayana have been identified to attract both domestic and international tourists having special interest of visiting such places. From January 2015 till date, 25 projects for Rs 2048 crore have been sanctioned. They include eco-tourism circuit in Uttarakhand, Telangana, Kerala; tribal circuit in Nagaland, Chattisgarh, Telangana; coastal circuit in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Goa; Buddhist circuit in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh; Himalayan circuit in Jammu and Kashmir; Desert circuit in Rajasthan; wildlife circuit in Madhya Pradesh and Assam; and North East India circuit in Arunachal, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura under Swadesh Darshan.
Five pan-India mega circuits have been also identified namely, Ramayana-Krishna-Buddhist Mega Circuit, Himalayan and adventure, world heritage, coastal and wildlife circuit for development under Swadesh Darshan to showcase India.