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Ministry focuses on strengthening tourism infrastructure

  • 08 January 2019

The Ministry has sanctioned 73 projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme with Central Financial Assistance for Rs. 5873.26 crores covering 30 states/UT Administrations

The Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India accorded the highest priority to the development of tourism infrastructure to provide a better tourism experience to the tourists since 2014. According to the Ministry, theme based circuits are being developed under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme spanning the entire country. “The Ministry of Tourism till date has sanctioned 73 projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme with Central Financial Assistance for Rs. 5873.26 crores covering 30 states/UT Administrations,” K. J. Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, said in the Rajya Sabha. “Nine projects under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme have been inaugurated between August to December 2018 in the States of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. Facilities like tourist facilitation centers, eco lodge huts, sound and light show, helipads, cafeteria, wayside amenities and jetties amongst others have been developed as part of the above projects, the Ministry said in a statement.

Moreover, the Ministry is also undertaking the integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations under the ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) Scheme. “One project has been sanctioned during 2018-19 for a total amount of Rs.39.24 Crore. A total number of 24 projects have been sanctioned till date for an amount of Rs.727.16 crore under this scheme,” the Ministry said. Apart from these two schemes, the Ministry also provided the Central Financial Assistance for infrastructure development during 2018-19 to Cochin Port Trust and Mormugaon Port Trust.

Infrastructure development is further going to witness the boost as the Ministry has identified 17 Sites in 12 clusters for development as iconic tourist sites. These sites are Taj Mahal, Fathepur Sikri. Ajanta, Ellora, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Colva Beach, Amer Fort, Somnath, Dholavira, Khajuraho, Hampi, Mahablipuram, Kaziranga, Kumarakom and Mahabodhi Temple. “The main parameters of identifying these sites were footfall at these destinations. We ended of selecting 12 such sites for the development. The development includes better connectivity and even more aggressive marketing of these destinations. We have visited these sites and had stakeholder consultations with the industry. We got their views, looked at the existing facilities and the existing gaps. Our consultants have done away the preliminary gap analysis what is required at these sites. But, now we are in the process of appointing or selecting one consultant for each site so that they look at the feedback which we have got from the stakeholders and come out with a Master Plan for the development of these sites. Master Plans are at the final stages of preparation. With this, we hope to iron out many of the challenges these destinations face,” a senior official from the Ministry told earlier to T3.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with Ministry of Culture and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) launched “Adopt a Heritage Project” to provide world class tourist facilities at the various natural/cultural heritage sites, monuments and other tourist sites. The project plans to entrust heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites to private sector companies, public sector companies and individuals for the development of various tourist amenities. So far, MoUs have been signed for developing tourist amenities at the following sites: Area surrounding Gangotri Temple & Trail to Gaumukh, Uttarakhand; Mt. Stok Kangri Trek, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir; Red Fort, New Delhi;  Gandikota Fort, Andhra Pradesh; Surajkund, Haryana; Jantar Mantar, Delhi; Qutub Minar, Delhi; Ajanta Caves,  Maharashtra; Leh Palace, Jammu & Kashmir  and Hampi (Hazara Rama Temple), Karnataka, the Ministry said.

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