New Delhi (Free Press Journal, 2017.12.21) : The Modi government had announced with much enthusiasm many religious circuits, including Ramayan and Krishna circuits, for development under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme of the Tourism Ministry, but the pace of their development is quite slow.
Minister of State for Tourism KJ Alphons disclosed this in a written reply to Prabhat Jha (BJP) in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, stating that four projects are under implementation, but their gestation period is 18 to 36 months.
Dwarka in Gujarat is supposed to be the most important part of the Krishna circuit, but no funds have yet been sanctioned for its development.
Other projects in the Krishna circuit not yet started are: Puri in Odisha and Mathura, Vrindavan, Gokul, Barsana, Nandigaon and Govardhan in Uttar Pradesh.
The Ramayan circuit is supposed to be spread over nine states, but the money has been sanctioned only to Uttar Pradesh – Rs 69.45 crore in 2016-17 to develop Chitrakoot and Shringverpur and Rs 133.31 crore in current fiscal to develop Ayodhya.
The Krishna circuit spread over five states has been kicked off in Rajasthan and Haryana. Rajasthan got Rs 91.45 crore in 2016-17 to develop Govind Dev ji temple in Jaipur, Khatu Shyam Ji in Sikar, and Nathdwara in Rajsamand district while Haryana received Rs 97.35 crore to develop the tourism infrastructures at places related to Mahabharat in Kurukshetra.
The Ramayan circuit is to cover Nashik and Nagpur in Maharashtra, Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, Chitrakoot in Madhya Pradesh, Nandigram in U.P., Hampi in Karnataka, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu, Mahendragiri in Odisha and Sitamarhi, Buxar and Darbhanga in Bihar.
The minister said 13 other thematic circuits chosen for developing tourism infrastructure under the scheme are: Buddhist Circuit, Desert Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Heritage Circuit, Sufi Circuit, North-East Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, and Tirthankar Circuit.
The Ministry also said 25 sites or cities have been identified for holistic development of the pilgrimage destinations in the country under the PRASHAD scheme (National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive).
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