Govt approves Rs 350 cr project for developing infrastructure for Heritage sites
The Centre has approved projects worth Rs 350 crore for developing infrastructure at heritage sites, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced, highlighting the importance of such sites in boosting tourism in the country.
New Delhi, Oct 7: The Centre has approved projects worth Rs 350 crore for developing infrastructure at heritage sites, Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced, highlighting the importance of such sites in boosting tourism in the country.
Observing that India is blessed with "tangible and intangible" heritage assets with 32 World Heritage Sites recognised by UNESCO, he said the country ranks 5th in the world and 2nd in Asia in terms of number of such sites.
Addressing a two-day conference on heritage cities, Naidu, however, pointed out that the heritage management has often been carried out in isolation with no linkages to urban planning process.
He highlighted the importance of heritage sites for tourism and said India attracts millions of tourists every year, generating revenue of Rs 2 lakh crore or 6.6 per cent of the GDP.
Noting that France has expressed interest in works related to waterfront development, he said two cities, namely Puri and Varanasi, have also identified such projects.
The Minister said HRIDAY (Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana) scheme was launched by the government two years ago for heritage and tourism-oriented urban development.
He also highlighted the need for convergence of schemes like Smart City and AMRUT to reinforce the cultural and heritage India.
The Ministry has approved projects worth Rs 114 crore under the HRIDAY scheme to improve infrastructure facilities around heritage sites in five cities -- Varanasi, Amritsar, Dwarka (Gujarat), Puri and Warangal.
Naidu has directed the officials of the Ministry and the state governments concerned to ensure implementation of approved projects by March next year, a release said.
An inter-ministerial HRIDAY National Empowered Committee chaired by Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gauba yesterday cleared detailed project reports of these five cities, it added.
For Amritsar, nine heritage infrastructure projects have been approved for implementation with a total investment of Rs 57 crore, while an investment of Rs 13.25 crore has been approved for some 86 heritage sites in Varanasi which includes developing a 'Heritage Walk' around Kabir Chaura and Piplani Katra at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore.
In Puri, five projects with an investment of about Rs 17 crore got the nod for revitalisation of different heritage zones.
The Ministry has also approved funds to the tune of Rs 15.30 crore for Warangal Fort in Telangana for its revival, including construction of access routes, pathways and entry points, among others.
In Dwarka (Gujarat), Dwarakadhish Temple Square will be developed at a cost of Rs 10 crore, including Rs 7.25 crore for improvement of main Processional Street (Darshan Path) by providing parking spaces, pedestrian pathway, public amenities block, among others.
Under the HRIDAY scheme, the government will provide central assistance of Rs 500 crore till March, 2017.