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Tourism Ministry identifies Amritsar and Kapurthala for development under Swadesh Darshan 2.0 Scheme: MP Sanjeev Arora

PUNJAB NEWS EXPRESS | February 18, 2024 09:42 AM

LUDHIANA: The Union Ministry of Tourism has now revamped the Swadesh Darshan Scheme as Swadesh Darshan 2.0 (SD 2.0) with the objective to develop sustainable and responsible tourism destinations, following a destination and tourism-centric approach. A total of 57 destinations have been identified for development under SD 2.0 Scheme. Amritsar and Kapurthala destinations have been identified for development in the State of Punjab under SD 2.0 Scheme.

This has been stated by the Union Minister of Tourism G Kishan Reddy in an answer to a question on “Tourism Development Projects for the State of Punjab” asked by MP (Rajya Sabha) Sanjeev Arora in the recently concluded interim budget session of Rajya Sabha. Arora had asked about the proposed tourism development projects for the State of Punjab under the Central Sector Scheme; and the details of such projects undertaken, State/UT-wise.

In a statement here today, Arora said the Minister stated in his answer that the Ministry of Tourism under the schemes of ‘Swadesh Darshan’, ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)’ and ‘Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development’ provides financial assistance to State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations/Central Agencies for the development of tourism-related infrastructure and facilities at various tourism destinations in the country. The Minister also provided the details of projects sanctioned under the above-mentioned schemes in different States/UTs including Punjab.

As per these details made available by the Minister, Punjab was sanctioned Rs.85.32 Crore for development of Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Chamkaur Sahib, Ferozpur, Khatkar Kalan, Kalanour and Patiala in the year 2018-19 under `Swadesh Darshan Scheme’.

Likewise, Project Development of Karuna Sagar Valmiki Sthal at Amritsar with approved cost of Rs.6.40 Crore (2015-16) and Development of Chamkaur Sahib with approved cost of Rs.31.57 Crore (2020-21) were sanctioned to Punjab under `PRASHAD Scheme’.

Under the Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development Scheme, Rs.13.12 Crore were sanctioned to BSF for Project of Infrastructural Development at JCP Attari (2017-18), and Rs 23.02 Crore were sanctioned to ASI for Restoration/ Renovation of Jallianwala Bagh Memorial and additional work at Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial at Amritsar (2018-19).

Meanwhile, Arora said it is good to find that Amritsar and Kapurthala have been included in a total 57 destinations identified for development under Swadesh Darshan 2.0 Scheme. At the same time, it is a matter of concern that no fund has been sanctioned under `PRASHAD Scheme’ after FY 2020-21 and under the Assistance to Central Agencies for Tourism Infrastructure Development Scheme after FY 2018-19. He said Punjab has a good potential for tourism therefore, the Centre should sanction maximum amount of funds for development of places of tourism in this border state.

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