First project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme the ‘North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom’ in Manipur inaugurated on 14th August 2018

15 projects of Tourism Ministry for Rs.1301.47 Crores covering all North Eastern states

Introduction :

Under the plan scheme ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASAD’ the Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, for various tourism projects subject to availability of funds, liquidation of pending utilization certificates and adherence to the scheme guidelines.

Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, thirteen thematic circuits have been identified, for development namely: North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit, Ramayana Circuit and Heritage Circuit.

Under the PRASAD scheme thirteen sites have been identified for development, namely: Amritsar, Ajmer, Dwaraka, Mathura, Varanasi, Gaya, Puri, Amaravati, Kanchipuram, Vellankanni, Kedarnath, Kamakhya and Patna.

Under the ‘PRASAD’ scheme the focus is on development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations. Whereas, in the ‘Spiritual Circuit’ identified under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the thrust is on development of particular thematic circuit consisting of various religious/spiritual destination in a State and Union Territory.

In pursuance to the Budget Announcements of 2014-15, both the schemes were launched in January 2015. The projects sanctioned under the schemes are generally commissioned in 18 to 36 months

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First project under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme the ‘North East Circuit: Imphal & Khongjom’ in Manipur:

Swadesh Darshan scheme is Considered as one of the flagship scheme of Ministry of tourism for development of thematic circuits in the our country in a planned and prioritized manner. This scheme was launched in 2014 -15 and as on date the Ministry has sanctioned 70 projects for Rs.5708.88 Crore to 29 States and UTs under the Scheme. 30 projects / major components of these projects are expected to be complete this year.

The project under inauguration was sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism in September 2015 for Rs.72.30 Crores. The project covers two sites i.e. Kangla Fort and Khongjom. Kangla Fort is one of the most important historic and archaeological site of Manipur located in the heart of the Imphal city.  It served as the seat of Manipur’s power till 1891.  Kangla has a special place in the hearts and minds of the people of Manipur. The old Govindajee Temple, outer and inner moat and other relics are perfect reflections of the rich art and architectural heritage of Manipur.  Under this project  Restoration & Improvement of Outer & Inner Moat and Rejuvenation of Sacred Ponds; Reconstruction of Old Rampart; Sound and Light Show, Construction of Rock Garden, Utility Block; Audio Guide, Eco Friendly Conveyance, Development of Crafts Houses and Parking on Naga Nullah; Polo Gallery; Reception and Ticket Counter will be Carried out by ministry.  The above work has been carried out at a cost of Rs. 63.90 Crore. Khongjom is the place where the last war of resistance of Anglo Manipur War of 1891 was fought.  Under the project a Pedestrian bridge and rejuvenation of Kombirei Lake has been carried out for Rs.4.89 Crore.

Development of Tourism in North Eastern Region is prime area of focus for the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region.  The Ministry is developing the tourism infrastructure in the region under its schemes of Swadesh Darshan and PRASHAD. Together under both the schemes Ministry has sanctioned 15 projects covering all North Eastern states for Rs.1301.47 Crores.

The Ministry is carrying out an array of activities for development and promotion of tourism in the region.  The efforts of Ministry have shown positive results and the Foreign tourist arrivals in the region has shown an upward trend over the years. The region received a total of 1.69 lakh foreign tourist visits during 2017 as against 1.45 lakh in 2016 registering a growth of 16.7% over 2016. The Domestic Tourist Visits reached to 95.47 lakhs in the year 2017 against 77.71 lakhs registering impressive double digit growth of 22.8% over 2016. The increased number of tourists in turn has created better employment opportunity for the local population in the region.

A number of facilities like Tourist Facilitation Centres, Interpretation Centres, better last mile connectivity, heliports, wayside amenities region, SEL Shows, Eco Log Huts, Rope Way, Golf Course, theme parks etc. are being developed up in the region under the above schemes to enhance the experience of tourists when they visit the region.  Ministry is also dedicatedly promoting North Eastern Region by showcasing its varied attractions, uniqueness in terms of natural beauty and culture in international and domestic markets. The Ministry organises International Travel Mart every year in one of the North eastern state with objective of providing platform to these sates to showcase its tourism potential to perspective international and domestic buyers and opportunity to interact with them. This year the 7th Edition of ITM is scheduled to be held in November in Agartala, Tripura.

Content source : PIB

Image Source: Google

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