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Tourism ministry identifies 12 cities for pilgrim tourism

DELHI

The Ministry of Tourism has identified twelve cities namely Amritsar, Ajmer, Amaravati, Dwaraka, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Puri, Varanasi, Vellankani, Kedarnath and Kamakhya for development under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) said Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma.

To implement the PRASAD scheme a mission directorate has been set up in the Ministry of Tourism. The Budget provision of Rs15.60 crore has been made in Revised Estimate (RE) 2014-15. For Development of basic facilities at Vishnupad Temple, Gaya in Bihar under this Scheme first installment of Rs.85.78 lakh has been released.

The National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme aimed at preserving and revitalizing heritage cities in India was earlier approved by the Ministry of Urban Development for the twelve cities under the scheme in the first phase, namely; Varanasi; Amritsar; Ajmer; Mathura; Gaya; Kanchipuram; Vellankani; Badami; Amaravati; Warangal; Puri and Dwarka.

For the HRIDAY scheme under the Ministry of Urban Development, the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) will act as National Project Management Unit (NPMU). National Advisory Committee (NAC), HRIDAY National Empowered Committee (HNEC) and City Level Advisory and Monitoring Committee (CLAMC) have been constituted at the national level and district level respectively to advise, guide and review all components of the Scheme. For the first phase of 27 months, Rs.500 core has been allocated to the HRIDAY scheme for implementation and development works.

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