The government is finally waking up to the need of preserving Indian heritage. As a first step, it has launched the National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) that seeks to preserve and rejuvenate India’s rich cultural heritage.
Elaborating on the new initiative, Naidu said, “HRIDAY seeks to promote an
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integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of heritage sites, focusing not just on maintenance of monuments but on advancement of the entire ecosystem including its citizens, tourists and local businesses.” Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the scheme today with the Minister of Tourism and Culture Dr.Mahesh Sharma in attendance.
Naidu informed that the government has allocated Rs.500 cr for 12 cities selected in the first phase with central government meeting the entire expenditure under the scheme. He also urged the states and local urban bodies to supplement their resources for rapid development of heritage cities calling for involvement of NGOs, spiritual organisations and private sector for effective implementation of the scheme. He stressed that urban development efforts should aim at blending ‘nature and culture for a better future’.
He added that with 32 UNESCO recognized natural and cultural heritage sites, ranking second in Asia and fifth in the world, the tourism potential of the country is still to be fully harnessed and the new scheme will help in this regard.
He also distributed sanction letters to the 12 cities for spending over the next two years. Based on city population, Varanasi was allocated Rs.89.31 cr, Amritsar-Rs.69.31 cr, Warangal(Telangana)-Rs.40.54 cr, Ajmer-Rs.40.04 cr, Gaya-Rs.40.04 cr, Mathura-Rs.40.04 cr, Kanchipuram-Rs.23.04 cr and Vellankini-Rs.22.26 cr, both in Tamil Nadu, Amaravati(AP)-Rs.22.26 cr, Badami (Karnataka)-Rs.22.26 cr, Dwaraka(Gujarat)-Rs.22.26 cr and Puri-Rs.22.54 cr.
Municipal Commissioners of all the 12 selected cities made brief presentations on the tangible and intangible cultural assets of respective cities and the plans for their development under HRIDAY. An exhibition was also organized highlighting various aspects of these cities.
Musafir Namah Bureau