Central funds sought for development of tourism projects in State: Minister

‘Six of the 10 projects have been prioritised and four are under consideration’

Tourism Minister M. Srinivasa Rao has requested the Central government to sanction funds for the development of several projects in the State.

He was addressing the media here on Friday after taking part in the video-conference with Union Minister of Tourism and Culture Prahalad Singh Patel.

Mr. Srinivasa Rao said the State government had already proposed 10 projects costing ₹951 crore under the Swadesh Darshan, PRASAD and other schemes.

“Out of the 10 projects, six have been prioritised and four are under consideration. The project to develop the Simhachalam temple under PRASAD has already been approved,” the Minister said.

Swadesh Darshan

Under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the State government proposed to develop the Rayalaseema Heritage Tourism Circuit. The ₹136.85-crore project envisages development of the Lepakshi temple, Penukonda fort, Gooty fort, Tadipatri temple, Belum Caves, Mahanandi temple, Ahobilam temple, and Gandikota.

Similarly, sanction of funds was also sought for the development of the Araku Eco-Tourism Circuit under the Swadesh Darshan scheme at an estimated cost of ₹128 crore, the Minister said.

Under the PRASAD scheme, the State proposed to develop the Simhachalam temple in Visakhapatnam, Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple at Dwaraka Tirumala, Srimukhalingeswara Swamy temple in Srikakulam and Sri Satyanarayana Swamy temple at Annavaram in East Godavari.

“I have requested the Union Minister to launch the works pertaining to the Simhachalam temple that have already been approved,” he said.

The proposals that were under consideration included the development of Rajamahendravaram Heritage, Eco & Nature Tourism Circuit, Kolleru Lake, Tirupati temple town and Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada.

While responding positively to the State’s proposals, Mr. Prahalad Singh Patel also expressed satisfaction over the progress of other works in the State, Mr. Srinivasa Rao said.

With the Central assistance under the Swadesh Darshan scheme, the State had completed the development of Kakinada Hope Island-Konaseema Coastal Tourism Circuit, and works on the coastal tourism circuit in Nellore district were nearing completion, he said. Development of the Srisailam temple under the PRASAD scheme was also nearing completion, he added.

COVID situation

Taking stock of the situation in the State in view of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Minister enquired about the safety measures put in place at the tourist spots, tourism hotels and restaurants, and the training imparted to the Tourism Department staff and others involved in the hospitality sector.

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