Govt. may review List of Iconic Tourist Sites

Government of India’s plan to develop 17 Iconic Tourist Sites could possibly see some changes. Recently, Union Culture and Tourism Minister of State (independent charge) Prahlad Singh Patel ordered setting up of a committee to review sites included in project.

Changes sought: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan aked Minirty to include Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple and Jagannath Temple, Puri.

List of Iconic Tourist Sites Project

Background: In July 2018, K.J. Alphons then Tourism Minister announced 17 Iconic Tourist Sites under List of Iconic Tourist Sites Project would be developed. List of Iconic Tourist Sites Project was mentioned by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden Budget 2019-2020 Speech on 5 July 2019. As per the project, 17 Iconic Tourist Sites in country would be developed by government into world class tourist destinations, to serve as a model for other tourism sites. It is aimed at enhancing India’s soft power.

The Names of these 17 sites were-

Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar (Delhi), Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh), Ajanta and Ellora caves (Maharashtra), Amer Fort (Rajasthan), Somnath and Dholavira (Gujarat), Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Hampi (Karnataka), Colva Beach (Goa), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Kaziranga (Assam), Kumarakom (Kerala) and Mahabodhi (Bihar).

Significance: Government is looking at overall development from tourism point of view in and around these sites including roads and infrastructure, hotels and lodges, connectivity and access.

Nodal Agency: for project will be Tourism Ministry while Railways Ministry and Civil Aviation Ministry will be involved.

Funding: Tourism Ministry has been allocated Rs.1,378 crore for development of tourism infrastructure.

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