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Resource Center
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State Tourism Gets 92 Crore From Centre
April 04, 2013
 
 State Tourism Gets 92 Crore From Centre


http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/news/state-tourism-gets-92-crore-centre
 
04 April 2013

Neha Madaan Pune: Religious tourism in the state is set to receive a major boost as the Union tourism ministry has sanctioned financial assistance of Rs 44 crore for the development of the Solapur mega circuit, which includes the pilgrimage spots of Pandharpur, Akkalkot, Tuljapur and Solapur.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has received around Rs 92 crore from the ministry for the current fiscal to develop tourism projects in the state. Though a large chunk of the allocation is for the Solapur mega circuit, other tourism projects to be undertaken using the funds include development of the Aurangabad and Satara circuits, setting up chain-link fencing, a watch tower and a parking facility at Kas plateau, and a boat club and adventure sports facility at Panshet.

An MTDC official said that the Solapur mega circuit will include development of tourism facilities at the religious circuit of Pandharpur, Akkalkot, Solapur and Tuljapur. “The thousands of ‘warkaris’ who come to Pandharpur do not have facilities to bathe. At present, many of them bathe on the roads. We will build two bathroom complexes for them. The complexes will have changing rooms, eco-toilets and bathrooms which will have an hourly capacity to accommodate as many as 800 people,” he said.

Also on cards is a provision to set up plinths and sheds for the ‘warkaris’ to stay at night and two amphitheatres near the Pandharpur temple for ‘bhajan’. Information boards about the temples will be put up along the roads and more toilets will also be built.

“Landscaping works near the Akkalkot temple, facilities to supply drinking water, a tourist information centre and a solid waste management plant here have been proposed. Illumination of the Siddheshwar temple in Solapur is also on the anvil. It is a beautiful temple situated in the middle of a lake, where we propose to set up boating facilities, along with a boat club, and a tourist information centre,” the official said.

The Aurangabad circuit has received Rs 23.4 crore, which will be utilised to develop Bibi Ka Maqbara and Daulatabad fort, among other tourist attractions. Sources have, however, said that the sum disbursed for the Aurangabad circuit is much less than what was expected.

Around Rs 8 crore have been allocated for the Satara circuit. Works in the circuit will include setting up a solid waste management facility in Mahabaleshwar, which is an ecologically sensitive area. “Wet and dry garbage here will be turned into ecological bricks, which would be used by hotels in the hill station as fuel. This project will be part of the ‘eco-sensitive tourism plan’ we have prepared for Panchgani, Matheran and Mahbaleshwar,” the MTDC official said.

“We also plan to secure the Kas plateau with chain-link fencing; we have received Rs 2 crore from the Union government for this work. The ministry has provided a total Rs 4.33 crore to develop the plateau. We plan to create parking facilities and build toilet blocks, a nature interpretation centre, a watch tower and a tourist facilitation centre here,” he said.

The Satara circuit funds will also be used to develop a nature trail, parking facilities and toilets blocks near the Agashiv caves, which are Budhhist rockcut caves. “We also plan to build eco-cottages at Bamnoli village on the shores of Shivsagar lake —the backwater of Koyana dam —as part of the Satara circuit development,” he said.

The Bamnoli eco-cottage project is estimated to cost Rs 1.8 crore and will include setting up a parking area and a compound wall around the plot that will house the eco-units.
Sites that will benefit

• Pilgrimage spots of Pandharpur, Akkalkot, Solapur and Tuljapur

• Siddheshwar temple

• Bibi ka Maqbara

• Daulatabad fort

•Mahabaleshwar

• Kas plateau

• Agashiv caves

• Bamnoli