PRASAD Scheme: Centre includes Gangotri, Yamunotri in Uttarakhand
Why in news?
- Union Government has included Gangotri and Yamunotri in Uttrarakhand, Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Parasnath in Jharkhand under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to develop pilgrimage and heritage destinations in the country. With the new additions, the number of sites under PRASAD has now reached to 41 in 25 states.
- It was launched in 2014-15 by Union Ministry of Tourism.
- It aims at the integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in planned, prioritised and sustainable manner to provide a complete religious tourism experience.
- It focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.
Objectives of PRASAD Scheme:
- Harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development.
- Enhance tourist attractiveness in sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the religious destinations.
- It also seeks to promote local art, culture, handicraft, cuisine, etc.
- Under this scheme, Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments for promoting tourism at identified destinations.
- For components within public funding under this scheme, Central Government will provide 100% fund.
- For improved sustainability of the project, it also seeks to involve Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well.
Infrastructure development under this scheme includes:
- Development of entry points (road, rail and water transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities like Information/interpretation centers, ATM/ money exchange.
- Development of eco-friendly modes of transport, lighting and illumination with renewable energy sources, drinking water, parking, toilets, waiting rooms, first aid centers, craft bazars/haats/souvenir shops/cafeteria, rain shelters, telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc.
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