In a major fillip to pilgrim tourism, Kerala has received the Centre’s approval for projects worth around Rs 90 crore to improve tourist amenities in 147 centres of different faiths across the state.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has endorsed the proposal submitted by the state government, as part of the Tourism Infrastructure Development plan.
Noting that pilgrim tourism was a priority area for the state, Tourism and Devaswom minister, Kadkampally Surendran said a detailed project report on the scheme would be submitted to the Centre soon.
“As the next step, a detailed project plan will be prepared at the earliest and submitted to the Centre. The government will be giving priority to the development of pilgrim tourism, considering the growing importance of this segment,” a press release quoting Surendran added.
The project would be implemented as part of the Pilgrim Tourism Third Circuit Development Plan, under which basic infrastructures in major Hindu, Muslim and Christian pilgrim centres in all the 14 districts would be created by demarcating them into seven clusters.
Facilities for pilgrims, including rest rooms, halls for serving foods, toilets and food stalls, would be built as part of the project, he said.
In northern most Kasargod, which comes under the first cluster, projects worth Rs 10.91 crore would be carried out, while works totalling Rs 9.29 crore would be implemented in the second cluster comprising Wayanad, Kannur and Kozhikode districts.
The third cluster, which has projects totalling Rs 9.03 crore, will benefit Palakkad and Malappuram districts.
Thrissur, Ernakulam and Idukki districts would be part of the fourth cluster, where projects worth Rs 14.24 crore would be taken up while Rs 19.91 crore has been earmarked for schemes of the fifth cluster covering Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
Pathanamthitta, identified as the sixth cluster, would get Rs 11.80 crore for various projects, while Rs 12.16 crore has been set apart for the seventh cluster covering Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts.
The pilgrim centres in the project includes Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple, Kasargod; Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple, Malappuram; Valiyapalli Juma Masjid, Ponnani; Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanathaswamy temple, Kalpathy and St Marys Church, Chambakkulam.