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Rs 590-cr tourism push for state

Chandigarh : Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday announced an ambitious project to transform 30 tourist destinations in the state at a cost of Rs 590.97 crore.
Presiding over a department meeting, Sidhu said Amritsar would remain the centre of tourist activity, with its 11 destinations on the list.
The department is availing a loan of Rs 344 crore from Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has already been sanctioned. Besides, it will get a grant of Rs 96.97 crore to revamp religious and historical cities under the Centre’s Swadesh Darshan Scheme.
At least Rs 50 crore will be spent on Amritsar city under the “prasad” scheme.
The department has earmarked Rs 100 crore for Mughal Circuit, under which historical spots linked with the Mughal era would be revamped.
Another project, Maharaja Circuit, for the cities having connection with princely states is in its initial stage. In the first phase, Amritsar, Kalanaur, Harike Pattan, Kapurthala and Hussainiwala will be visited from June 15 onwards by the minister and officials for meetings with local officers to discuss the modalities.
Instructions have been issued to open restaurants on the PPP mode at Virasat-e-Khalsa, Anandpur Sahib, and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Museum, Khatkar Kalan.
Sidhu said: “Whatever we offer has to be of world-class to attract people. Facilities like restaurants, parking and toilets are a must at any tourist place.”
The sites which would be revamped included Heritage Street, Wagah border, Gobindgarh Fort, Jallianwala Bagh, Partition Museum, War Memorial, Pul Moran, Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Sthal, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Summer Place (Rambagh) and Saada Pind, all in Amritsar; treaty spot of Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Lord William Bentick (Ropar), Bathinda Fort, Patti Fort, Bahadurgarh Fort (Patiala), Virasat-e-Khalsa (Anandpur Sahib), Theme Park (Chamkaur Sahib), Aam Khas Bagh (Sirhind), coronation spot of Mughal emperor Akbar (Kalanaur in Gurdaspur), Samadh Baba Ala Singh, Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Museum (Khatkar Kalan), Jang-e-Azadi memorial (Kartarpur), Sarai Lashkari Khan (Doraha), Sarai Shambhu, Sarai Noor Mahal, Banasar Bagh Sangrur, Durbar Hall (Kapurthala), and Moorish Mosque (Kapurthala).

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