GUWAHATI: The 2-day Tourism & Culture Ministers Conference of the North Eastern States organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is underway in Guwahati. Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma along with G. Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Tourism, Culture and DoNER; Arjun Ram Meghwal, Union MoS for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs and Ajay Bhatt, Union MoS for Tourism and Defense attended the plenary session on Monday.
The Ministry of Tourism under its infrastructure development schemes, ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASHAD’ (National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive) has provided financial assistance to the northeastern states to develop tourism infrastructure at various tourist destinations.
Under PRASHAD Scheme integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations has been undertaken. A total number of six projects have been sanctioned for an amount of Rs 193.61 crores under this scheme in the northeast which included “Development of Maa Kamakhya Temple and Pilgrimage destination in Guwahati” for an amount of Rs 29.99 crores.
Speaking in the conference union minister for tourism and DoNER G Kissan Reddy said that centre has emphasised on the role of youth of the NE region in it's development and the regions immense potential as a tourism destination.
He also met with the Tourism & Culture Ministers of the states of NER, ahead of the conference on development of tourism and culture in the region. Reddy also said that the conference will deliberate on ways to further the vision of Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making the NE region the engine of growth.
Assam chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma thanked the Ministry of Culture for this great initiative. Stating that most of our tourist destinations are not well promoted due to the poor road network only, he urged Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy to invest more on road connectivity within the tourist destinations of the NE states.
Dr. Sarma further said that tourism and culture are two important points that need to be focused for specific development of North-eastern region. As for the first time the DoNER Minister has been entrusted with these two portfolios as well, it’s an unique opportunity for the region for uplifting its tourism and cultural industry to a new heights, Dr. Sarma added.
During the programme, an MoU was also signed between the Ministry of Tourism and IRCTC for cooperation in promoting domestic tourism and development of new tourism products.