GUWAHATI, April 2 - In a major fillip to the tourism sector of the State, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India has sanctioned an amount of Rs 98.35 crore for a Heritage Circuit for Assam. Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Dr Mahesh Sarma announced this while taking part in a meeting with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today.
This amount, which has been sanctioned for development of the Tezpur, Majuli and Sivasagar circuit under the scheme of Swadesh Darshan includes development of a composite tourist infrastructure in Majuli , comprising of an interpretation centre near Kamalabari ghat, log huts, watch towers, cafeteria, elevated walkway, solar illumination, landscaping etc. worth Rs 61.26 crore, development of Rangghar, Joysagar tank and Talatal Ghar in Sivasagar and development of Kanaklata Udyan and Bamuni Hills in Tezpur.
The first instalment of Rs. 19.67 crore against the sanctioned amount was released by the Government of India on March 31. Development of this heritage circuit will give a tremendous boost to tourism in the State in the background of the publicity that Assam has received in the run up to and during the Namami Brahmaputra festival.
Also in a major development, the Tourism Ministry, has decided to transfer the rights of Brahmaputra Ashok Hotel presently managed by ITDC to Government of Assam. All necessary modalities to formalize the transfer of rights will be executed within next 15 days.
The Tourism Ministry has also decided to work collectively to enlist Majuli in the coveted list of World Heritage Site. Already Tourism Ministry has engaged the Archaeological Survey of India to prepare the dossier for submitting it to UNESCO.
The Union Tourism Ministry has also sanctioned Rs. 2 crore for the Namami Brahmaputra festival organized for the first time by the Government of Assam to glorify the river Brahmaputra as well as to promote tourism, economy and civilization of the State at global arena.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has expressed his gratitude to the Government of India for this gesture and has expressed hope that the Tourism Ministry will continue to provide support to the State Government in developing Assam as prime tourist destination.
The Government of Assam has also submitted a memorandum to the Union Tourism Minister on various issues concerning development of tourism sector in the state to which the Minister assured to look into the same positively.