GUWAHATI, Sept 15 - A significant number of lesser known archaeological sites in 33 districts of Assam will now form a part of the State�s tourism map with the ambitious Asom Darshan scheme identifying 95 archaeological sites for developing tourist-friendly amenities.
With the archaeological sites having different requirements compared to the other tourists� destinations, the State Department of Culture has asked the Directorate of Archaeology, Assam to do a real-time survey highlighting the specific requirements of the sites to better utilise the funds meant for the purpose.
Total 316 sites are being developed in the first phase of the scheme with a total budget outlay of Rs 150 crore to accentuate the tourism potential of every district of Assam.
�A sum of Rs 50 lakh has been earmarked for each of the destinations. As per the standard norms, we are giving four components including waste management facility, waiting shed, drinking water supply and toilets. However, some additional changes will be required to suit the requirements of the archaeological sites, which can be done after we get the survey inputs from the State Directorate of Archeology,� Bhaskar Phukan, Managing Director of Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) told The Assam Tribune.
Some of the important archaeological sites identified for the purpose include World War II memorial hall at Bokajan and Arlongpira Daithor (oldest historical bricks factory) at Nilip in Karbi Anglong, Agnigarh, Bamuni Hill and Hazara Pukhuri of Sonitpur, Kareng Ghar, Rang Ghar, Pahugarh, Talatal Ghar and Rudrasagar and Sivasagar tanks in Sivasagar district, Hatimura in Jakhalabandha of Nagaon, Tiwa Raj Darbar, Gova Raja Rani Kuwari Pukhuri and Pobitora-Mayong-Burha Mayong in Morigaon, Ultapani heritage site in Kokrajhar, Malegarh and Kachari Raja Fort in Karimganj, Basistha, Gandhi Mandap, Hatisila Panikhaiti and Kajali Chowki (Chandrapur) in Kamrup (Metro) district, etc.
When contacted, Deepi Rekha Kouli, Director, Directorate of Archaeology, said the directorate is in the process of submitting its requirements for developing tourist-friendly amenities in the proposed sites.
�Though the project will be implemented by the State Tourism department, we will have to submit the requirements in a way that archaeological heritage and objects are not hampered in the process. Similarly, some of the amenities proposed in the scheme already exist in some of our sites. Thus, the emphasis will be on developing facilities that are most required for specific locations,� she added.
Asom Darshan is a Rs 300-crore scheme announced in the State budget of 2019-20 in a bid to boost tourism upgrading the basic amenities at more than 1,000 religious, historical and other places of tourists� attraction.
The scheme, implemented by the State Tourism department, is also supposed to highlight the lesserm known sites.