Press Trust of India

Religious tourism received big boost under Modi govt: Union minister Jitendra Singh

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page
Jammu: Union minister Jitendra Singh on Sunday said religious tourism has received a big boost in the country under the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also said from the very first day since he was sworn in as the prime minister in 2014, Modi put forward a vision to connect places of religious interest across the country with a safe, efficient and comfortable network.

“It has been possible under Prime Minister Modi that religious tourism sites have been taken care of and developed for the first time for the ease of religious pilgrimage and revival of religious tourism,” the Union minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The “Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD)” scheme aims at integrating pilgrimage destinations in a prioritised, planned and sustainable manner to provide a complete religious tourism experience and it is because of this scheme that religious tourism has been revived in the country, Singh, who represents the Udhampur constituency in Jammu and Kashmir in the Lok Sabha, said.

Chairing a review meeting with Udhampur district administration officials at Mantalai, where an international yoga centre is under construction, Singh said his constituency is the best example of the revival of religious tourism in the country.

“The Udhampur parliamentary constituency is going to offer a unique religious tourism circuit with integrated development through the Rs 190-crore Devika river rejuvenation project, Rs 100-crore Mantalai project, Mansar lake under Swarajya Yojana and Sudh Mahadev and Surinsar project,” he said.

Referring to the Mantalai project, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said it was initially started by Dhirendra Brahmachari, who happened to be the “yoga guru” of then prime minister Indira Gandhi and who had obtained the land on lease.

However, midway through the project, Brahmachari was killed in an air crash and since then, the successive Congress governments did not attend to it and allowed it to turn into a shambles, he said.

“It was only after the Modi government took over that the project was revived nearly three decades later and now, a state-of-the-art wellness centre-cum-tourist resort has come up at this location (Mantalai). Similar is the case of the Devika river, which had remained unattended all these years and only after Modi took over, north India’s first-ever river rejuvenation project was approved for the renovation and beautification of the river,” he said.

Singh said the holy town of Katra, the base camp for the pilgrims visiting the famous Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district, got its railway station under the Modi government and now, the entire area has been brought under the ambit of the “PRASAD” scheme.

In addition, the inter-modal station, the holy spot of Sudh Mahadev, also received attention only after 2014 and now, an alternative national highway is under construction for facilitating connectivity, he said, adding that while Mantalai and Mansar have already been included into the official tourist circuit, Shiv Khori is also expected to become a part of it in the times to come.

Singh also said the Machail Yatra pilgrimage in the neighbouring Kishtwar district lacked basic facilities but in the last nine years, toilets and mobile phone towers were provided along the yatra route and in the absence of power supply, an exclusive solar power plant was also provided.

“The Udhampur parliamentary constituency is an infrastructural marvel and the best-connected constituency in the country. It has seen tremendous development in the last nine years,” he added.

The Union minister said the Delhi-Katra expressway, the historic Kamakhya-to-Katra train covering a distance of more than 2,000 km and connecting the two important destinations of religious pilgrimage and the Vande Bharat express are among the best gifts given by Modi to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, providing a boost to religious tourism in the region.

“The religious tourism circuit in the Udhampur constituency has a very important role in the development and progress of the region as pilgrims across India have a desire to visit these religious sites,” he said.

Singh directed the district administration to speed up the work on these religious tourism sites so that the projects are completed in time.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *