Chamundi hills to go eco-friendly
The union ministry has sanctioned development project worth Rs 100 crore in Chamundi Hills of Karnataka, under the PRASAD (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive) scheme. The project will be implemented without affecting the surrounding ecosystem of the iconic Chamundesswary temple.
The ministry has approved the project in principle and it is said to be the only temple from Karnataka to have developmental works as per the PRASAD scheme.
The scheme was launched in 2014-15 by the Union Ministry of Tourism. It aims at integrated development of pilgrimage destinations in planned, prioritized and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience. It focuses on the development and beautification of the identified pilgrimage destinations.
“Very soon, the Chamundi Hill land will be taken over by Tourism Department to implement the project. The Center had asked Karnataka to finalize a Temple for development under the project and we chose the Hill Temple. All the present development works will be stopped and a new eco-friendly and greenery-focussed development will take place there,” said S R Mahesh, Tourism Minister
As per the project plan, visitors should park their vehicle at the bottom of the hill and to use battery operated vehicles provided, to reach atop the Hill. No vehicle will be allowed up the Hill.
“We will follow the Tirupati model where battery-operated vehicles are being used in a phased manner. The focus will be on maintenance of ecology and sustainable developmental activities including maximum utilization of renewable energy,” said the minister.
The objectives of PRASAD scheme are to harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development and enhance tourist attractiveness in sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the religious destinations.