Union Tourism Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy virtually inaugurates PRASHAD projects at Govardhan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh

Union Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Shri G. Kishan Reddy along with Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath and Minister of State for Tourism and Defence Shri Ajay Bhatt inaugurated various components developed at the Govardhan Bus Stand under the project “Development of Govardhan, Mathura” under PRASHAD Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism on Saturday virtually.

The Union Minister Sri G. Kishan Reddy said that under the leadership of Prime minister India has achieved the historic feat of administering 150 crore vaccinations. The Minister also reminded the stakeholders that Covid has not yet ended, and requested all to follow all necessary protocols and precautions to stay safe and healthy. “When we remove the soul from our body, there is nothing remaining, similarly the spiritual heritage and culture of our country needs to be protected for the nation to thrive and Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modi has been leading from the front on this.” The Prime Minister is focused on enhancing pilgrim accessibility and their experience through connectivity, infrastructure, and better facilities, the Minister added. He said that for realizing the Prime Minister’s vision,  the Ministry is working tirelessly towards improving the overall facilities and tourism infrastructure. The PRASHAD scheme is being implemented to improve the Tourism infrastructure like facilitation centers for tourists such as Information and Interpretation Centers, ATM and Money exchange facilities, Eco-friendly buses, lighting, parking, toilets, cloakrooms, first aid centers, rain shelters, and internet connectivity at the Tourist locations.

Noting the projects implemented in the state, Minister Sri Kishan Reddy said “So far under the PRASHAD Scheme, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand together have close to 25% of the total allocation of approximately Rs. 1200 crores towards pilgrimage, spiritual and heritage rejuvenation”. “Moreover, Rs. 500 crores has been allocated for the state of Uttar Pradesh alone through the SWADESH DARSHAN scheme towards strengthening Tourism infrastructure within the state of Uttar Pradesh through various spiritual circuits such as the Ramayana and Buddha circuits”, the Minister added.

The Union Minister also highlighted the various programs being conducted as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, as India celebrates its 75th year of independence. He requested for maximum people participation in the programs that were being conceived keeping in mind our rich cultural heritage such as the Rangoli making competition and also programs that were designed to invoke patriotic fervor among the masses such as the competition that requires composing patriotic songs. The Minister also congratulated the individuals and officials behind the successful completion of the project.

The occasion was graced by the august presence of Shri Dr. Neelkanth Tiwari, Minister of State (IC) for Tourism, Culture, Religious Affairs, Protocol(MOS), Smt. Hema Malini, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha, Mathura Region, Shri Arvind Singh (I.A.S), Secretary (Tourism), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Shri Mukesh Meshram (I.A.S) Principal Secretary(Tourism), Uttar Pradesh.

The project for “Development of Govardhan Mathura” under the PRASHAD scheme was approved by the Ministry of Tourism with the cost of INR 39.73 Cr. in January 2019. The components viz. ‘Multi-Level Car Stand Block, Cloak Room & Toilets, Boundary wall, and Surface development at Govardhan Bus Stand’ has been successfully completed with the cost of INR 15.82 Cr.

Other components sanctioned under the project include the development of Mansi Ganga, Chandra Sarovar, Govardhan Parikrama, and interventions at Kusum Sarovar. The illumination of the Kusum Sarovar is already completed and dedicated to the nation in February 2021. The work for all other components is in the advanced stages of completion.

The components developed under the project have resulted in the facilitation of pilgrims and enhancement of the pilgrimage experience. The interventions implemented have resulted in the regulation of pedestrian traffic on the Govardhan Parikrama Path.

The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) is a Central Sector Scheme with complete financial assistance from the Government of India. The scheme has been launched under the leadership of the Prime Minister by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the vision of focused infrastructure development to harness pilgrimage and heritage tourism destinations for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development. The scheme aims at infrastructure development to envisage world-class infrastructural development of the sites with special emphasis on Tourist Facilities including Tourist Facilitation Centres, way-side amenities Parking, Public convenience, Illumination and Sound and Light Shows.

In addition to the above-mentioned project at Govardhan, 5 more projects. have been sanctioned in the state of Uttar Pradesh under the PRASHAD scheme of the Ministry of Tourism. The total outlay of the projects sanctioned under the PRASHAD scheme for Uttar Pradesh is INR 139.75 Cr. The sanctioned projects include the Development of Mathura Vrindavan as Mega Tourist Destination, the Construction of the Tourist Facilitation Center at Mathura, Development of Varanasi, and the Development of Cruise Tourism in the River Ganga. The majority of components implemented under these projects have already been completed and dedicated to the nation.

The Union Minister praised the state government for the optimum use of the funds released by the Government of India for creating the facilities of international standards. He further assured the state government of every cooperation and support required from the Ministry of Tourism in the sector.