Major upgrade for tourism facilities in Agra-Mathura

Agra/Mathura, July 15 (IANS) The Uttar Pradesh tourism department has approved a major plan to streamline infrastructural projects in the Braj region in the light of the World Bank earmarking Rs.700 crore for promoting pro-poor tourism in the state.

The plan has been cleared by a committee of senior officials including Director General, UP Tourism, Amrit Abhijat.

Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for Vrindavan and beautification of Van Chetna Kendra on the Vrindavan-Mathura road have been cleared, said Mathura’s tourism officer Anoop Srivastav.

The International Centre for Sustainable City has prepared the DPRs for projects worth Rs.110 crore.

Officials said Rs.70 crore would be spent on widening the roads to Bankey Bihari temple, laying underground cables, covering drains, power supply installations and a heritage walk through the holy town.

Another project worth Rs.40 crore for development and beautification of Van Chetna Kendra has been cleared and awaits World Bank approval.

The heritage walk to be developed in Vrindavan will connect all major temples, which pilgrims would be able to visit on foot.

The Uttar Pradesh Pro Poor Tourism Development Project has been approved by the screening committee of the Department of Economic Affairs, ministry of finance.

The project aims to contribute to improving living conditions and increasing income opportunities for the poor through enhanced tourism development in selected destinations in the Buddhist Circuit, Braj region and Agra.

The UP tourism department, meanwhile, is all set to draft a new tourism policy after 17 years. Final touches are being given to the proposed 13 heritage walks in Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi and Mathura-Vrindavan.

The draft policy statement aims at developing an international airport at Agra, though the union tourism and civil aviation ministry has favoured Jevar on the Yamuna Expressway in Bulandshahar district for this project.

The UP tourism department has already cleared a Rs.20 crore walkway project joining the Taj Mahal with the Agra Fort. A slew of projects have been cleared under the Pro-Poor Development Project.

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