Thiruvananthapuram: In a major fillip to pilgrim tourism, Kerala has secured the Centre’s approval for a Rs 91.72-crore proposal to improve tourist amenities in 147 pilgrim centres of different faiths across the state.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, has endorsed the proposal submitted by the state government in this regard, as part of the Tourism Infrastructure Development plan.
Stating that pilgrim tourism is a priority area for the state, Kadkampally Surendran , Minister for Co- Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, said a detailed project report on the scheme will be submitted to the Centre soon.
“As the next step, a detailed project plan will be prepared at the earliest and submitted to the Centre. The government will be giving priority to the development of pilgrim tourism, considering the growing importance of this segment,” Surendran added.
The project will be implemented as part of the Pilgrim Tourism Third Circuit Development Plan, under which basic infrastructures in major Hindu, Muslim and Christian pilgrim centres in all the 14 districts will be created by demarcating them into seven clusters.
Facilities for pilgrims, including rest rooms, halls for serving foods, toilets and food stalls, will be built as part of the project.
In northern most Kasargod, which comes under the first cluster, projects worth Rs 10.91 crore will be carried out while works totaling Rs 9.29 crore will be implemented in the second cluster comprising Wayanad, Kannur and Kozhikode districts.
The third cluster, which has projects totalling Rs 9.03 crore, will benefit Palakkad and Malappuram districts.
Thrissur, Ernakulam and Idukki districts will be part of the fourth cluster, where projects worth Rs 14.24 crore will be taken up while Rs 19.91core has been earmarked for schemes of the fifth cluster covering Kottayam and Alappuzha districts.
Pathanamthitta, identified as the sixth cluster, will get Rs 11.80 crore for various projects while Rs 12.16 has been set apart for the seventh cluster covering Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts.
The pilgrim centres in the project include Ananthapadmanabhaswamy Temple, Kasargod; Thirunavaya Nava Mukunda Temple, Malappuram; Valiyapalli Juma Masjid, Ponnani; Sri Visalakshi Sametha Sri Viswanathaswamy temple, Kalpathy; Thali Siva Temple, Pattambi; Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi temples in Thrissur; Ayyappa Seva Sangham, Erumeli; Nainar Church, Kanjirappally; St. Mary’s Church, Chambakkulam; Marthoma Church, Thiruvalla; and Parabrahma Temple, Oachira.