New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) The Centre has approved projects to improve infrastructure around core heritage sites in Amritsar, Dwarka, Puri, Varanasi and Warangal.
The projects in these cities in Punjab, Gujarat, Odisha Uttar Pradesh and Telengana entail an expenditure of Rs 114 crore under the Heritage Infrastructure Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).
According to an official statement, Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu directed ministry officials and state governments concerned to ensure implementation of the projects by March next.
In Amritsar, nine heritage projects (Rs 57 crore) were approved, including development and upgradation of 21 major roads leading to the Golden Temple.
In Dwarka, the Dwarkadhish temple square will be developed (Rs 2.75 crore) by providing pedestrian pathways, improvement of roads, greenery , street furniture, lighting, signages, dustbins and space for vendors etc.
In Puri, five projects (about Rs 17 crore) will be undertaken for the revitalisation of different heritage zones, including landscape development of Jagannath Ballabh temple.
A Heritage Walk will be constructed around the Kabir Chaura in Varanasi, along with development of infrastructure at 86 historical sites across that city, costing Rs 13.25 crore.
Kabir Chaura is home to renowned musicians like Kishan Maharaj, Gopi Krishan, Samta Prasad and Mishra brothers — Rajan and Sajan.
These heritage sites include temples, residences of famous personalities, ‘kunds’ (water reservoirs), parks and palaces.
The Warangal fort will be revived and developed with necessary interventions, costing Rs 15.30 crore.
Under HRIDAY, central assistance of Rs 500 crore has been earmarked till March 2017.
Twelve cities have been included under the central scheme, including Ajmer (Rajasthan), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Badami (Karnataka), Gaya (Bihar), Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu), Mathura (UP) and Vellankini (Tamil Naidu).
Plans for all 12 mission cities have been approved and detailed project reports based on these plans, entailing expenditure of over Rs 350 crore, sanctioned for implementation.