Aiming to make railway stations tourist-friendly, the union tourism ministry has sanctioned about Rs. 27 crore for the development of amenities at five stations Amritsar, Rai Bareli, Agra, Thiruvananthapuram and Gaya.
The development of facilities at these five stations will be undertaken in association with the railway ministry, a senior tourism ministry official said.
As part of the joint initiative, the railways shall make land for the projects available free of cost and render all possible assistance for their completion in time.While central aid of Rs. 10.28 crore is earmarked for Amritsar and Rae Bareli stations, the Thiruvananthapuram station will get Rs. 5.98 crore, Gaya (Rs 5.18 crore) and Agra (Rs 5.05 crore).
The railways will set up a monitoring committee, with a member from the tourism ministry to monitor progress of the projects, the official said.
The tourism ministry has also undertaken the 'Clean India' campaign to keep tourist sites clean and hygienic.
"Last week, the campaign was launched at Taj Mahal by tourism minister K Chiranjeevi. Before that, Qutab Minar was covered under the campaign. We are going to launch the cleanliness drive at Varanasi Ghat shortly," the official said.
The campaign will cover about 30 important tourist places, including heritage monuments, in the first phase.