Religious tourism gets boost in Modi government’s first budget

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2014 10:26 IST

The maiden budget of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government on Tuesday announced special pilgrimage and ecotourism services to boost growth and encourage private participation in the tourism sector.

Railway minister DV Sadanand Gowda said special pilgrim circuits such as the Devi Circuit, Jyotirling Circuit amd Jain Circuit were identified by the Indian Railways for running trains. He said the budget also planned to start pilgrim trains on Christian Circuit, Muslim/Sufi Circuit, Sikh Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, etc.

“The government proposes to introduce specially packaged trains for these circuits. Private participation in the pilgrim sector will also be encouraged,” Gowda said while presenting his rail budget speech.

Maintaining that there was a vast pool of untapped potential in the field of domestic tourism, Gowda added: “We plan to take up ecotourism and education tourism in the northeastern states.”

“We have proposed a tourist train from Gadag to Pandarpur passing through Bagalkot, Bijapur and Solapur, covering the pilgrim and tourist places of Karnataka and Maharashtra. A tourist train will start from Rameswaram, covering pilgrim and tourist places in Bengaluru, Chennai, Ayodhya, Varanasi and Haridwar,” the railway minister said.

Welcoming the initiatives announced in the railway budget, tourism and culture minister Shripad Yasso Naik assured full cooperation by his ministry for speedy implementation of the projects.

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