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Navjot Singh Sidhu unveils plan to develop Virasat-e-Khalsa

The minister said the Union government under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme had already approved Rs 99 crore for the development of historical and religious sites across the state, of which Rs 29 crore would be spent on the all-round development of Anandpur Sahib.

punjab Updated: Jul 21, 2018 10:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Navjot Singh Sidhu,Virasat-e-Khalsa,Swadesh Darshan Scheme
Punjab tourism and cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu. (HT File)

Tourism and cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday finalised a blueprint to develop Virasat-e-Khalsa, a museum of the Sikhs, as a ‘strategic tourist spot’ in the state besides upgrading the basic amenities and infrastructure at Anandpur Sahib, the birthplace of Khalsa for the convenience of devotees.

Presiding over a meeting of Anandpur Sahib Foundation, the minister said that since Virasat-e-Khalsa was attracting heavy tourist footfall, it was a high time to develop tented accommodation, budget hotels, food courts and souvenir shops in its vicinity.

The minister also said that the Union government under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme had already approved Rs 99 crore for the development of historical and religious sites across the state, of which Rs 29 crore would be exclusively spent on the all-round development of Anandpur Sahib.

Acknowledging the proposal mooted by Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal to connect Anandpur Sahib with Naina Devi through ropeway, Sidhu said he would soon take up this issue with his Himachal Pradesh counterpart to expedite the project, which would further enhance the tourism potential in the region.

Underscoring the need to create a façade in the holy city of Anandpur Sahib on the pattern of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Sidhu asked the tourism secretary Vikas Pratap to chalk out a detailed plan to ensure uniformity of all the buildings, shops and establishments in a holistic manner. Pratap apprised the minister that the department was already working on these lines under Swadesh Darshan Project and soon take up this project to enhance its rich cultural legacy from heritage perspective.

The meeting was informed that the prestigious Khalsa Heritage Project was gradually becoming the centre of attraction with aggregating footfall of 92.6 lakh visitors, probably the highest for the country’s any memorial or monument in a short span of less than seven years.

First Published: Jul 20, 2018 20:23 IST