Projects will be taken up across the eight Northeastern states Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: The Centre has approved 18 projects worth Rs 1,456 crore covering all eight Northeast states towards development and promotion of the sector in the region under schemes like Swadesh Darshan and Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD), Union minister of state (independent charge) for tourism & culture Prahlad Singh Patel said in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

These schemes entail development works in major heritage, wildlife and pilgrimage sites in the region.

Giving details of sanctioned projects in Assam, Patel informed that the Centre had released funds to the tune of Rs 76.54 crore for the development of the Manas-Probitora-Nameri-Kaziranga-Dibru-Saikhowa wildlife circuit, Rs 45.29 crore for the Tejpur-Majuli-Sivasagar heritage circuit and Rs 22.02 crore for the development of Kamakhya Temple and pilgrimage sites around Guwahati.

The ministry had also identified Kaziranga as one of the 17 sites for development in the country under the Iconic Tourist Sites Development Project, he added.

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The tourism minister also enumerated the various activities undertaken by the ministry for the promotion of Northeast as a tourist destination. These include release of television campaigns on Doordarshan and private TV channels, production of publicity material, creatives and television commercials and promotional films, making Northeast the theme of the ministry’s pavilion at the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), provision of complimentary space to the Northeastern states for their participation in the India pavilions set up by the ministry at major international travel fairs and exhibitions, and organisation of an annual international tourism mart in the region with the objective of highlighting its tourism potential.

The projects under the Swadesh Darshan and PRASAD schemes are identified for development in consultation with the state governments and sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitably detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier. Submission of project proposals by the state governments and sanctioning was an ongoing process, the minister said.

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