A year after announcing it in the budget, the State government has formally launched the Asom Darshan scheme on Monday under which Rs 710 crore will be spent to develop and publicize places of tourist interest and religious importance.
This program is designed to develop and publicise various places of tourist interest, including those blessed with natural beauty as well as those of religious or historical importance, said Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
A budget of Rs 150 cr is allocated under Asom Darshan to improve infrastructure of 316 listed destinations. A fixed amount shall be provided to each place for construction of restrooms & providing clean drinking water & garbage disposal facilities.
Ten members of each beneficiary institution have been invited for the formal launch of the scheme held at the Khanapara field. The scheme has been launched by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The visionary Rs 710 cr Asom Darshan program has 4 components – Annuity grant to Devalayas; improving basic infrastructure of places of natural beauty and historical significance; improving key infrastructure in religious places; improved connectivity for visitors.
Earlier on Saturday Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the State government had acquired vast swathes of land belonging to various institutions of religious nature.
Among the 915 religious places which will get Rs 10 lakh for infrastructure upgrade are 459 temples, 186 satras, 123 naamghars, 47 mosques and 26 churches. All these institutions are more than 100 years old and according to the minister in many of these places, lack of essential facilities have been creating a huge challenge and making experiences of devotees less than desirable. The scheme will be implemented by the respective deputy commissioners.
The PWD will spearhead the initiative of improving the road network to these places at a cost of Rs 615 crore.