Pilgrimage and heritage tourism are key themes for driving the tourism footfall in destinations and cities. The growth of domestic tourism in India largely depends on pilgrimage and heritage tourism and to tap this potential there was a need for integrated development of the selected pilgrimage destinations and integrated development of heritage cities in cooperation with other stake- holders.
The Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) Scheme launched by the Ministry of Tourism Government of India will prove to be a milestone in shaping the planned development in Chinnmastika Dham, Mata Shree Chintpurni temple of Himachal Pradesh.
As of now a sum of Rs. 40.07 crore has been approved for undertaking beautification and developing infrastructure in Chintpurni along with creating facilities for the devotees which include a Pilgrimage facility centre, walking tracks, water ATM’s, Shelters, e-toilets etc. Besides, the beautification of the temple will also be taken on large scale. There is also provision of solar lights, improvement of road leading towards the temple, installation of CCTV’s, waste management structures, digital display system, LED screens in waiting rooms and electric vehicles for the devotees to and fro from nearby parking areas.
This will not only help boost religious tourism but will also increase the footfall and will also help in generating indirect employment opportunities, besides cleanliness, Security, Accessibility and service delivery.
PRASAD scheme offers a tremendous opportunity to undertake infrastructure developments at the important pilgrimage and heritage destinations in an inclusive, integrated and sustainable manner that focuses on livelihoods, skills, cleanliness, security, accessibility and service delivery.
Out of the total land requirement of 1700 sqm, around 60 percent of the area has been acquired for creating basic infrastructural facilities as per the official records. After the completion of the project , the overcrowding problems will be solved with effective planned crowd management and State of Art facilities.
Every year, around 16 lakh pilgrims from various parts of the country, especially from neighboring Punjab, pay obeisance at Chintpurni Devi temple, one of the 51 shaktipeeths. Efforts will be made to develop basic amenities for pilgrims like introduction of non-polluting public traffic system, an alternate path, disabled-friendly infrastructure and a new block for darshan and kirtan.
To overcome the problem of traffic congestion, a tourist reception centre (TRC)-cum-parking area was developed under the Asian Development Bank (ADB) assisted project of around Rs. 52 crore last year at Chintpurni by the Tourism Department.
After full implementation, PRASAD scheme will help in nurturing the diverse religious and cultural heritage. The scheme will attract both domestic and international tourists, which will also help in adding revenue for the State.
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