Facilities in places such as Courtallam and Tranquebar to be improved

The State government will implement a Rs.450-crore special tourism development project for the beautification of tourist centres and improvement of basic facilities along the east coast corridor and southern tourist circuit, Tourism Minister Gokula Indira told the Assembly on Tuesday.

Of the project cost, the Asian Development Bank would contribute Rs. 315 crore and the State government, Rs. 135 crore. The project would be launched by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in November, the Minister said, concluding the debate on the demands for grants to the Tourism Department.

The east coast circuit extended from Chennai to Point Calimere, laterally extending up to Thanjavur for the inclusion of “Navagraha temples,” Thanjavur Palace and other sites. As part of the southern circuit, the quadrangle of Madurai-Rameswaram-Tirunelveli-Madurai would be covered.

The Minister also announced plans for improvement of facilities for tourists in different places, including Courtallam, Tranquebar, Mannargudi, Muthupet, Manalmelkudi, Auvudaiyar koil and Chittannavasal. Steps would be made for the Chettinad Heritage Circuit. As part of them, a reception centre would be set up at Karaikudi.

An auditorium, estimated to cost Rs. 5 crore, would be constructed at Srirangam, the Minister added.