T.S. Shankar

CHENNAI: The Union Tourism Ministry has provided special financial assistance to two destination development schemes in Tamil Nadu — the beautification of the Marina beach and Srirangam in Tiruchi and celebration of the annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival during December-end.

The special Central Financial Assistance (CFA) would go a long way in boosting tourism in Tamil Nadu and the Union Tourism Ministry responded positively to the requests made by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department, according to N. Suresh Rajan, State Minister for Tourism.

The Union Tourism Ministry had sanctioned Rs.492.76 lakh towards beautification of the Marina beach and released the first instalment of the grants-in-aid as an advance of Rs.394.21 lakh to facilitate commencement of work.

Construction of a footpath, a gallery, landscaping, signages, dust bins and two public conveniences would be some major works that would be carried out with this CFA.

Mr. Suresh Rajan told The Hindu that the Tamil Nadu Government would set up a monitoring committee with a member roped in from the Union Tourism Ministry to monitor the progress of the projects and submit the progress report to the Centrefrom time to time.

The second and final instalment would be released only after considering the progress of the project and on submission of the utilisation and completion certificates, management agreement and undertaking for the amount already released to them.

The State Government, the Minister said, would get the work executed through the Commissioner and the Chennai Corporation and shall have the work started immediately to ensure timely utilisation of funds to avoid cost escalation.

With regard to Srirangam, provision of pavements for yatris , landscaping and lighting arrangements around Renganatha temple and improvement of infrastructure had been planned. These works would be taken up with the CFA at Rs.372.70 lakh.