MAMALLAPURAM: In the last three-and-a-half years, the Central and State governments have sanctioned more than Rs.244 crore for development work in Mamallapuram, said Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday.
Inaugurating the month-long ‘Indian Dance Festival 2009,’ organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC), he said the Centre sanctioned Rs.108.30 crore, and the State government Rs.136.25 crore. Besides, the Rural Works Department allotted over Rs.60 lakh for improving infrastructural facilities, keeping in mind the domestic and foreign tourists.
“All the development work and the Indian Dance Festival had led to a substantial increase in tourists’ arrival into Mamallapuram. In the last three-and-a-half years, Mamallapuram received 37 lakh tourists, of which 3.5 lakh were foreigners,” he said.
Noting that the State government was interested in promoting tourism throughout the State by identifying the lesser-known tourist spots, he said that Rs.57 crore was earmarked for improving basic infrastructure in 2009-10.
Mr. Stalin also inaugurated ‘Maragatha Poonga’ in Five Rathas Street, created at a cost of Rs.60 lakh, and the ‘Semmozhi Sirppa Poonga’ in TTDC Beach Resort Complex, developed at Rs.87 lakh, in Mamallapuram. The Semmozhi Sirppa Poonga has 33 sculptures and has been inaugurated as a forerunner to the World Tamil Conference to be held in Coimbatore in June 2010.
In his welcome address, Tourism Minister N. Suresh Rajan said that the Indian Dance Festival was being organised since 1997.