Rs. 20-cr. Central aid for tourism promotion

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM July 26. The Central Government has agreed to sanction Rs. 20 crores to the State for setting up tourist cruise terminals, convention centres, amusement parks and rope ways inducting cruise vessels and tourist trains, the Fisheries and Tourism Minister, K. V. Thomas, told the Assembly today.

Making a special statement in the House, Prof. Thomas said the Centre had also agreed to include Kochi, Thekkady, Madurai and Rameswaram in the new circuits being started by the Centre and to include Kerala in the Vivekananda circuit and Mahatma Gandhi circuit. The master plan for developing infrastructure for these circuits would be prepared by the Union Tourism Secretary and the State Chief Secretary. The project would be fully funded by the Centre, he said.

The Minister said the Centre had also agreed to provide funding for creation of budget accommodation facilities, tourist complexes, way-side amenities, tourist reception centres and protection of memorials and conduct of light-and-sound shows at these memorials under the 90:10 ratio funding programmes. Kumbalangi in Kochi would be developed as a model tourist village with Central assistance. The Centre would also provide Rs. 50 lakhs for conduct of boat races and other festivals in the State, he said.

Prof. Thomas, who was briefing the House about the discussions he had had with the Union Ministers of Agriculture and Tourism and Central officials at Delhi from July 17 to 19, said the Centre had agreed to sanction Rs. 4 crores for giving Rs. 40,000 each as assistance to fisher folk from the National Fish Workers' Welfare Fund for construction of houses and include construction of seven major fishing harbours, nine mini fishing harbours and 11 fish landing centres in the 10th Five Year Plan.The seven major fishing harbours and the estimated project cost are Thottappalli in Alappuzha district (Rs. 16.30 crores), Koilandy in Kozhikode (Rs. 23 crores), Thalai in Kannur (Rs. 19.70 crores), Kasaragod (Rs. 20 crores), Arthungal in Alappuzha (Rs. 15 crores), Chettuva in Thrissur (Rs. 15 crores) and Cheruvathoor in Kasaragod (Rs. 20 crores).

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