India to promote Buddhist tourism
The Indian government has decided to promote Buddhist tourism, said Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi on Friday.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Chiranjeevi said the Ministry of Tourism has appointed a National Level Consultant (NLC) to identify spiritual tourism circuits, including Buddhist Circuits, for integrated development, during the 12th Plan period, in association with the States/Union Territories (UT).
The names of the Buddhist Circuits identified, on the basis of their tourism potential, in consultation with States and stakeholders, by NLC are:
i. Dharmayatra Circuit: Bodh Gaya (Bihar) - Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh) - Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) - Piparvah (Uttar Pradesh).
ii. Extended Dharmayatra Circuit: Bodh Gaya (Bihar) - Nalanda (Bihar)- Rajgir (Bihar)- Patna (Bihar)- Vaishali (Bihar)- Vikramshila (Bihar) - Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh) - Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) - Kapilvastu (Uttar Pradesh) - Sankisa (Uttar Pradesh) - Piparvah (Uttar Pradesh)
"While identifying the designated circuits efforts have been made to plug infrastructure gaps viz- rail/road linkages and provide better amenities to tourists," the minister said.
"No funds have been sanctioned so far to the States/UTs for the identified Circuits."
Chiranjeevi said the States/UTs have set-up respective State Level Monitoring Committees (SLMCs) to regularly review the progress of tourism infrastructure projects.
"Ministry of Tourism also monitors the implementation of projects through Regional Conferences, field inspections by the officers of the Ministry and periodical review meetings with the State/UT officers.
"State Governments/UT Administration are required to submit reports of the State Level Monitoring Committees to the Ministry of Tourism periodically," he said.