In news- Prime Minister recently inaugurated various development projects in Varanasi which included the Tourist Facilitation Centre under the Project “Development of Varanasi Under PRASAD Scheme – Phase II” .
About the scheme-
- The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive’ (PRASHAD) is a Central Sector Scheme launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15.
- Its objective is integrated development of identified pilgrimage and heritage destinations.
- The scheme aimed at infrastructure development such as entry points (Road, Rail and Water Transport), last mile connectivity, basic tourism facilities, eco-friendly modes of transport, rain shelters, Telecom facilities, internet connectivity etc…
- This scheme focuses on developing and identifying pilgrimage sites across India for enriching the religious tourism experience.
- This scheme seeks to leverage the voluntary funding available for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for improved sustainability of the projects under this scheme.
- The Central Government provides 100% funding for the project components undertaken for public funding.
- The project components under the scheme that are not eligible to receive assistance are Land acquisition for development, Resettlement and rehabilitation package, operation, maintenance and management of the assets created, Improvement or investments in assets or structures owned by private entities.
- The following cities are identified under the PRASAD scheme- Amritsar (Punjab), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand), Mathura (Uttar Pradesh), Ajmer (Rajasthan), Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Gaya (Bihar), Kamakhya (Assam), Dwaraka (Gujarat), Puri (Odisha), Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Kanchipuram(Tamil Nadu), Velankanni (Tamil Nadu).