Even as 35 percent of tourists coming to Gujarat comprises pilgrims, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani today called for holistic approach for high-level integrated development of kaleidoscope of pilgrimage centres in the state to make them more pilgrim-friendly.
Presiding over the Gujarat Pavitra Yatradham Vikas Board here, he suggested a long-term plan to develop eight major pilgrims centres of the state registering more than 1,000 footfalls each as iconic centres, namely Ambaji, Somnath, Dwarka, Shamlaji, Pavagadh, Palitana and Girnar. It involves massive high-end cleansing of 11 lakh square metres of land in and around these places. Installation of CCTV cameras, e-rickhaws, wheel chairs and ramps for senior citizens could be other features.He said that there is need for attractive signage to prompt tourists visiting Dhordo in the midst of vast stretches of white sands in Kutch to places of religious places like Mata-na-Madh and Narayan Sarovar. He suggested development of Dakor and Dwarka on the lines of Ganga Ghats in Varanasi.
Tourism Secretary Mamata Verma made a presentation on Yatradham Vikas Board’s activities. It included setting up 1605kV rooftop solar panels to be set up at 140 religious places at a cost of Rs.3.30-crore, to save Rs.1.15-crore annually. the Yatradham Vikas Board had arranged special buses for taking 89,410 senior citizens to various to various places at a cost of Rs.5.29-crore, likewise taking 352 tourists to Kailash Mansarovar and Sindhu Darshan.
Others who attended the meeting included Yatradham Vikas Minister Dilipkumar Thakor, Minister of State Vibhavariben Dave and senior officers of Vikas Board.