Over 1,000 religious and historical places, and places of tourist attraction in Assam, will be given facelift as the state’s budget for 2019-20 has earmarked Rs 300 crore for the purpose.

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“The money, allocated under a new scheme ‘Asom Darshan’, would be used for the betterment of amenities and infrastructure at 1,008 destinations of historical, religious and tourism importance,” said Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

“Our government has decided to increase the annuity amount by Rs 2 lakh for each religious institution, followed by another one-time grant of up to Rs 1 lakh to all these religious places for setting up CCTV cameras for enhanced security of the place as well as devotees,” the minister said in his budget speech.

“Lack of adequate amenities often causes much inconvenience, particularly for the women and elderly persons, in places of tourist attractions in Assam. Our government has decided to allocate Rs 50 lakh for each destination for this purpose. It will be implemented by the tourism department and I have made a budgetary provision of Rs 150 crore for this purpose,” Sarma said.

“Assam is also endowed with many religious places representing all major religions – Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism etc. However, in many of these places, the lack of essential facilities creates a huge challenge and makes the experience of the devotees and tourists less than pleasurable. The government will provide Rs 10 lakh to each of the identified places,” he said.

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The government has also decided to make all efforts to improve the condition of road linkages to these places of Interest, Sarma said.

“The Public Works Department will spearhead this initiative and we will provide Rs 150 crore for this purpose,” he said, adding that a total allocation of Rs 300 crore has been made for the first phase of Asom Darshan Scheme.

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