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Saturday, 28 April 2012

State govt to put Vrindavan, Govardhan on tourist map

TNN | Apr 20, 2012, 03.55AM IST

LUCKNOW: In a bid to revive tourism in the state, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday said the government needed to take immediate measures to take up development works in Govardhan, Vrindavan and Agra regions of the state. Though Akhilesh refrained from announcing any special package for developing the regions, he did say that a priority plan be prepared and tabled before him, in a month.

Key concerns raised during Thursday's meeting with the CM included the need for better infrastructure facilities, which includes roads, solid waste management and sewage systems for Mathura and Vrindavan.

Braj Foundation, a non-profit organisation working on restoring the region's glory also raised the issues pertaining to the urgent need for the proper maintenance of the heritage sites in the Mathura and Vrindavan. Govardhan sees more than 4 crore tourists annually. Everyday, devotees offer more than 5,000 litres of milk to the hill. Absence of proper drainage system leads to a civic mess. Similarly, garbage disposal system is also in a mess. Speaking to TOI, chairman and CEO, Braj Foundation, Vineet Narain, said, "The government has promised that it will identify priority areas on which work can be started immediately. Though the extent of fund infusion is still unclear, the CM has said he wants to see tangible changes within one year."

On Thursday, the government also took up the proposed international airport in Agra, with Akhilesh instructing the concerned officials to prepare necessary plans. In addition, he also ordered the setting up of a Taj Nature Park in the area surrounding the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Among other decisions, the government also gave its nod to the broadening and upgradation of the main roads linking Kosi, Nandgaon and Barsana, Mathura to Govardhan and Vrindavan-Chhatikara-Radhakund roads. In the government draft proposal, Akhilesh has also ordered setting up for proper drinking water facilities, toilets, street lights and rest room facilities for the tourists.

Earlier this week, Mathura district authorities also drew up a plan for infrastructure development, road connectivity and beautification of the 'Parikrama Marg' - a 21-km path around Govardhan hill.

In the past, environmentalists have also highlighted the ecological degradation of the region resulting from illegal mining in the Barsana area bordering Rajasthan. On Wednesday, divisional commissioner of Agra, Amrit Abhijat also cleared a plan by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) to upgrade the facilities to control water pollution in the Kusum Sarovar, a pond on the Parikrama Marg and Mansi Ganga in Govardhan. Similar measures have also been planned for Agra's Paliwal Park lake and the Mantola Nullah.

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