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Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu sanctions Rs.500 cr for 12 cities under the scheme

Varanasi gets Rs.89 cr, Amritsar-Rs.69 cr, Ajmer-Rs.40 cr and Dwaraka-22.26 cr  
Shri Naidu says no nation can progress ignoring its culture and heritage 

New Delhi, Jan 22, 2015: The National Heritage Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) that seeks to preserve and rejuvenate the rich cultural heritage of the country was launched by the Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu, here today. Minister of Tourism and Culture Dr.Mahesh Sharma and Members of Lok Sabha representing different cities selected under HRIDAY also attended the launch. 

Speaking on the occasion, Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu said ‘No nation can move forward ignoring its cultural heritage and legacy. India is a diverse land of languages and religions and we need to preserve the legacy of all kinds. HRIDAY is a step towards reviving the soul of cities hosting such rich heritage’.

Elaborating on the new initiative, Shri Naidu said, ‘HRIDAY seeks to promote an integrated, inclusive and sustainable development of heritage sites, focusing not just on maintenance of monuments but on advancement of the entire ecosystem including its citizens, tourists and local businesses.’ He said, with 32 UNESCO recognized natural and cultural heritage sites, ranking second in Asia and fifth in the world, the tourism potential of the country is still to be fully harnessed and the new scheme will help in this regard.

Informing that Rs.500 cr would be provided to the 12 cities selected in the first phase under the ‘Central Schme’ of HRIDY, Shri Naidu said, central government will meet the entire expenditure under the scheme. He however, urged the states and local urban bodies to supplement their resources for rapid development of heritage cities. He also called for involvement of NGOs, spiritual organisations and private sector for effective implementation of the scheme. He stressed that urban development efforts should aim at blending ‘nature and culture for a better future’.

Shri Venkaiah Naidu distributed sanction letters to the 12 cities for spending over the next two years. Based on city population, Varanasi was allocated Rs.89.31 cr, Amritsar-Rs.69.31 cr, Warangal(Telangana)-Rs.40.54 cr, Ajmer-Rs.40.04 cr, Gaya-Rs.40.04 cr, Mathura-Rs.40.04 cr, Kanchipuram-Rs.23.04 cr and Vellankini-Rs.22.26 cr, both in Tamil Nadu, Amaravati(AP)-Rs.22.26 cr, Badami (Karnataka)-Rs.22.26 cr, Dwaraka(Gujarat)-Rs.22.26 cr and Puri-Rs.22.54 cr.

Minister of Tourism and Culture Dr.Mahesh Sharma welcoming the HRIDAY scheme said that in conjunction with the schemes of his ministry, it will help in promoting tourism in the country. He stressed that development can’t be at the cost of heritage of the country.

Shri Pinaki Mishra, MP from Puri said that after 68 years of Independence such a novel initiative has been launched which would go a long way in developing heritage cities. He noted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the country is learning to think big.

Municipal Commissioners of all the 12 selected cities made brief presentations on the tangible and intangible cultural assets of respective cities and the plans for their development under HRIDAY. An exhibition was also organized highlighting various aspects of these cities.

Shri Shankar Aggarwal, Secretary(UD) gave details of various initiatives of the government for urban development.

Members of Lok Sabha who attended the launch included Shri Pinaki Mishra, Ms.Poonam Behn, Shri Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, Shri Kadiyam Srihari and Shri P.C.Gaddigoudar.CCI Newswire
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