Centre sanctions Rs 17,468.72 lakh for 86 tourism projects in NE

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Agartala, May 20 (UNI) The Centre has approved 86 tourism projects for the Northeastern states, including 11 for Tripura, during 2007-08 and released Rs 13,970.58 lakh out of the total sanctioned amount of Rs 17,468.72 lakh for the region.

Official sources said here today that the Union Tourism Ministry had accorded top priority to development of tourism in the region as tourism had great potential for employment generation and economic growth.

The sources said during the 10th plan period, Rs 319 crore was released to the NE states, including Sikkim, as against the mandatory provision of 10 per cent of the total budget, amounting to Rs 269 crore.

Similarly, in the first year of the 11th plan, against the target of Rs 95.3 crore, the actual expenditure on the NE, including human resource development and publicity, amounted to Rs 170 crore.

The Ministry had sanctioned Rs 1,110.76 lakh for 11 projects and Rs 888.60 lakh for infrastructure development, fairs and festivals, capacity building for service providers in Tripura.

Meanwhile, Rs 1,271.90 lakh was sanctioned for five projects in Assam and Rs 1,017.52 lakh had already been released.

The highest number of projects (27) was sanctioned for Sikkim, followed by Nagaland (21), and lowest number of projects had been sanctioned for Meghalaya (two), followed by Manipur and Mizoram (five each).

Sikkim got Rs 4,824.82 lakh out of Rs 6,036.48 lakh, Nagaland got Rs 1,793.07 lakh out of Rs 2,241.35 lakh, Meghalaya got Rs 539.52 lakh out of Rs 674.40 lakh, Mizoram got Rs 1,354.35 lakh out of sanctioned amount of Rs 1,692.94 lakh and Manipur got Rs 888.62 lakh of Rs 1,110.77 lakh, officials stated.

As part of sustainable tourism development, the Ministry had emphasised eco-tourism and rural tourism of showcasing the crafts, cuisine and culture of a village in a very attractive manner.

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