Make Shirdi a pilgrim tourist centre: Kamat

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Ahmednagar, Jul 10 (UNI) Shirdi should be made a pilgrim tourist centre, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has suggested during his visit to Sai Baba temple at Shirdi.

Talking to reporters after visiting the temple yesterday, Mr Kamat pointed out that around 1.5 crore devotees visit the temple every year.

The Maharashtra government and the temple trust have urged the Central government to list Shirdi Sai Baba temple as a pilgrimage tourist centre.

The Central government should consider the same, Mr Kamat said.

Mr Kamat said that within a period of five years, once an airport is built at Shirdi and railway services become available, foreign tourists,too, will visit the temple in large number.

Talking about the tourism sector in his own state, Mr Kamat said, ''Goa has acquired an important place in world tourism list.

However,few Indian and foreign tourism organisations are trying to blemish Goa's image,'' Mr Kamat said while urging people not to fall prey to such false propaganda.

Goa stands fifth in the world tourism centre's list. The state's population is 14 lakh but hosts around 25 lakh tourists ever year.

Goa earns Rs 1,500 crore from the tourism sector, Mr Kamat informed.

For tourism development, the Goa government has planned various schemes to be implemented during the next Five Year Plan at Rs 3,000 crore, Mr Kamat while emphasising that his state would gain the second spot in the world tourism centre's list.

On foreigners purchasing land in Goa, Mr Kamat said, ''It will not create any security threat.'' Foreigners are marrying Goan girls to buy land in Goa. The Government is collecting details about such people and action would be taken against them, he said.

To a question, he said the Goa government is stable and there are no problems.

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