Buddhist tourist sites in Uttar Pradesh to be developed

PTI, Oct 1, 2007

New Delhi, India -- With an eye on Buddhist tourists, the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to develop a Buddhist circuit in the state at a cost of Rs 1200 crore.

The state would get a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the project that involves various developments at Buddhist sites like Sarnath, Shravasti, Kaushambi and Kushinagar.

"The process is now in its final stage and the Central government has also given its nod for the project. In the first phase, the Ministry of Tourism has given the green signal to the state government to take the loan from JBIC," Minister of State for Tourism of Uttar Pradesh Vinod Singh told PTI.

"It is a soft loan under the Maitreyi project where in we will be getting Rs 1200 crore solely for the development of Buddhist circuit from JBIC for tourism infrastructure development. The detailing of the project has been done and the Centre has also given its nod for it," he added.

Companies like Nippon and TCS have been hired as consultants for the project, Abhilash Sharma, Director, UP Regional Tourism, said.

While the state had tremendous potential, tourism did not prosper because of lack of infrastructure and proper marketing, he said. The state tourism department is now also working on a comprehensive advertising campaign to market it.