GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF TOURISM
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2207
ANSWERED ON 16.03.2016
DECLARING SABARIMALA AS A NATIONAL PILGRIMAGE CENTRE
Will the Minister of TOURISM be pleased to state:
(a) whether there has been progress in the initiative to declare Sabarimala a 'National Pilgrimage Centre';
(b)if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; and
(c) what is the status of the PRASAD Scheme at Sabarimala temple?
MINISTER OF STATE FOR TOURISM (INDEPENDENT CHARGE)
(DR. MAHESH SHARMA)
(a) to (c): The Ministry of Tourism does not declare any site as a National Pilgrimage Centre. However, under the schemes ‘Swadesh Darshan’ and ‘PRASAD’ (Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive), thematic circuits and pilgrimage sites respectively are identified for integrated development. Under Swadesh Darshan 13 thematic circuits have been identified, which include ‘Spiritual Circuit’. Suitable projects for development of important pilgrimage/religious/spiritual places including Sabarimala are eligible for grant of central financial assistance under this thematic circuit subject to receipt of suitable detailed project reports (DPRs), availability of funds, liquidation of pending utilization certificates against the funds released earlier and adherence to the relevant scheme guidelines.
Under ‘PRASAD’ Scheme, presently 13 sites have been identified for infrastructure development; these are Ajmer, Amritsar, Amaravati, Dwarka, Gaya, Kedarnath, Kamakhya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Patna, Puri, Varanasi and Velankanni. Identification of sites under the scheme is a continuous process, subject to availability of resources and adherence to scheme guidelines.