No iconic Rajasthan site in the fabulous five

JAIPUR: Despite having about a dozen world-renowned archeological sites, none of them are on the list of five announced by finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman will develop iconic sites in the country.

During his Budget speech, Sitharaman named Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Hastinapur (Uttar Pradesh), Shivsagar (Assam), Dholavira (Gujarat) and Adichanallur (Tamil Nadu), which would become iconic sites with museums on the site.

Disappointed that none of Rajasthan sites like Kalibangan, one of the main provincial capitals of the Indus Valley civilization, found favor, people involved in the tourism industry said politics play a role in such decisions.

When you do not have your party in charge of the government in the Center, it is obvious that the interests of your state may not have the same weight, said a tour operator.

The finance Minister said that she expects the state governments to develop a roadmap for certain identified destinations and formulate financial plans during 2021 against which specified grants will be made available to the states in 2020-21.

But there are three proposals to develop three tourist circuits that have been submitted to the Ministry of Tourism of the Union, but so far, none of the projects have been sanctioned.

“Three plans for ecotourism, desert tourism and tribal tourism were presented to the Center approximately two and a half years ago. Each proposal has estimated a budget of Rs 100 Rs. But none have been sanctioned so far, said an official with the state's tourism department.

The finance Minister said that for purpose of tourism promotion, she has proposed to allocate Rs 2,500 crore for 2020-21.