K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, in a statement to Lok Sabha revealed that the Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned as much as Rs 460.74 crores for five ongoing Eco Circuit projects. Eco Circuit is one of the 15 thematic circuits identified for development under Swadesh Darshan Scheme – integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits in the country. The projects are sanctioned subject to availability of funds, submission of suitable detailed project reports, adherence to scheme guidelines and utilisation of funds released earlier. The completion of the projects sanctioned under the scheme would result in increased tourist inflow thereby creating employment opportunities for the local community.
All the projects are at different stages of implementation. The Ministry provides central financial assistance as one time grant for creation of capital assets under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme in phased manner. Based on the progress made on the projects and utilisation certificate received from the State Governments, Ministry releases subsequent installments of funds. The operation and maintenance of the assets created is the responsibility of respective State Government/Union Territory. The revenue generated, if any, from these assets does not accrue to the Ministry.