This move is in pursuance of president APJ Abdul Kalam’s 10 point mission to transform the state’s economy. The Rs 50 crore amount is part of the Centre’s total outlay of Rs 500 crore to boost tourism in all states in the current fiscal.
“President Kalam himself spoke to me on the prospect of development of tourism in Bihar. The Union government will give priority to development of tourism, particularly the Buddhist sites in the state,” Union tourism and culture minister Ambika Soni told reporters on Wednesday night after an hour long discussion with chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The Buddhist sites of Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Nalanda and Vaishali formed important components of development of “Buddhist Circuit” as part of “Incredible India” and “Walk with Buddha” tourism campaigns.
A total of 87,50,541 tourists including 63, 321 foreigners visited Bihar in 2005-06, official statistics said.
It is believed that Satellite imagery could be put to use for exploration in and around the ruins of the ancient Nalanda University, with experts feeling that the remains of the Buddhist seat of learning already excavated are just the tip of the iceberg.
While the current extent of the more than 2500-year-old Nalanda ruins is 1.6 square kilometre, the oldest university in the world is believed to have been spread over a much bigger area.
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