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Union Tourism and Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy announced a special tourist train to cover the “Ambedkar Circuit”.
The Ambedkar Circuit:
- The government had first proposed the Ambedkar Circuit, or Panchteerth, in 2016.
- Prime Minister had said the Panchteerth would include Janma Bhoomi, Ambedkar’s birthplace in Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow; Shiksha Bhoomi, the place in London where he stayed while studying in the UK; Deeksha Bhoomi in Nagpur where he embraced Buddhism; Mahaparinirvan Bhoomi or the place of his demise in Delhi; and Chaitya Bhoomi, the place of his cremation, in Mumbai.
- The idea is to attract tourists beyond the Dalit community, who mostly visit these places as a pilgrimage. The journey will include meals, ground transportation, and entry to the sites.
Focus on tourism circuits:
- The government had identified 15 tourist circuits under the Swadesh Darshan scheme in 2014-15.
- Besides the Ramayana and Buddhist Circuits, others include Coastal Circuit, Desert Circuit, Eco Circuit, Heritage, North East, Himalayan, Sufi, Krishna, Rural, Tribal, and Tirthankar Circuits. In terms of train collaboration, the Ramayana, Buddhist, and North East Circuits are already active, while Ambedkar will be fourth.
- As far as circuit development is concerned, until March 2022, 76 projects had been sanctioned in these 15 circuits at an estimated cost of Rs 5,445 crore.
- The creation of special circuits allows them to focus better on the comprehensive development of all sites related to the theme, including infrastructure, road and rail connectivity, and visitor facilities.