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HRIDAY to Revive 7 Heritage Cities
Dec 11, 2014

In the next three years, one can expect to visit cleaner religious complexes and heritage sites having properly laid roads without hawkers blocking the way and well-lit surroundings, at least in seven cities. The government will launch a flagship scheme in the next couple of months to revitalize the heritage cities of Amritsar, Ajmer, Gaya, Kanchipuram, Mathura, Varanasi and Vellankani.

With Rs. 500 crore of government funds, the project—Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)—aims to bring together urban planning, economic growth and heritage conservation besides beautification in an inclusive and integrated manner with focus on cleanliness, livelihoods, skills, safety, security, accessibility and faster service delivery.

The urban development ministry has finalised the plan. Finance minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech had provisioned this in order to make heritage cities economic growth engines. Heritage needs to be treated as an asset and its revitalisation and beautification generates lasting benefits to communities and cities.

All these years, redevelopment of heritage structures was taken up as isolated cases. But a need was felt to link the heritage development within a city to the overall planned development of the locality, which not only makes the region more tourist-friendly but also improves quality of life of locals. Installation of CCTV cameras and provision of Wi-Fi access areas will also be a focus area.


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