27 SC/ST youth get tourist taxis

Speaking after distributing tourist taxis to 27 youth belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in a programme organised by District Administration and District Tourism Department on Saturday, he said government has decided to give more thrust on the promotion of tourism in the State. Of the allocated fund of Rs 250 crore, Rs 150 crore will be spent on development of infrastructure facilities and development of other facilities in various tourist spots in the State. The remaining Rs 100 crore will be used as first installment for the special project at famous historical place Hampi. This includes development of a theme park to present the glory of the kingdom of Sri Krishnadevaraya.

The project is built at the cost of Rs 300 crore, he added.  He said government has plans to install a life-size statue of Sri Madhwacharya, proponent of Madhwa philosophy carrying the idol of Lord Sri Krishna in his hand at Malpe beach. Statue of Kalingamardhana Sri Krishna will be installed at St Mary’s Island. Measures are taken to develop Maravanthe beach under PPP model (public private partnership). Plans have been chalked out to develop Kaup Light House, he said.

Acharya said government has plans to introduce ‘Tanga’ service in the city between Udupi and Manipal to facilitate large number pilgrims and tourists every year. Such service has already been introduced in Mysore, he said.

Stating that distribution of tourist taxis to unemployed SC and ST youths is part of tourism promotional activities, Acharya said that out of total value of the taxi of Rs 3.60 lakh, 50 per cent will be given by government as subsidy, while 45 per cent will be given as loan from State Bank of Mysore. The remaining five per cent will be the seed money by the beneficiary. Tourism department earlier has distributed auto rickshaws to 34 beneficiaries belonging to Scheduled Tribe, he said.

Of the 27 beneficiaries, 20 belong to Scheduled Caste. .

Endowment Act

Later replying to queries regarding the amendments incorporated in Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowment Act , Acharya who is also the Minister for Endowment said the amended Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowment Act that has been signed by the Governor is aimed at lessening political interference in the management of the temples.  The selection of the members to the temple committee would be made by State and district religious council. Mutts and temples attached to mutts, hereditary and denomination temples have been exempted from the purview of the act. However, he clarified that the government will not interfere in the administration of these temples.

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