Shillong: Ahead of the Assembly elections in Meghalaya, Union tourism minister KJ Alphons on Sunday announced projects valued at Rs 70 crore to develop religious and spiritual circuits in the state which, he said, lack infrastructure.
These projects will be completed within a period between six and 18 months.
"Places of worship in Meghalaya lack infrastructure. They do not have parking areas and they are not lit. Project consultants were brought here and we decided to sanction these projects," Alphons told reporters in Shillong.
The ministry has sanctioned Rs 61,38 crore for illumination, landscaping, construction of parking lots and others in 37 Christian churches, and Rs 8.61 crore for similar projects for 11 other religious groups including the indigenous religions of the Khasi Jaintia tribals in Shillong.
Alphons rejected the view that the funds were allocated to woo voters ahead of the Assembly polls, saying that since elections are yet to be announced, development projects undertaken by the government need not stop.
Assembly elections are due in Meghalaya early 2017. The term of the current House expires on 6 March.
He said the tourism ministry has sanctioned 67 similar projects in the country worth Rs 5,648 crore linking religious and other places.
The Union minister also expressed anguish over the "failure" of the state government to send its representatives to an official meeting on 5 January in New Delhi convened in this regard.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jan 07, 2018 12:27:43 IST