Kottayam: Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam has pulled up the state government for its lethargic attitude towards central projects affecting their timely implementation.
Mr Kannanthanam told reporters here on Saturday that the state government had not spent a single paisa of the Rs. 20 crore sanctioned for the first phase of the Rs.99.99-crore Sabarimala corridor project. Similarly, the implementation of the Rs. 46- crore project at Guruvayur temple was moving at a slow pace.
According to him, the centre had allocated a total of Rs. 550 crore for the tourism sector in Kerala, which is the highest amount for any state.
This also includes a flagship spiritual circuit project linking 133 religious centres across the state.
“The Rs. 69.47-crore project having Sivagiri as its focus will belaunched on Sunday and the Rs. 76.55- crore GaviWagamon – Thekkadi tourism project on February 17. Further, works are slated to begin on a Rs. 80.37-crore project for developing cruise tourism,” he said.
As part of the efforts to revive the flood-ravaged tourism industry of Kerala, the Union Ministry of Tourism will organise a ‘cultural festival of India’ at Thekkinkadu maidan, Thrissur, and Amal Jyothi
Engineering College, Kanjirappally, on February 23 and 24 respectively.
He also criticised Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for triggering an unwarranted controversy by shooting off a letter to the prime minister regarding the inauguration of Sivagiri pilgrimage circuit project.
“The centre has the discretion as to whom to invite. However, as a matter of courtesy, I personally sent intimation letters to the state tourism minister and the chief minister on the inauguration of the project,” he said.
Regarding the coming Lok Sabha election, he said he was not keen on contesting it, but would abide by the party decision.