Goa churches will be developed with central funds: Kishan Reddy
Panaji, Sep 20 (IANS) Goa's historic churches which are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will be developed by the central government, which will also fund events related to the 60th anniversary of the state's Liberation from Portuguese yoke, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture G. Kishan Reddy said on Monday.
Speaking at a helipad inauguration in Old Goa, near Panaji, Reddy also said that the tourism sector has faced a lot of job losses on account of the Covid pandemic, adding that this sector would be revived in order to boost employment generation.
"We will promote events related to the 60th anniversary of Goa's Liberation through the Union ministry of Tourism and Culture. Churches maintained by the (ASI) will also be developed under the aegis of the central government. We will spend money on it. The PM has said that Goa should be allotted more money for tourism development," Reddy said.
Goa is home to the historic Old Goa Church complex, a cluster of 17th century churches which are endorsed as a world heritage site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Reddy's announcement comes two days after Prime Minister Narenra Modi during a virtual interaction with health workers and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the state Goa was the key to tourism revival in the country.
"The tourism sector has faced a lot of losses due to corona not only in Goa, but throughout the world. Some countries function only through tourism... We will boost employment through the tourism sector," Reddy said, adding that in the coming days he would hold a review meeting of the tourism scenario in Goa with the Chief Minister and officials from the Tourism and Culture ministries.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her recent budget has announced a central package of Rs 300 crore for celebration of the 60th anniversary of the state Liberation from Portuguese rule. Goa was a Portuguese colony for 451 years before it was liberated by the Indian armed forces in 1961.