Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government`s plan to boost coastal tourism has received a shot in the arm as the Planning Commission has approved Rs 1,200 crore special grant for the project.
The Planning Commission gave its nod for the special grant during a high-level meeting between its Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, held on June 1 in Delhi.
To boost coastal tourism, the state government has chalked out a project which includes developing 10 beaches on the 1,600 kms coastline area of Gujarat.
Though Gujarat has got the longest coastline in the country, coastal tourism in the state has been very low due to lack of infrastructure available at its beaches.
"Gujarat government submitted a proposal for a coastal tourism project in the state and a special grant of Rs 1,200 crore was approved after considering its merits," state tourism secretary Vipul Mitra said.
"The Centre will allocate the amount of fund in a span of five years and an amount of Rs 306 crore will be released in the current year itself. The disbursement this year will also include one-time immediate grant of Rs 70 crore," he added.
The ten beaches that are proposed to be developed are Nargol, Tithal in Vadodara district, Gopnath and Bhavani beach in Bhavnagar district, Sarkeswar in Amreli district, Ahmedpur Mandvi and Madhavpur in Junagadh district, Miyani in Porbandar district and Pingleshwar and Mandvi in Kutch district.
Tourism in the state has received a boost following an advertisement campaign `Khushboo Gujarat Ki`, featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is brand ambassador of the state.