Twelve cities namely Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh), Gaya(Bihar), Dwaraka(Gujarat), Amritsar(Punjab), Ajmer(Rajasthan), Kanchipuram(Tamil Nadu), Velankani(Tamil Nadu), Puri(Odisha), Varanasi(Uttar Prasesh), Mathura(Uttar Pradesh), Kedarnath (Uttarakhand) and Kamakhya (Assam) have been identified for development under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) by the Ministry of Tourism.
The Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme aimed at preserving and revitalizing the soul and unique character of the heritage cities in India, has been approved by the Ministry of Urban Development for the Twelve cities under the scheme in the first phase, namely; Amaravati(Andhra Pradesh); Gaya (Bihar); Dwarka (Gujarat), Badami(Karnataka); Puri (Odisha), Amritsar (Punjab); Ajmer(Rajasthan); Kanchipuram (Tamil Nadu); Velankani(Tamil Nadu); Warangal (Telangana); Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh); and Mathura (Uttar Pradesh).
The criterion for selection of these cities is their rich heritage and cultural history.
To implement the PRASAD scheme a Mission Directorate has been set up in the Ministry of Tourism. The Budget provision of Rs.15.60 crore has been made in Revised Estimate (RE) 2014-15. For Development of basic facilities at Vishnupad Temple, Gaya in Bihar under this Scheme first installment of Rs.85.78 lakh has been released.
For the HRIDAY scheme under the Ministry of Urban Development, an amount of Rs.453.90 crores has been allocated to the HRIDAY scheme for implementation and development works.
This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge), and Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to an unstarred question to the Lok Sabha today.