Chandigarh gets Rs.27 cr central assistance for tourism

Chandigarh, Jan 10 - The central government has granted Rs. 270 million to promote tourism in the union territory (UT) of Chandigarh, an official said Sunday.

"We have received a grant of Rs. 27 crore (Rs. 270 million) from the union ministry of Tourism. The financial support will help us in creating world-class tourism infrastructure at prominent places in the city," said UT home-cum-tourism secretary Ram Niwas.

He said: "It is our endeavour to develop Chandigarh as a major tourist destination of this region. I have directed all officials concerned to complete the tourism projects in a time-bound manner."

The centrally-administered city, which is the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, was designed by legendary French architect Le Corbusier in the 1950s.

Earlier, the central government had sanctioned financial assistance of around Rs. 43 crore -- highest so far -- for the promotion of tourism in Chandigarh.

Niwas said that Rs. 4.9 crore will be spent on promoting night tourism.

"Night tourism project includes illumination of monuments and buildings, designed by Le Corbusier, by installing energy-efficient and less-maintenance equipment. Plans are on the anvil to illuminate the entry points to Chandigarh on the peripheral routes from Punjab and Haryana," Niwas said.

There are many prominent tourist destinations in Chandigarh like Sukhna Lake, Rock Garden, Rose Garden, a museum and an art gallery.

In 2009, over 900,000 tourists, including 35,000 foreigners, visited the city, also popularly known as 'city beautiful'. (IANS)