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Varanasi, Ajmer among 12 cities in heritage city development scheme
Sunday December 21, 2014 9:46 PM, IANS

Besides Ajmer and Varanasi, the central government included Warangal in Telangana and Amaravati in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh under a scheme for development of heritage cities, union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu announced Sunday.

They are among 12 cities across the country included in Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).

Naidu told reporters here that the central government would allocate special funds for development of the two cities. This is expected to give facelift to the heritage monuments in the cities.

The central scheme, prepared with Rs.500 crore, is aimed at protecting the heritage, attracting more tourists and improving civic amenities.

The cities in the list include Varanasi, Ajmer, Amritsar, Gaya, Mathura, Dwaraka, Badami, Puri, Kancheepuram, and Velankanni.

The scheme is expected to come under implementation from January 2015. The allocation of funds will be based on the population of the cities.

Naidu said detailed development plans will be worked out in consultation with the ministers of the respective states, other public representatives and officials. He held a meeting with municipal commissioners and collectors of these cities Saturday to receive their suggestions for development plans.

Warangal, located about 150 km from here, is a historic city. It was the capital of Kakatiya dynasty from 12th century to 14th century.

Amaravati in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh was the capital of Satvahanas from 2nd century to 3rd century. It is also one of the major Buddhist sites in the country and is located close to the upcoming new capital of Andhra Pradesh.

The minister revealed that the government has also sanctioned Rs.70 crore for building houses for the poor in Warangal. Another Rs.101 crore were sanctioned for housing for poor in Khammam town of Telangana.

The government has allocated Rs.17.75 crore for the housing scheme in Ramagundam town in Karimnagar district of Telangana.

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