The Indian government is setting up a coordination committee for the integrated promotion of tourism and culture in Varanasi. Varanasi also known as, Benares, Banaras, or Kashi is an Indian city on the banks of the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. It is the holiest of the seven sacred cities in Hinduism and Jainism, and played an important role in the development of Buddhism.
The Minister of State for Tourism, Culture and Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that the committee will submit its action plan report by 15th of April, 2015 and the action plan will be ready for implementation within the next three months. Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that an atmosphere of safety and cleanliness as well as hospitality will be created at all the religious and cultural places for which Rs 18 cr has been released. The educational institutions of Varanasi will be used to develop art and culture with the help of Lalit Kala Academy, he added.
Earlier, addressing the hoteliers and tour operators at the Seminar, Dr Mahesh Sharma urged them to fully utilize the opportunity of spiritual and religious tourism along the holy river Ganga. He requested the hoteliers to adopt the ghats for cleaning them as well as take care of their maintenance.
The Minister paid a surprise visit to the Varanasi Railway station and checked the tourist facilities there. He also visited the Ghats and inspected the progress of cleaning up of the ghats.
The term ghat refers to a series of steps leading down to a body of water, particularly a holy river. Ghats refer to the areas in holy river-side cities like Varanasi and Haridwar where stairs exist to reach the Ganges River.