JUNAGADH: In a bid to boost the tourism sector in Gujarat’s Junagadh and surrounding districts, passenger flight operations will be flagged off from upgraded Keshod Airport on April 16 by Union Civil Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, officials said.
According to district officials, the airport will provide air connectivity to tourists visiting Sasan-Gir, the last abode of Asiatic lions, and also the pilgrims to Girnar to seek the blessings of Maa Amba, Dattatreya temple, and also the 22nd Tirthankara Lord Neminatha of Jain religion situated on the Girnar mountains.Scindia will inaugurate the upgraded facilities at Keshod Airport and flag off new flights to Mumbai-Keshod under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS- UDAN) from April 17.
The terminal building of the airport has been renovated at the cost of approximately Rs 25 crore.
Junagadh District Magistrate Rachit Raj told The New Indian that the airport will promote sports and tourism in Junagadh districts. “All the tourist destinations in and around Junagadh and nearby districts will be benefitted and help in increasing the tourist footfall,” he said.
The official said that it will boost tourism in Sasan Gir, Girnar, Somnath and Diu tourism circuit. “The area will witness multifold increase in tourism activities due to flight connectivity,” he said.
The official said that Sasan-Gir is 50 kilometres and Junagadh is 35 kilometres from Keshod airport.
The district magistrate said that the Keshod city also developed as a historical city and after commencement of the ropeway at Girnar mountain. The tourist visiting to Somnath temple is also expected to rise as it is just 55 km from Keshod.
Meanwhile, in Somnath, the work for the construction of a one-km long “Samudra Darshan” walkway built at a cost of Rs 47 crore on the seashore behind the temple has been completed, said Yogendra Desai, Secretary of the Shree Somnath Trust (SST).
The Pran-Pratistha at the existing temple was done on May 11, 1951 by then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
Desai said that the walkway have the facility for the pilgrims to click the picture at the one of the oldest temple and also view the sea. He said the being one of the most safeguarded temples, the cameras and mobile phones are not allowed inside the temple premises.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chairman of the SST which manages the affairs of the world-famous temple located in Prabhas Patan town in the Gir-Somnath district. The other trustees of the temple are home minister Amit Shah, former deputy prime minister LK Advani and others.
The reconstructed temple precinct of Old (Juna) Somnath has been completed by SST with a total outlay of Rs 4.07 crore.
This temple is also referred to as Ahilyabai Temple since it was built by Queen Ahilyabai of Indore when she found that the old temple was in ruins. The entire old temple complex has been holistically redeveloped for the safety of pilgrims and with augmented capacity.
“PM Modi had performed a virtual ground-breaking ceremony for the Parvati Temple coming up near the main temple for Rs 30 crore,” Desai said, adding that it will be completed in next two and half years.
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