Hon. Minister for Tourism, Shri Kadakampally Surendran, laid the foundation for the Rs 3 crore pilgrim amenity centre at the historical Madre De Deus Church, Vettukad here on Thursday.
The facility is part of the Pilgrim Circuit, launched to promote pilgrim tourism by connecting various pilgrim centres of different faiths. The amenity centres provide basic facilities for pilgrims visiting places of worship across the state.
In his address, Shri Surendran said the government has launched a string of projects in different parts of the state to step up infrastructure facilities for the growth of tourism.
“This is for the first time in the state that a government is taking initiative for building infrastructure facilities in places of worship. Madre De Deus Church, which reminds us of ancient churches in Rome because of its architectural features, has historical importance,” the Minister added.
The construction of the pilgrim amenity centre for the church is taken up by Steel Industrials Kerala Limited (SILK) and it will be completed in 18 months.
Shri P Bala Kiran IAS, Director, Tourism; Shri Sabu Jose, Councilor, Vettukad; and Fr. Dr George Gomez, Vicar of the Parish, among others were present.
The Department of Tourism has given great importance to the Pilgrim Tourism Circuit and it has conceived various projects to construct basic pilgrim amenities at many religious centres.
Similar projects coming up in different parts of Thiruvananthapuram district include those at Aniyoor, construction of auditoriums at Aliyavoor Siva Temple and Sri Durga Temple at Kallampally, Pilgrim Heritage Circuit at Kolathukara, development of destination facilities at Manvila, construction of amenity centres at Beemapally, St. Jude Pilgrim Centre at Vettinadu, Kusamuttam Temple, Chellamangalam Temple, Avukkulam Temple and Puthukkunnu CSI Church.