Rakhigarhi to be major tourist hub: Prahlad Patel

Rakhigarhi (Hisar, Haryana): If all goes as per the plan, Rakhigarhi – the Harappan site – would soon become a major tourist hub as rehabilitation issues of the villagers of Rakhi Shahpur and Rakhi Khas have been "resolved" after Union Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Patel assured villagers of redressal of their grievances at earliest.

Given the importance of the historical and iconic site, the Union Minister visited Rakhigarhi on Sunday to understand the issues of the locals.

"I visited the site to know the problems being faced by the villagers. Since some villagers would need to be relocated to another location, there are several issues that have to be addressed prior to shifting. During that interaction with villagers, they raised their concern about space for their cattle. I have assured them that facilities would be provided for their farm animals too," Patel told Millennium Post."

"All world-class facilities would be provided to bring the matured Harappan site on the world stage. The village would get direct road connectivity from the connecting national highways," he further said.

"The government would take all out steps to preserve and protect the site. I want cooperation from local residents. This site will be developed as a tourist spot in association with the state government," he said, adding that the museum in Rakhigarhi would be functional by the year end.

The minister further said, "Rakhigarhi and Dholavira excavations were changing the theories of the oldest and most developed ancient civilisations in the world. Rakhigarhi is possibly the most important ancient site in the world and those who want to study the history of civilisation of mankind will have to visit Rakhigarhi. Once developed, people would be proud of this tourist centre."

On employment generation, the minister said, "The department will provide free guide training to youth and they would be established as tourism partners. Also, arrangements would be made by the ministry for learners of other languages."

"After the proposal of allocating Rs 2,500 crore to tourism sector and Rs 3,150 crore to Culture Ministry in the budget, the country's heritage will be developed promptly. Development of museums and infrastructure in five major archaeological sites, including Rakhigarhi, is part of the proposal of Indian Institute of Heritage and Conservation," he said.

On the development, a local villager Azad Singh said, "We are ready to relocate only if we get better amenities at the new location. We have asked the local administration to provide space for our animals too as we cannot shift without them."

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