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Sivasagar push for tourism

- 511 new historical sites identified

Sivasagar, June 28: The Sivasagar administration has identified 511 new historical sites in the district, the database of which is slated to be released by chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Sivasagar Divas on July 1.

Deputy commissioner S.S. Meenakshi Sundaram told reporters here today that the list of the new historical sites was prepared by a special project team of Sivasagar Green Mission (an initiative of the administration to boost tourism) last year with proper documentation and supporting evidence from history books. .

Sivasagar Divas commemorates the district’s creation.

“The list was sent to the state cultural affairs department, which recommended to the state archaeological department to provisionally declare the sites as protected monuments till the formalities were completed. The notification of these sites as protected monuments under The Assam Ancient Monuments and Records Act, 1959 is expected to be made by the state archaeological department soon,” he said.

Sundaram said the notification would give a legal basis to the government to conduct eviction at the new historical sites, which have been heavily encroachment upon. At present, 40 historical sites of Sivasagar, which was the capital of the Ahom dynasty for most part of their 600-year rule, are in the protected lists of the Archaeological Survey of India and the state archaeological department.

Sundaram said the initiative would give a major boost to the development of tourism in the district. “The administration has undertaken a series of measures to develop tourism in the district which includes a proposal for beautification of all the historical sites,” he added.

He said the administration had appointed tourist guides who would be properly trained, would soon set up tourist information centres at Sivasagar, Nazira and Sonari, develop amenities for tourists at all the historical sites and proposes to set up a tourist interpretation centre.

He said about five lakh tourists visit the district every year.

“Of them, about 3.2 lakh visit Shiva Dole. However, the district’s tourism economy has not improved, as they do not stay back. It is essential to develop amenities and infrastructure to ensure tourists stay here overnight.” The state government has approved of a Sivasagar tourist circuit and sanctioned Rs 8 crore for the project, he added.