Panaji: Goa tourism department on Monday held a meeting with the Church authorities and other stakeholders to upgrade infrastructure at Old Goa heritage sites under a central government scheme, ahead of the decennial exposition of relics of St Francis Xavier, scheduled next year.
State Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte held a meeting with Church Authorities and other stakeholders at Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa, where the relics are housed.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Khaunte said that the facilities at Old Goa Church complex would be upgraded under Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) scheme, launched by the centre in the year 2019.
The minister said that the upgradation of the facilities in terms of infrastructure support, mobility, toilet, information counters and others is required at Old Goa in the wake of the decennial exposition of relics of St Francis Xavier scheduled in the year 2024.
The decennial exposition would be held from November 21, 2024 till January 05, 2025 at Old Goa.
Khaunte said that all the stakeholders including the Church authorities were taken into confidence about the upgradation. He said that the authorities like Archeological Survey of India (ASI) which has been maintaining the complex have given their clearance for the implementation of PRASAD scheme.
The minister said that the footfalls for pilgrimage tourism has increased exponentially after markets opened up post-COVID-19 pandemic.