Gandhinagar, Sep 23 (PTI) The Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday passed a bill for the constitution of an authority to develop pilgrimage infrastructure and amenities at Ambaji town in Banaskantha district.
The famous Ambaji Mata temple in the town attracts lakhs of pilgrims every year, said Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel while introducing the Bill.
'The Ambaji Area Development and Pilgrimage Tourism Governance Bill' was passed unanimously.
The Bill provides for the constitution of Ambaji Pilgrimage Tourism Authority to develop the town and surrounding areas in view of the 'ever increasing number of pilgrims coming from all over the state and the country to this temple', said the Bill document.
Development of Ambaji region would boost local economy and create employment opportunities for local tribals, it added.
While the chairman of the Authority will be appointed by the state government, Banaskantha district collector will be the ex-officio vice-chairman, Patel said, adding that no land from local people will be acquired for development projects.
Though the opposition Congress supported the Bill, tribal MLAs Kanti Kharadi and Anil Joshiara raised doubts about government's plans and sought assurance that local tribals will not be driven away from their ancestral land.
Patel said the government has no plans to displace tribals, and the development will benefit them. PTI PJT PD KRK KRK