The head of a panel set up to prepare a blueprint for the Ramayana Circuit, an initiative of the Tourism Ministry to link pilgrimage destinations related to the epic, has written to Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma, expressing disappointment over the delay in starting the work.
Ram Autar Sharma, who heads the five-member Ramayana Circuit National Committee, wrote two letters to Sharma, urging him to address the issue and convene a meeting of the the panel.
The committee is tasked with preparing a plan for the development of 11 destinations linked to Lord Rama and giving advice to the Tourism Ministry on its ambitious Rs 225-crore Ayodhya Museum.
In the letter dated June 9, Sharma said the panel had last met on June 14, 2016 and "we have no information on the steps taken on the decisions made during its first meeting".
He said they have not been informed about the remuneration the committee members will receive for travelling and being part of the team.
The panel chairman said it has been a year since the committee was formed and had its first meeting, and "we have no idea where this is going. Nothing has happened so far".
"We have no idea how to go about it. I am upset. In fact, the panel members are also not happy with the circumstances. There is no system in place for the committee to work," Sharma told PTI.
The five-member panel comprises spiritual guru Vijay Kaushalji Maharaj, Akhilesh Gumastha, a Jabalpur-based orthopedic specialist who has penned "Ramayan, The hymns of Himalaya", journalist Rahul Sinha of Zee News and social activist Gopeshwar Tripathi.
Gumastha said there is no information from the government on the project since the first meeting of the panel.
"It (being a member of the committee) is not the only job we have ... We are busy in our lives. I am part of it because I have a personal interest in the topic," he said.
The government had last year announced the decision to develop two religious circuits -- Ramayana and Krishna.
Eleven cities across six states are part of the proposed religious tourism circuit, of which four are in Uttar Pradesh. Officials say these cities have created a roadblock for the ministry.
The tourism minister blamed the previous government for the delay.
"A new government has taken over. Now, the work will begin and will be completed in the next 12-15 months," he said, when asked about the reason for the delay.
Sources said the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in UP had failed to respond to requests for proposals for the development of the cities.
With Yogi Adityanath in power, things are now falling in place. Just days after taking over, the chief minister had sanctioned land for the Ayodhya Museum, they said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)