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A hectic year for India in tourism and culture sector

Tourism and campaign Incredible India wore Taj Mahal on its logo but the Mughal age wonder remained…

Tourism and campaign Incredible India wore Taj Mahal on its logo but the Mughal age wonder remained in the news for not the right reasons as a hectic year in the tourism and culture sector went by, according to PTI.

Another issue that made headlines was the excavation carried out at Ayodhya by the Archaeological Survey of India at the direction of the Allahabad High Court, whose report may draw more questions than it answers.

The ASI findings suggesting that a temple structure existed at the disputed site became a bone of contention with various Muslim bodies disputing it while BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits hailed it as a vindication of their stand.

The year saw a boom in tourism industry, unprecedented in recent years, as nearly a 15 per cent growth was witnessed in foreign tourists arrival as compared to last year.

But what stole the limelight was controversy over Taj Heritage Corridor project, which triggered coalition problems and led to exit of Chief Minister Mayawati in Uttar Pradesh. A CBI probe was also ordered against her by the Supreme Court.

The apex Court not only took exception to the project being implemented close to the world heritage monument but raised questions as to how the scheme got going. UNESCO is also sending a team to assess the impact of the project, which has now been shelved, on the monument.

The boom in tourism industry in the year was all more significant as arrivals had registered a negative growth of 4.2 per cent and six per cent in last two years in the wake of September 11 terror strike in the United States and the developments in Afghanistan.

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