Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today that the ongoing project to develop Buddhist circuit in the country will be completed by 2020.
He said the project, which will connect the places of importance of Buddha's life, is being carried out at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
"A huge number of devotees of Gautam Buddha from across the world visit India. However, due to lack of proper roads they are not able to visit the Buddhist pilgrimage sites," the Minister Road Transport & Highways said in a press conference in Nagpur.
Mr Gadkari said, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is developing roads at various places in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to connect the Buddhist pilgrimage sites, including Vaishali, Patna, Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Nalanda, Kahalgaon and Vikramshila.
"The Buddhist circuit, which includes places of high significance in Buddhism will be completed by 2020 with an investment of about Rs 10,000 crore," he added.
Construction of roads as part of the Buddhist circuit is currently underway, the senior BJP leader said adding that the project would increase the number of foreign tourists and generate job opportunities.
"Our department has prepared the Buddhist circuit plan that involves three parts - the Buddhist circuit Bihar, Dharmayatra circuit and Extended Dharmayatra circuit," the minister said.
According to him, the Buddhist circuit Bihar plan includes Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Vaishali, Kahalgaon and Patna; the Dharmayatra circuit includes Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Sarnath (UP), Kushinagar (UP) and Piprahwa (UP), while the Extended Dharamayatra circuit includes Bodh Gaya (Bihar), Vikramshila (Bihar), Sarnath (UP), Kushinagar (UP), Kapilvastu (UP), Sankisa (UP) and Piprahwa (UP).