JAMMU, Jan 31: Stressing the need for restoration of all heritage sites of the State, the Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture Raman Bhalla today said that the Government has earmarked Rs 1.34 crore for renovation and beatification of historical Bahu Fort.
The renovation project, he said, includes illumination of outer periphery of the fort with LED flood lights, replacement of iron mesh fencing of water reservoir with traditional design, installation of iron railing in front of Maha Kali Temple, construction of Jorha Ghar, Langer and installation of steel barriers at Bahu Fort premises, repair to panel installed for ancient fountain, reconstruction of damaged outer wall of Bahu Fort, remodelling of internal drainage system besides fixation of red stone flooring along damaged wall on Kacha portion to avoid seepage of rain water and landscaping along wall slopes to avoid erosion of soil.
The Minister was speaking at a high level meeting held at Civil Secretariat, here today.
Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu, Secretary Tourism and Culture Zaffar Ahmed, Director Tourism, Soujanya Sharma, Vice Chairman Jammu Development Authority Kuldeep Lal Khajuria, Additional Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages Savita Bakshi besides other senior officers from Tourism and Culture Departments were present in the meeting.
Mr. Bhalla asked the officers of Tourism Department and Jammu Development Authority to gear up their men and machinery for timely completion of upcoming Darshani Deodi at Bahu Fort and restoration of damaged outer wall of the Fort. He asked the Tourism Department to prepare estimates for illumination of Poonch Fort at par with recently illuminated Mubarak Mandi complex to attract the tourist in the district.
He said that promotion of heritage tourism across the State is receiving focused attention of the Government. He added that renovation of Poonch Fort has been taken up at a cost of Rs. 3.79 crore, while the Government would submit another project to the centre for renovation of other heritage sites in the area.
The Minister said that historical tourist spots of Poonch district are also being fully developed with an expenditure of Rs 20 crore by Government under Prime Ministers Reconstruction Plan (PMRP). He said the tourist spots along Mughal Road like Noori Chamb, Peer-ki-Gali, Tatta Panni would also be developed on priority.
Mr. Bhalla said the Government is mooting a plan to restore pristine glory of Maharaja Poonch Palace (Poonch House) at Talab Tillo Jammu. He directed the State Archives and Tourism Department authorities to initiate necessary process in this regard. It was informed in the meeting that Government has spent Rs. 93.80 crore on restoration of Chingus Sarai in Rajouri, adding that 90% conservation works of the fort have been completed, while remaining works on the project will be completed at the earliest.
The Minister informed that the Government has identified 29 historical sites in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions to revive their pristine glory.
The Minister said work on artificial lake, beautification of Mubarak Mandi Complex and expansion of the Jammu Airport are under process to attract more tourists, he said.
Earlier, Mr. Bhalla also inaugurated new school campus of T S Public School at Channi Rama.