Way back in the year 2010, the Government announced construction of a weir/barrage at Jajjar Kotli on way from Jammu to Udhampur. The plan was part of developing tourist industry in Jammu region. Tourist Department assigned the task of construction of the Rs 7.62 crore project to J&K Projects Construction Corporation Ltd. As usual, after great fanfare, the project gradually got relegated to the back burner till people lost the memory of anything by the name of Jajjar Kotli barrage. The patent reply of the Government to the question why such a long delay and no result in such cases is that of paucity of funds. Under that pretext, Government’s lethargy, insensitivity and lack of sense of responsibility all fade away in thin air. Rs 1.80 crore was released to JKPCC Ltd for construction of this project in March 2012 but till date the JKPCC has not started the work. The Government has attributed delay in undertaking the work to some issues related to National Highway which passes through the area under consideration.
The Minister for Tourism has informed the House that Union Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned the project “Development of Tourist Facilities at Jhajjar Kotli” under PMDP for an amount of Rs 7.10 crore. It has many facilities like iconic suspension bridge to connect main land and island, toilet block, parking with retaining wall, lighting, tourist benches, cafeteria at the island, eco log huts, etc. This is again a high sounding ambitious project and we are afraid that this may meet the same fate which the barrage has met so far in last seven years. People are not interested in being told that this is a high sounding ambitious project and this and that will be provided because they have had so many high sounding and ambitious projects announced so far and few of these reached the stage of completion at all. As such we would suggest the concerned, particularly the tourism authorities, to ensure that work on the project begins now and the funds provided are utilized failing which, the funds will lapse and there will be no trace of any tourist facility or attraction at Jajjar Kotli This is not the only tourism development project in Jammu region under the consideration of the Union Ministry of Tourism. Already four circuits of tourism in the State have been announced spanning over all the three regions of the State. Jajjar Kotli also has to be fit in in one of the circuits and as such, it should receive adequate funding and timely execution.