KATHUA, Feb 5: Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology Choudhary Lal Singh today said efforts are afoot to develop Kathua – the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir – as a famous tourist destination of the State.
Addressing a public grievance redressal camp here, the Minister said the Government is keen to develop Kathua district as a major tourist destination.
The Minister was accompanied by CCF Jammu, Roshan Jaggi, CF East Circle Jammu Naveen Shah, Joint Director, Forest Protection Force, Khawaja Qamardin, ADMO, Regional Director, State Pollution Control Board, Showkat Choudhary, ACR, ACD, CEO, CAHO, AEEs, DFOs and other district officers.
On the occasion several deputations from Basohli, Billawar, Hiranagar and Kathua apprised the Minister of various problems being faced by them which mainly pertained to road connectivity, PHE, PDD, streamlining of ration distribution and conservation of water bodies.
Residents of village Chan Mukdial informed the Minister that PHE pipes lane been procured but no further work has been initiated by the department since long.
The Minister gave patient hearing to the issues raised during the camp and directed the concerned officers to resolve these issues in a time-bound manner. He further said that for initiating various development projects cooperation is mandatory from stakeholders of the society and the concerned departments and laid stress on rejuvenating natural water bodies to conserve the untapped rain water to be used in summer season.
For bringing Kathua on the tourist map, the Minister said that Ranjit Sagar Dam will be developed as a modern avenue for water sports activity having all the State of the art facilities and tenders for purchase of steamers will be issued soon. He said this will not only give impetus to tourism but also improve the socio-economic conditions of the people.
Highlighting various developmental projects initiated to make Basohli a model constituency, the Minister said that for providing 24X7 power supply, solar energy will soon be considered as an alternative option and identification of land for that purpose is in progress. He further said that work on stadium will soon begin at Basohli on 200 Kanals of land to promote sports activities in the area.