73 major tourism projects completed: Jora

Excelsior Correspondent

Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora releasing a booklet at Jammu on Monday.
Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora releasing a booklet at Jammu on Monday.

JAMMU, Apr 16: After according status of industry to tourism trade in the state, the Central Government has sanctioned 147 tourism development projects worth Rs.428.19 crore for creation of tourist related infrastructure and development of tourism spots in Jammu and Kashmir during last ten years. Against the total allocations, the centre has released Rs. 236.38 crore, of which Rs. 218.61 crore have been expended till last financial year on the execution of various schemes, including 73 completed projects.
This was revealed at a high level meeting convened here today to review the physical and financial achievements of centrally sponsored tourism development projects, with the Tourism and Culture Minister, Nawang Rigzin Jora in the chair.
Commissioner Secretary Tourism and Culture, Atal Duloo, Director Tourism Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Director Tourism Jammu, R.S. Mehta, Managing Director JKTDC, Satish Nehru, Managing Director, JKPCC, Chief Executive Officers of Development Authorities besides senior officers of Planning Department were among others who attended the meeting.
The meeting was told that so far the construction and development work under 73 tourism projects have been completed and utilization certificates for the amount of Rs. 209.48 crore have been received by Tourism Administrative secretariat, while UCs for Rs. 56.13 crore are pending with concerned executing agencies.
The Minister stressed upon the concerned authorities to submit pending utilization certificates of the outstanding amount incurred on the projects at the earliest. He said this was necessary to secure the release of balanced amount from the Centre. He instructed the concerned officers to redouble their efforts and accelerate pace on ongoing development projects for timely completion. He also called for building tourism infrastructure to match the aesthetic look of a particular area.
Mr. Jora also reviewed pace of progress on development of tourism villages. He exhorted upon the concerned officers to ensure timely completion of all Tourism Development Villages in the State.
The meeting was told that as many as 29 villages are being developed as tourist villages in the State. Of which 8 villages are developed in Jammu Division and 21 in Kashmir. It was also informed that till date the work on 16 villages have been completed, while as the development of tourism infrastructure in 13 villages was in progress and would be completed this fiscal.
The meeting also reviewed pace of progress on mega tourism projects of Nagar-Watlab and Trans-Himalayan Culture Centre Leh which are being developed at a total cost of Rs. 60.58 crore against which Rs. 11.70 crore have been released by the Centre. It was told that necessary tourism development works have been taken up on these projects and would be completed in the stipulated time frame.
Later, the Minister released a booklet ‘Pahalgam – Paradise Awaiting” – published by Pahalgam Development Authority envisaging the information about the tourist attractions spots at the world famous tourist resort.