JAMMU, Feb 22: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan, today convened a meeting to review ongoing projects of Tourism Department.
Advisor said that LG has called for major up gradation of existing infrastructure of Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation and the same needs to be done at the earliest to cater to the increasing number of tourist influx.
He had a detailed assessment of the robust development plan worth Rs 198 crore for Mansar which has been submitted to Government of India, to be funded under Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Besides, some of the works have already been sanctioned under Capex budget which included development of view points along Sidhra-Mansar and Samba-Mansar routes, construction of gender-based toilets, procuring boats, life jackets and installation of high power illumination etc. A detailed list of all JKTDC properties was also submitted to him.
Advisor Baseer Khan said that Basohli region has huge potential of becoming the finest tourist centre in future and therefore needs special attention. He asked the officers to explore possibility of adventure sports, hiking, camping and mountain biking in Mansar area. “The LG Government is according focused attention on development of various religious and tourist attractions of Jammu region like Shiv Khori, Uttar Behni and Purmandal for their inclusion in larger tourism circuit of the region”, he maintained.
Advisor suggested that regular exhibitions showcasing local handicrafts, handloom, cuisine and culture be organised at tourist sites to attract tourist footfall.
Administrative Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Sarmad Hafeez, informed the Advisor that the Jammu Ropeway Project at Bagh-e-Bahu is operating successfully and its second phase is to be made functional after some technical analysis. Besides, weekly cultural activities are being organised at the site to attract tourists, he added. He further informed that the department is planning new cable car projects at Pahalgam, Shiv Khori and Gulmarg.
Meanwhile, issues pertaining to traffic movement from Jammu to Patnitop were also raised during the meeting.
Sarmad Hafeez also informed the Advisor that a Kashmiri Pandit Food Festival is being planned by the Tourism Department to be organized around the Mahashivratri Festival, which would provide people a chance to relish traditional cuisines of Kashmir. He also shared details regarding upcoming Jammu Mahotsav.
Advisor directed the Administrative Secretary to plan tourism festivals at Mansar, Bhaderwah and other sites in Jammu region. He directed that the Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Patnitop Clubs be made functional at the earliest and regular activities be organised therein for tourists.
Those present at the meeting included Managing Director, J&K Cable Car Coporation, Majid Khalil Ahmad Drabu; Managing Director, J&K TDC, Nisar Ahmad; Director Tourism Jammu, Dr NJ Chowdhary; Director Planning, Tourism Department, Parvez Ahmed Kakru and CEO Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority, Dr. Gurvinderjeet Singh.