CM calls on Governor

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 9: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today reviewed expansion of tourism activities at Gulmarg in Kashmir and Patnitop, Sanasar and Mantalai in Jammu to sustain tourist interest at these places.
She separately chaired the meetings of both Gulmarg and Patnitop Development Authorities in Srinagar.
Mehbooba, who also holds the charge of Tourism Department, called for expanding tourist activities in catchment area of Gulmarg by creating more facilities in the nearby villages. This would add up these villages to the tourists’ itinerary and create more employment opportunities for the local youth, she added.
The Chief Minister stressed on developing areas like Sanasar and Mantalai, in the vicinity of Patnitop in view of operationalisation of Chenani-Nashri tunnel and directed strengthening of facilities at Patnitop.
Chairing the 9th meeting of Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) here today, the Chief Minister directed that local youth be involved in the infrastructure expansion, tourism promotion or any other activity at the   world famous destination. She also directed that basic facilities of life like sanitation, connectivity, power supply etc be made available in the catchment areas so that village tourism takes off like it has been done in Leh.
She directed early submission of the Gulmarg Master Plan so that the same could be discussed in the Cabinet. She also directed that the process of setting up of a herbal garden and Observatory at Gulmarg be paced up.
Mehbooba directed improvement of Gulmarg-Baba Reshi road on priority and face-lifting of the Baba Reshi market in conformity with the natural ambience there. She directed the concerned that mandatory 2% spending of the profits by public companies operating in the area be strictly ensured.
The meeting was informed that the DPR for setting up of a cable car at Shranz is ready and further action on the same is underway.
The Chief Minister directed the concerned to prepare a mechanism for garbage disposal and get back to her within a week. She also directed the PDD to prepare a project for street lighting the patch from Baba Reshi to Gulmarg.
The meeting was informed that in order to augment the drinking water facility at the world famous resort, the PHE Department is working on a Rs 6.92 crore water supply scheme from Ningli nallah which would add up an additional five lakh gallons of drinking water to the area.
The Chief Minister directed opening of Botapathri, Nagin-I and Nagin-II to public and in this regard take up the issue with Army authorities. She also directed completion of demarcation and fencing of the land earmarked to GDA for which she fixed a deadline of one month.
The meeting was informed that underground cabling of wires at Gulmarg would be started soon which would insulate the power supply from the vagaries of climate.
Meanwhile, chairing the 19th meeting of Patnitop Development Authority (PDA) here today, the Chief Minister said by developing Sanasar, Mantalai, Nathatop and other areas in the catchment of Patnitop the entire tourist circuit in the region gets completed and also tourists visiting the area get added attractions which can raise the footfall at Patnitop. She said now efforts should be made to make Patnitop as a complete destination rather than an on the way spot on the National Highway.
The Chief Minister directed accelerating the pace of work on the Ropeway project so that tourists get an added attraction to visit Patnitop. She also directed immediate upgradation of road to Sanasar and increasing the number of tented accommodations besides starting a food court and a souvenir market there.
The meeting was told that the underground cabling of wires is underway at Patnitop which is expected to be completed by December.
Mehbooba directed rolling out of a yearly calendar of activities at Patnitop, procurement of a snow cutter and setting up of a fire station at the earliest. She also directed release of Rs. 50 lakh for developing wayside facilities on Chenani-Patnitop road.


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