Create infrastructure without infringing inherent beauty of health resorts: CM

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Aug 28 : Underlining the importance of environment protection for safeguarding State’s natural beauty and tourist potential, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah on Tuesday emphasized the need for creation of necessary infrastructure without infringing the inherent beauty of health resorts in the State.
Reviewing the progress and performances of Wular-Manasbal Development Authority and Sonamarg Development Authority at two separate meetings, the Chief Minister said that maintenance of eco-system and preservation of natural beauty of the tourist places should form necessary ingredient in the facility creation and infrastructural development plans.
The Chief Minister said that tourism sector in the State offers wide-ranging economic activities and it has a greater role in the economic development of the State. However, he said that the sustenance of tourism directly depends on the strategy we adopt for preserving our natural wealth and scenic splendour.
The Chief Minister said that while efforts have to be made to rope in tourists from all over the world and provide them best hospitality and accommodation, it is the national duty of all us to conserve and preserve our natural resources, bio-diversity, water bodies  and diverse tourist attraction God has bestowed on this part of the land.
The Chief Minister while giving nod to various proposals put forth in the meetings by the concerned Chief Executive Officers regarding development of eco-tourism and facility creation, asked the Development Authorities to strictly adhere to the provisions of Master Plans and in no way allow any body to tamper with the natural ambiance and beauty of the tourist areas.
The meetings were attended by Minister for Forest, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani, Legislators, Mohammad Ashraf and Nizam-ud-Din Bandey, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister B B Vyas, Commissioner Secretary Tourism Atal Dullo, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, CEO, Wular -Manasbal Development Authority Nazir Ahmad, CEO Sonamarg Development Authority Mohammad Yousuf and other senior officers.
In a PowerPoint presentation the Chief Executive Officer, Wular-Manasbal Development Authority Nazir Ahmad  presented the resume of performance of the Authority and the achievements registered by it during last financial year to upgrade the facilities and protect the twin lakes of Manasbal and Wular.
Nazir Ahmad said that 32 schemes taken in hand for upgrading tourist facilities and retrieving the Manasbal lake by drugging out the silt, maintaining its cleanliness and upgrading landscaping have been completed during last financial year.
The Chief Executive Officer, Sonamarg Development Authority, Mohammad Yousuf in his presentation said that the golden meadow of Sonamarg situated at an altitude of 3000 meters above the sea level and 84 kilometers away from Srinagar, has been focused for environment protection, preservation of its natural beauty and upgradation of planned infrastructure to befit the natural ambiance of this world famous health resort.
Mohammad Yousuf said that the two prestigious projects namely development of eco-friendly resort in between Nilgrath and Sarbal village involving an expenditure of Rs. 242.13 lakh and integrated development of tourist infrastructure at Sonamarg with an estimated cost of Rs. 370.32 lakh have been sanctioned by the Union Tourism Ministry and work on both these projects is in progress.


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