Efforts apace to mitigate sufferings of border people, far flung areas: Mehbooba

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti addressing a public gathering at Machil in Kupwara on Sunday.
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti addressing a public gathering at Machil in Kupwara on Sunday.

Excelsior Correspondent
MACHIL, (KUPWARA), May 7: Terming peace crucial for undertaking developmental activities, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has said her Government is conscious of the difficulties of border and far flung areas and efforts are apace to mitigate the sufferings of their people.
The Chief Minister said this after laying the foundation stone of model village here today. The model village would be developed at a cost of Rs. 22 crore and it would be completed in three years.
Mehbooba Mufti said she would like the area to be augmented with basic facilities in health, education, recreation for youth and other necessities of present day life under the model village project rather than adding up a mass of concrete and mortar. She emphasized on involvement of locals in the works to be taken up under model village project.
Responding to local demands, the Chief Minister said she would get the setting up of power generating and receiving stations examined by the concerned departments. She said till that time solar lights would be provided to the inhabitants of the area. She said nature has bestowed Machil with abundant beauty and focus of her Government would be to develop tourism in the area to maximize tourist arrivals which would also generate enough employment for the local youth.
Famed Bungus valley in this frontier district is being developed as a Himalayan Biosphere Valley and around Rs. 15 crore are being expended on developing tourism infrastructure in its catchment.
This was disclosed in a review the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti took here about enhancing tourist footfall to the Bungus-Drangyari circuit and developing the necessary infrastructure for the same.
Terming Bungus as the future of Kashmir tourism, the Chief Minister directed holding of a tourist festival in Bungus valley in mid summer this year with the participation of tour operators and other industry stakeholders. This she said would not only expose the destination to potential customers but also give a fillip to tourist footfall to the area.
Mehbooba Mufti also directed holding of excursions and visits for the students of schools in the State and local people so that the potential of the place is adequately marketed. In this regard, she asked the Tourism Department to extend all courtesies to the schools whose students would be coming to visit the Valley.
The Chief Minister was informed that Bungus is being developed as Himalayan Biosphere Valley by Tourism Department under which no concrete structure would be raised within the Valley and all tourist infrastructures in the catchment areas would be developed in conformity with local architectural pattern and cultural ethos. The destination would be offering Eco, Adventure and Cultural Tourism in single package, the review meeting was told.
Mehbooba Mufti was informed that Tourism Department has been developing requisite infrastructure in the form of accommodation and Tourist Information Centres around Bungus valley at Khumriyal, Reshwari, Handwara, Kupwara, Chandigam, Chotipora, Watayan, Lolab and other areas for which this year Rs. 15 crore would be expended.
Minister for Rural Development Department, Abdul Haq Khan; Member Parliament, Fayaz Ahmad Mir; legislators, Bashir Ahmad Dar and Raja Manzoor; Secretary, Tourism & Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah besides officers of district administration were present on the occasion.

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