JAMMU, Dec 7: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today directed the Tourism Department and allied agencies to focus on the development of catchment areas and people while developing facilities at various tourist spots. This, she said, would enable them to become equal partners and stakeholders in promoting tourism across the State.
Chairing a joint meeting of Yousmarg, Wullar & Manasbal and Lolab, Bangus & Drangyari Tourism Development Authorities here today, the Chief Minister directed them to raise as minimum concrete structures at tourist spots as possible and develop each destination vis a vis its own specialty. She asked them to ensure that the infrastructure being raised is in sync with the local culture and architectural pattern.
Ministers, Abdul Haq Khan, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura and Sajad Gani Lone; legislators, Usman Majeed, Er. Rasheed, Raja Manzoor, Farooq Mirchal, Ishfaq Jabbar and Bashir Ahmad Dar were present in the meeting.
Mehbooba Mufti directed the CEOs of these Development Authorities to devise packages particularly for school students, adventure lovers and youth from within and outside the State so that the footfall gets a steady increase. She also directed clearing of encroachments at these tourist spots with full force and take tough measures to check pollution at these places. She also directed promoting pilgrim tourism at these places to attract interested tourists to visit these places.
Terming Bungus as a world class tourist destination, the Chief Minister directed on maintaining its unadulterated aesthetic appeal. For this, she asked for getting good consultancy before going ahead with any major developmental initiatives in the area. She directed preservation of the ancestral place of Hazrat Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (R. A.) as a heritage house and submission of a conservation project of a spring at Trehgam for approval. She also directed transfer of all assets developed at the tourist destination to Tourism Department for their better upkeep.
The Chief Minister directed developing water sports facilities at Manasabal and holding of events at the lake to attract niche clientele to the place. She also directed exploring the possibilities of para gliding and para sailing to diversify the tourist attractions. She also directed complete restoration of all the 16 adjoining springs and development of a cycle track at the tourist spot to persuade adventure lovers to visit the spot.
The Chief Minister directed the Tourism Depar-tment to explore the potential of Nilnag, near Yousmarg and create facilities there so that it becomes a tourist attraction in itself. She said to further boost the tourist activities in Budgam district, Charar-i-Sharief is being developed separately as a pilgrim tourist destination.
Secretary, Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez; Deputy Commissi-oner, Budgam, Haroon Malik; Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Mehmood Ahmad Shah; Chief Executive, J&K Muslim Wakf Board, Fayaz Ahmad Lone and other senior officers were also present in the meeting.