JAMMU, Mar 20: Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Singh today said, there is dire need of pursuing tourism destinations with proper planning, besides considering the impacts such development brings to the environment and communities.
Dr. Singh said this while chairing a high-level meeting of Group of Ministers to review new Gulmarg Master Plan 2032 here today.
Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar, Minister for Tourism Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Sham Lal Chaudhary and Minister of State for Transport Sunil Kumar Sharma attended the meeting.
The Town Planner Kashmir, presented a comprehensive Power Point presentation to apprise the Ministers about the various innovative initiatives being taken to formulate Gulmarg Master Plan 2032.
The meeting was apprised that Gulmarg Tourism Master Plan is a broad policy framework in the form of a coherent set of proposals for giving desired direction and impetus to the existing growth by exploring untapped development potential of the area.
It was given out that perspective planning has to be done so that the document meets future infrastructure needs and other tourism related things to ensure the inclusive growth and community driven development of the area.
The meeting was informed that the aim of the new revised Master Plan is to ensure integrated efforts involving all stakeholders to preserve and improve the aesthetics and ecology of the Gulmarg and its surrounding areas.
The Deputy Chief Minster said that tourism provides a major economic opportunity in the area and a means of improving the livelihood of residents.
The Deputy Chief Minster said that rapid and unregulated tourism infrastructure affected the ecology, scenic beauty and natural resources. He said that Gulmarg needs to cater tourism demand without compromising on its fragile ecology which can only be achieved through a clear vision in the form of a Master Plan.
He directed the concerned for formulating a formal document to guide both public and private sector development activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Naeem Akhtar said that Master Plan should include different forms of planning such as economic development planning, land use planning, infrastructure planning, and social services planning involves many groups with different perspectives including government, private investors and local communities.
Tourism Minister Tassaduq Hussain Mufti said that Master Plan will guide the decisions about sustainable development of a tourist area. It analyses the existing situation, forecasts the tourist flow and should have a vision for the proposed infrastructure base on sustainable ecosystems approach.
He stressed for conducting Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping, besides stressing for maintaining its rich habitat, diverse flora and fauna existing in the area. He also stressed for taking measure for preparing a comprehensive waste management policy of the destination.