Retreat ceremony parade at Suchetgarh

Sir, On the 11th of December 2021 I visited Suchetgarh International Border between India and Pakistan to see the Retreat ceremony parade being performed by BSF on every Saturday and Sunday just as we have at Wagah- Attari border near Amritsar. It is a very good initiative by J&K UT Government. The site is about 26 Kms from Jammu and is situated in R.S Pura Tehsil District Jammu. I have a few observations after my visit. On both sides of the site of parade BSF buildings have been constructed making the Corridor narrow, thus leaving no scope of expansion of visitors gallery. From the parade site up to Zero Line on International Border between India and Pakistan eucalyptus trees have been planted but very beautiful ornamental trees should have been planted. This would have made the site more beautiful. It can still be done. At the zero point, a tree exists half of which is in India and the other half in Pakistan.On the trunk of tree towards India, national flag should be displayed. It is suggested that a museum should be developed at the site where history of origin of Pakistan should be written as how the British Rulers divided India. It should also show case the miseries the people on both sides had to face at the time of partition. May be some old pictures of migration of people should be displayed. It is suggested that statues of 1971 war heroes should be installed. Brief history of 1965, 1971 wars between India and Pakistan should be written with bold letters. Arms and armaments captured during the two wars should also be displayed. The UT Govt has set up a tourist office over there but alas! there was total darkness in the office and all the staff except one peon was absent .The very purpose of setting up tourist office gets defeated if the Tourism Deptt has to be so irresponsible and casual. The entire land is the property of Dharamarth Trust where a beautiful temple constructed in 1838 exists .Around the temple some recreation site has been created and an eat point also exists. A toilet complex has been constructed which was found non functional. The recreational site developed was in very bad shape and therefore needs to be maintained beautified by Tourism Deptt/Garden Parks and Floriculture Deptt. .It should be developed as a picnic spot .Proper parking site also needs to be developed. I was shocked to notice that all the visitors at the parade were from nearby villages only and I did not find even a single person from Jammu city. This shows that people of Jammu do not have any interest in such things and are only critics. The BSF Jawans are working very hard to do daily rehearsal to showcase their strength but will they not be discouraged when they do not find people across the country visiting the site and applauding their skill? We talk of tourism in Jammu. It is only a gossip. Equally irresponsible is Tourism Deptt who hardly have made any effort to promote this site. Roughly one crore people visit Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji. No effort has been made by Tourism Deptt to divert people from Katra to Suchetgarh. We have not made any effort to arrange visits of school, college and even university students. I feel students are great ambassadors. Tourism Deptt should wake up from deep slumber and perform its duty. I could not find even a single signage for Suchetgarh from Jammu to this site. R.S Pura produces world famous basmati rice which has its own aroma. Right from Mirasahib flavored Basmati rice is grown. We should exploit our Basmati rice by prompting tourists to visit Suchetgarh. Large hoardings should be erected by Agriculture Deptt from Mirasahib to Suchetgarh highlighting our Basmati rice. The road leading to Suchetgarh passes through congested Mirasahib and R.S Pura bazaars. These two bazaars should be given face lift with very wide footpaths and parking bays so that visitors can halt to purchase rice. These two towns should be made smart towns. Agriculture University is located on the main bazaar at R.S Pura. In case University has anything to show to the visitors, they should set up permanent exhibition which can be an attraction from tourism point of view. R.K. Handa