Tourism Development Authorities sans Master Plans

The fact that no organisation worth the name, small or big, can be deemed to be performing optimally in the absence of a well defined , designed and lineated plan which defines its role and particular objective , holds good for all times. We know that Tourism Development Authorities are plagued with so many problems that it becomes hazy to concisely hold as to whether there was any need at all to establish them. There is no denying the fact that principally , an organisation, department and an authority can be subjected to austere scrutiny for its failure in achieving set goals and objectives but only when provided with the necessary wherewithal or basic institutional infrastructure like adequate budgeting provisions to meet the expenses in respect of its working , reasonable strength of staff members and technical guidance , if required, in pursuit of its working commitments and host of other support base. On a perusal of the fate of Tourism Development Authorities especially in Jammu Region, one can find only more of instructions received from higher authorities by them and less of tangible support provided in getting going with meeting the objectives , these Authorities are in fact created for.
Tourism Development Authorities (TDAs), as by the very name suggests, primarily is conceived for undertaking comprehensive development of areas identified as tourism analogous and under their jurisdiction. Since the same cannot be done in the absence of well devised Master Plans and a proper blue print for the same, specifying the time factor pointedly, mere expectations, if not wonders there-from, appear simply ludicrous. It is to be believed to be noted that none of these Authorities are having any Master Plan. Administrative Department cannot wash its hands off and presume to have done its duty merely by raining letters and communiqués on such Authorities in Jammu Region without providing them the requisite support base. A Master Plan is a technical document, made by experts in the areas connected therewith and cannot be treated at par with preparing official notes, memos and drafts. Basics factors like topography aspects, current and future requirements of tourists, zoning plans and their connect with Master Plans, constraints of sites and areas specific -planned to be developed, catering to futuristic tastes and fashions, requirements of sustainability , social factors and surroundings et-al have got to be kept in mind while drafting a Master Plan. In fact, host of concerned professionals and experts in tandem and not in isolation, alone can frame Master Plans that can well take care of the next two to three decades. After the same were approved, proper and assured funds support is needed to give the concepts and plans a practical strategic form.
It seems well naive and prosaic that these Tourism Development Authorities reportedly are finding quite trying even to manage minimum office work with the existing staff strength made available to them let alone satisfactorily have the routine maintenance works looked after. Tourism is seen as one of the key parts of the engine of growth and creating of employment opportunities and with a proper Master Plan, not only would these two main areas of the economy greatly benefit but the spots and areas falling under the jurisdiction of these TDAs would improve the lot of the local residents, tourism operators, transporters and small entrepreneurs.
What is, therefore, required is to put the necessary life and vigour in the TDAs by providing them with the necessary infrastructure like man power, technical personnel like at least a works Engineer etc supported by a reasonably sufficient funds allocation. That would help in not only the assets created being maintained efficiently to put those to commercial use but brave for meeting the challenging goals set under superbly made Master Plans to give a boost to tourism in their specific areas. We agree that there have been instructions from the ” higher ups ”to these TDAs in both the regions about formulation of Master Plans and most of those in Kashmir having already done it or are formulating the same ,but the causes of Jammu Region lagging behind must be known and resolved. Added to all required support to these TDAs to be doubly ensured, any form of alibi under which non-serious and a comatose approach to the issue as a routine too, must be discouraged. In short, providing basic necessary inputs must result in maximum outputs , let that be implemented in the instant case.