JAMMU: Minister of State for Tourism, Priya Sethi Monday told the Legislative Assembly various initiatives have been to boost tourism activities in Jammu region.
She said multiple potential tourist destinations have been identified in the region and simultaneous work is underway on various fronts to bring Jammu up as a prime independent tourism destination besides extending the existing religious tourism circuit in the region.
Replying to a question by Dr Gagan Bhagat, the Minister the house that the work on Design and Construction of barrage across river Tawi at Belicharana, Jammu, which is a part of Artificial Lake project has been taken up for execution by Irrigation & Flood Control Department at an estimated cost of Rs 69.70 crore, against which an amount of Rs 57.35 crore stands released/utilized by ending March, 2016 and 80 per cent of the work has been completed.
She said famous Gharana Wetland Conservation Reserve has been notified under Section 17(I) of J&K Wildlife Protection Act 1978 as Wetland Reserve by the Forest & Wildlife Department. For the beautification of surrounding of Lake Gharana, a project has been formulated on the pattern of modern village involving a budgeted cost of Rs 10.55 crore.
Giving details of various developmental initiatives taken for the promotion of tourism in Jammu province, the Minister said the holy Shrine of Baba Chamlayal at Ramgarh, Vijaypur on Indo-Pak border has already been developed by the Department with central financial assistance of Rs 159.61 crore. The main components of the project are Tourist Reception Centre, Amphitheatre, Ceremonial Postage sitting for public and development of pond and tiling etc. Besides, the Tourism Department has taken up various works for development of Baba Chamlayal and Baba Sidh Goria and Purmandal under state plan, which are at different stages of completion, said the Minister.
Regarding the progress of Cable Car Project, Jammu, the Minister said the project comprises two phases. Phase-I from Peerkho (near Mubarak Mandi) to Mahamaya Park comprising a length of 1137 meters, and Phase-II from Mahamaya Park to Shahabad with a length of 453 meters has been taken up under state plan at a cost of Rs 60 crore. The progress of allied work is underway, said the Minister.
The Minister further stated that the Union Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned a Rural Tourism Project at a cost of Rs 69 lakh for the development of Jhiri Shrine in Marh Constituency, wherein several components have been completed. Besides, the construction works of Darshani Deodi, toilets, change rooms, shelter sheds have also been taken up under State Plan at a cost of Rs 80 lakh, said the Minister. Regarding the promotion of Peer-ki-Gali at Poonch as tourist spot, the Minister informed that a comprehensive project has been sanctioned and taken up for execution under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) at a cost of Rs 2.40 crore by Union Ministry of Tourism during the current financial year.
In order to extend the stay of tourists visiting Patnitop and Sanasar circuit, the Mantalai-Sudhmahadev and Patnitop are being developed as Independent tourist destinations at a sanctioned cost of Rs 97.82 crore under the circuit “Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai-Sudhmahadev-Patnitop circuit”. Under this ambitious programme, the Government will set up a Yoga Centre, wellness spa and Ayurveda complex and open air amphitheatre at Mantalai, tourist cafeteria with hall, convenience centre with lounge at Sudhmahadev and Patnitop.
The Minister also gave details and status of several developmental initiatives which are underway for the promotion of tourism sector in different areas of Jammu division including, Suchetgarh, Akhnoor, Katra, Surinsar, Manasar, Jammu city, Nowshera, Rajouri, Thanda Kahassi, Bhderwah, Baghilihar Dam-Pul Doda, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Gulabgarh, Jhajjar Kotli, Panchari, Siard Baba Reasi, Didhra Gold Course, Tata Pani Rajouri, Qilla Dantitop, Loran/Jallian Park, Noori Chamb etc.