JAMMU: Despite the fact that crores of rupees have been spent in creating assets in the tourist destinations of Kathua district, the plans of Tourism Department and Jammu and Kashmir State Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) to generate revenue from such assets have fallen flat. Reason: Sordid approachable roads are keeping visitors away from visiting these destinations.
Locals complain that the approachable roads to tourist destinations of Kathua district including that of Sukrala Devi Mata are in dilapidated conditions since decades. They said crores of rupees have been spent by constructing Rest and Guest Houses and other assets with an aim to generate revenue for JKTDC and Tourism Department.
The road from Dayala Chack on Jammu-Pathankot National Highway to Tehsil Billawar and from Billawar to pilgrimage of Sukrala Devi Mata is in dilapidate condition and risky for passengers.
Locals said that the condition of the roads was not improved despite the issue was raised with the BJP MP Dr Jatindra Singh, and concerned MLA Dr Nirmal Singh, “who had made huge promises with people during elections”.
Locals expressed resentment with the concerned MP and MLA for overlooking the demands for construction of concrete road from Tehsil Billawar to Sukrala Devi Mata.
Director Tourism Jammu Rakesh Kumar Verma said, “It is difficult to promote tourism in the state and to generate revenue from our tourist designations if lack of proper road connectivity is there, but former Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had strictly directed the PWD (R&B) department to build up proper road connectivity with all the tourist spots of the state on top priority keeping in view to boost tourism in the state.”