JAMMU: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today called for launching a comprehensive conservation and restoration programme for the rivers and water bodies of the State. She said the organisations having expertise in conservation of water bodies can be co-opted to provide technical assistance on this front.
“The government is committed to preserve the State’s precious water bodies and extricate these of pollution,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a function organised in connection with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Tawi River Front Development.
The MoU was signed between Jammu Development Authority (JDA) and Sabarmati River Front Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL), Ahmadabad at a modest but impressive function organised at the Convention Centre Jammu. Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh, Minister of State for Tourism, Ms Priya Sethi, MP, Jugal Kishore, Vice-Chairman SC Board, Mr Bushan Dogra, MLAs, Rajesh Gupta and Satpal Sharma were present on the occasion.
Mehbooba said the restoration of Tawi front would add to the tourism potential of Jammu and would facilitate the Government’s efforts to develop the winter capital as an independent tourism destination. She expressed the hope that the involvement of SRFDCL would help give an expert and new touch to the development of Tawi River Front as has been done in case of Sabarmati River in Ahmadabad.
Mehbooba said a similar initiative was taken by the then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in 2002 for development of Jhelum Front and today the Jhelum banks have become a scenic spot in Srinagar which otherwise had turned into den of anti-social activities. “With a little effort and will and with the cooperation of the people, we can and have to safeguard the immense wealth of water resources,” she said and added that while other states were struggling for even drinking water, fortunately, J&K has immense resources which need to be conserved for posterity.
The Chief Minister said there is no dearth of tourist destinations in Jammu and with its treasure trove of heritage sites the city will attract a huge footfall of tourists. “The government will strategize and diversify activities for development of Jammu as an independent tourist destination for which a comprehensive plan has been drawn up,” she said.