Expand tourist activities in Gulmarg catchment area, CM tells officials

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today stressed on expanding the tourist activities at Gulmarg in its catchment area by creating more basic facilities of life in the nearby villages. This, she said, would not only add up these villages to the tourists’ itinerary but also create more employment opportunities for the local youth.

Chairing the 9th meeting of Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) here today, the Chief Minister directed that local youth be involved in the infrastructure expansion, tourism promotion or any other activity at the   world famous destination. She also directed that basic facilities of life like sanitation, connectivity, power supply etc be made available in the catchment areas so that village tourism takes off like it has been done in Leh.

The Chief Minister directed early submission of the Gulmarg Master Plan so that the same could be discussed in the cabinet. She also directed that the process of setting up of a herbal garden and Observatory at Gulmarg be paced up.

 Minister for Horticulture, Syed Basharat Bukhari, Minister of State for Tourism, Priya Sethi; MLA, Gulmarg, Muhammad Abbas Wani were present in the meeting.

Mehbooba Mufti directed improvement of Gulmarg-Baba Reshi road on priority and face-lifting of the Baba Reshi market in conformity with the natural ambience there. She directed the concerned that mandatory 2% spending of the profits by public companies operating in the area be strictly ensured.

The meeting was informed that the DPR for setting up of a cable car at Shranz is ready and further action on the same is underway.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned to prepare a mechanism for garbage disposal and get back to her within a week. She also directed the PDD to prepare a project for street lighting the patch from Baba Reshi to Gulmarg.

The meeting was informed that in order to augment the drinking water facility at the world famous resort, the PHE Department is working on a Rs. 6.92 crore water supply scheme from Ningli nallah which would add up an additional five lakh gallons of drinking water to the area. 

The Chief Minister directed opening of Botapathri, Nagin-I and Nagin-II to public and in this regard take up the issue with Army authorities. She also directed completion of demarcation and fencing of the land earmarked to GDA for which she fixed a deadline of one month.

The meeting was informed that underground cabling of wires at Gulmarg would be started soon which would insulate the power supply from the vagaries of climate.

Chief Secretary, B. B. Vyas; Commissioner-Secretary, Finance, Navin Choudhary; Secretary, Tourism & Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah; Secretary, Horticulture, M H Malik; Secretary, Planning, Salim Sheshgar; Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Dr. Nasir Naqash; Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Development Authority, Shafqat Iqbal; Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah; heads of several engineering Departments and senior officers also attended the meeting.

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