Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today stressed on adding more attractions of adventure, trekking and camping at the tourist destinations to attract more tourists to these places.
Chairing the meetings of Sonamarg and Doodpathri Development Authorities here today, the Chief Minister directed the concerned agencies to broaden the ambit of tourism attraction at these places and look beyond the scenic beauty and offer tourists a varied choice in terms of rafting, trekking, skiing, fishing and other such activities.
Mehbooba Mufti said activities like camping, skiing and trekking have a great scope at the places which ought to be exploited optimally. This way, she said, these two destinations could be made round the year tourist attractions.
The Chief Minister specifically directed completion of Sonamarg by pass at the earliest and sorting out of the issues with Defence Ministry in this regard. She also directed stabilization of mobile connectivity in and around Sonamarg for the convenience of the tourists. She also reviewed the pace of underground cabling of electric wires in Sonamarg and was informed that it would be completed by next year for which the contract has been awarded.
Mehbooba Mufti also directed strict enforcement of a separate pony track to Thajwas and ban on polythene in and around Sonamarg. She also directed inclusion of villages of Nilgrath and Lashpathri within the territorial jurisdiction of SDA and subsequently declaring them as green areas.
The Chief Minister specifically enquired about the status of tenting and rafting facilities in and around Sonamarg and stressed on further developing them. She was informed that work on developing 18 hole Golf Course has been tendered out.
Mehbooba Mufti directed finalisation of Master Plan for Doodpathri at the earliest so that other facilities are developed there. She directed development of trek from Doodpathri to Tangmarg via Tosamaidan so that the entire area gets promoted. She said the place can become an integrated trekking ring by converging these attractions.
The Chief Minister directed enhancement of camping facilities, adventure treks and other such attractions at Doodpathri for attracting more tourists to the place. She also directed involvement of local youth in these activities to benefit the local economy as well.
Mehbooba Mufti was informed that DPRs for 1.20 Kilometre Chair Lift and Golf Course have been prepared and submitted for funding under PMDP.
The Chief Minister directed the Tourism Department to package Sonamarg and Doodpathri in a concerted manner and get them marketed properly in the industry for their exquisite features and attractions. She said these two places offer varied activities to tourists and should be promoted accordingly.
Legislators, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Hakim Muhammad Yasin and Saiffudin Bhat; Commissioner-Secretary, Finance, Navin Choudhary; Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Rohit Kansal; Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah; Secretary, Planning, Salim Sheshgar; Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, heads of several Departments; CEOs of SDA and DDA and other officers were present in the meetings.