Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today laid the foundation of various tourist facilities at Ranjit Sagar Lake in Basohli to be developed by Bani Basohli Development Authority (BBDA). She announced that Rs. 100 crore would be spent on developing various facilities in the catchment areas of the Dam.
The maiden project by the BBDA aims at developing high end logistic and recreational facilities for the tourist at this scenic spot.
Addressing a largely attended gathering after laying the foundation, the Chief Minister said Nature has endowed Bani and Basohli areas with immense natural beauty which needs to be brought on the tourist map to increase tourist footfall in the area. She said with this view Basholi Bani Development Authority was established by the previous Government led by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
Describing Ranjit Sagar Dam as the local DisneyLand, Mehbooba Mufti said the place has beautiful and astonishing lagoons which need to be optimally promoted for different adventure and water sports. She said the place has the potential to match any other foreign destination in the world and the Government is working on a comprehensive plan to bring this spot in tourist limelight. She said the Dam is one of the most beautiful dams in the world and the beautiful lagoons can be a major attraction for the Nature and adventure lovers.
The Chief Minister said present Government has given a boost to tourist activities in Jammu province and developmental projects to the tune of Rs 350 crores are underway in Jammu division to improve the tourism facilities and focused attention is being laid on the developing other areas as well. She said Rs 100 crore have been earmarked for developing logistic and allied tourist facilities at the Ranjit Sagar Dam.
Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh in his address said that it was the vision of late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to develop Ranjit Sagar Dam as a tourist destination and tap the potential of its strategic location near the Lakhanpur border, thus making it easily accessible to tourists from outside the State.
The Deputy Chief Minister hoped that Ranjit Sagar Dam would bring increased tourist footfall to the area thereby enhancing the employment opportunities to the local youth as well.
Minister for Forests, Ecology & Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh in his address said that Basohli is a heritage area with legacy of silk route trade and famous for its handloom industry. He said with the dedicated efforts of Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Basoli is moving towards rediscovering its glorious past. He flagged up gradation of works on roads connecting Lakhanpur to Basohli to facilitate tourist travel in the area.
Earlier, the Chief Minister conducted an aerial survey of the Ranjit Sagar Dam and its catchment areas.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr Mandeep Bhandhari; Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah; Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Romesh Kumar; Director, Tourism, Jammu, Smita Sethi and other officers were present on the occasion.