Lal Singh kick starts Rs 4.5 crore tourism works at Basohli


KATHUA: Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Ch. Lal Singh said that efforts are afoot to develop eco tourism infrastructure around Ranjit Sagar Lake to make it a major tourist destination   of the state.

The Minister said Forest Department is going to launch Steamer service in Ranjit Sagar Lake for which four Steamers will be pressed into service under its eco-tourism initiative shortly. He was addressing people after kick starting tourism infrastructure works coming up at an estimated cost of Rs 4.5 cr at Panagar, Basohli today.

Ch Lal Singh also laid foundation stone of ‘Reporting Centre and Watch Tower of Forest Protection Force at Panagar to be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh.

Highlighting the tourism potential of Basohli, Ch Lal Singh said the area has all ingredients to attract high end tourists.  “With increased footfall of tourist the art of Basohli paintings and Pashmina will also get new lease of life and create employment opportunities for the local stakeholders, he said. While listing tourism infrastructure facilities being developed around Ranjit Sagar, the Minister informed that a five kilometer bridal path will be developed along the Lake having resting benches, view platforms He said the tourists can have good view of serene Ranjit Sagar Lake and also enjoy boating.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)will also explore the possibilities of operating water transport  facilities in the lake which are not only  affordable but also  less time consuming, added Forest Minister. He said right from Mashka to the Dam site the area can be accessible through water which will also facilitate residents of Punjab and Himachal living near Ranjit Sagar Lake.

Highlighting the imitative of Forest department to take up the plantation of fruit plants in suitable areas, Ch Lal Singh said so far grafting of  ninety thousand saplings of pear has been done against the target of 2 lakh.

He also disclosed that a total  821 persons displaced  from  Shahpur Kandi Barrage will be given employment for which directions have been passed to concerned authorities to process their claim. Former MLA Basohli Kanta Andotra, PCCF Ravi Kumar Kesar, CCF, F. A Gilani, Chief Wildlife Warden Manoj Pant, S. Bharti Secy, PCB, Director Forest Protection Force Asif Mohammed, Chairman PCB Sidharth Kumar, MD SFC S.K Gupta, Director Environment O.P Sharma, Director SFRI B.M Sharma, Director Social Forestry A. K Gupta, Joint Director Soil Conservation Ratan Kudiyar and DFOs were also present.