SRINAGAR: Minister of State for Education, Technical Education, Culture, Tourism, Department of Horticulture, Floriculture and Parks Priya Sethi on Sunday said that the state was one of the ‘world’s best and most sought after’ tourist destination that possesses immense potential – floriculture and horticulture being other key areas that were contributing to state’s economy and needed more fillip, an official press note read.
The minister was speaking at an award and felicitation ceremony of J&K Tours and Travel Operators – 2017 here. She said that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced Rs. 80,000 crore development package for Jammu and Kashmir out of which tourism has been allocated Rs. 2241 crore to develop new projects and tourist circuits, and setting up of 50 tourist villages. The minister said that these projects when completed would automatically improve the image of the state on world tourism map.
According the press note, the minister said that under massive and liberal central funding urban development sector of J&K State has been allocated Rs. 2312 crore with which smart cities would be developed and Swachh Bharat Mission and infrastructure in towns of Jammu and Kashmir would be completed. She added the infrastructure development would further help in tapping tourism potential.
Seeking active support from all the stakeholders, Priya Sethi said that in days to come she would be attending tourism promotional ventures in Gujarat and other places only to ensure that domestic, as well as foreign tourists arrived in the state in good numbers. The minister asked tourism department to stay active on social media and emphasised on the need to exploit more such ideas for promotion of beautiful locations in the state, the press note read.
The minister said, “The most important project funding is that of road and highway projects for which Rs. 42611 crore will be spent on construction of Zojila tunnel, semi-ring roads in Jammu and Srinagar, projects under Bharat Mala for better connectivity and upgradation and other projects in the state.
Referring to dry fruits and fruits from other countries flooding the state markets, Priya Sethi said that this trend needed to be reversed and whatever shortcomings were there must be collectively plugged in.
Congratulating those who were awarded at the event, she said that the kind of efforts that were being put in must be sustained and a consistency maintained to increase the number of tourists in this beautiful state.
Priya Sethi gave away awards to those who had excelled in their fields and encouraged them by assuring all possible help from the government, the press note added.