Stresses on environmental impact assessment embedded sustainable model of development
JAMMU: Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Mufti on Tuesday chaired the maiden meeting of tourism department to review the progress of diverse projects, activities and proposals undertaken by the department under various central and state sector schemes.
Tassaduq Mufti in his introductory remarks expressed hope for working with enthusiasm, innovation and dedication towards making the state a sustainable tourist destination.
He stressed upon the officers to “frame respective master plans and vision documents incorporating tourist attractions based on resource potential, regional cultural identity, heritage architecture, road connectivity and access to derive socio-economic benefits while ensuring environmental preservation”, an official handout read.
“Research, surveys and environmental impact assessments are to be incorporated as regular features in tourism policy to raise modern infrastructure coincident with the historical legacies and natural endowments of the state,” the minister said.
He further said that digital media and social media play an indispensable role in today’s world to showcase the plethora of activities and experiences that the state tourism industry has to offer. “Priority has to be attached to successfully utilise these platforms”, he added.
Under centrally sponsored scheme ‘Swadesh Darshan’, various projects are being undertaken by the department including construction of amusement water park near Sidhra Golf Course, construction of musical water fountains with light and sound show at Bagh-e-Bahu, development of Suchetgarh Border Tourism and establishment of world class amenities supported by smart solar illumination, tourist pathways and solid water management at Katra, the handout read.
Under Prime Minister’s Development Programme to discover unexplored tourist destinations, projects like development of convention facilities at Sidhra Golf Course, development of tourist facilities at Jhajjar Kotli, Panchari, Siard baba, Bhagwati Nagar and Akhnoor are being taken up by the department along with promoting ‘highway tourism’, it further read.
The meeting also discussed innovative measures to enhance travel experience of the tourists while visiting the state such as shuttle services between closely situated tourist destinations, provisions for home stays, well maintained city and town landscapes with proper sanitation and solid waste management provisions and increasing the number of tourist activities suited to the unique geographic features of different regions of the state.
For efficient management of various projects the meeting also suggested classification of ‘implemented’, ‘under-implementation’ and ‘proposed’ projects on the basis of utility, hurdles and anticipated impact, respectively, it added.