JAMMU: Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh on Friday said that the state possesses immense potential for growth in tourism sector and that resolute efforts are underway to give new dimensions to State’s tourism industry by placing J&K in the world map as one of the major tourist destination.
He said this during the concluding ceremony of annual PeerKhoMela. Dr Singh said from adventure to pilgrimage tourism, the state government is reaching out to the tourists by undertaking several promotional activities, facilitating the exchange of tourism market by easing the barriers of travel and encouraging the partnerships between the public and private sectors.
During the Annual PeerKhoMela, devotees from within and outside district paid obeisance at the historic PeerKho shrine. The four-day event witnessed various cultural programs based on Shiv-Parvati theme like Tandav, Shiv Barat, Shiv-Kali and Bhajans devoted to Lord Shiva. Traditional sports activities, Fun Rides, Ethnic stalls put up by the locals and government departments attracted huge footfall. The district administration and the Mandir committee made elaborate arrangements for the devotees visiting the holy place.
The Mela was concluded with the Dangal. The final match of the event proved to be a one-sided affair as Shamsher tried to adopt a defensive approach to slow the match down but Bhupinder Singh from Punjab proved to be too good for the rival and registered the victory to lift the title.
Gurj and Patta were awarded by PeerKho Mandir Committee to the winner whereas cash Prizes of Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 were awarded to the winner and the runner-up respectively by the Tourism Department.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh said that the state has a vast potential to be a prime tourist destination as it showcases the perfect bouquet of diverse tradition and culture. He said by initiating several prestigious projects, the government is ensuring that the tourists will witness a new attraction every time they come to the state that will ultimately give a boost to JK’s tourism sector.
To develop and enhance the structure of state’s tourism, synergized efforts by all stakeholders are required to ensure the development of various tourists’ places in the state especially the unexplored one, Dr Singh added.
J&K is a land Sufis and Saints inherited with the wealth of rich culture and spirituality wherein several religious places are thronged by people of all faiths, Dr Singh said adding that the government is determined on tapping every aspect of tourism in the State with special focus on developing the places of spiritual and religious importance to meet the aspirations of people.
“The State has set a great example of religious harmony that remained us stand united to fight against the evil of terrorism”, Dr Singh asserted. Stressing on the development of prominent places of religious and tourist importance, Dr Singh said that the inclusive mechanism has been put in place to promote historically significant tourist spots.
Dr Singh said that with the development of shrines like Peerkho, not only devotes but more tourists will be attracted which will give a fillip to the economy of the area. “PeerKho shrine has been a major pilgrim tourist destination in the region and requisite initiatives have been taken to enhance amenities for the pilgrims”, he added.
Citing various steps undertook by the Government, he said that in times to come many new initiatives such as, Ropeway projects, River front, Lake, Multilevel parking will see the light to attract more tourist footfall in the region.
During her address, Minister of State for Education, Tourism and Culture, Priya Sethi said that the government is working with a purpose to boost the tourism catering to the needs of everyone in terms of a desirable tourist destination. Development of religious places for the promotion of pilgrim tourism in the region is the utmost priority of the government, the Minister affirmed.
She said that several new initiatives have also been introduced for ensuring the proper augmentation of the tourist infrastructure and providing the requisite necessary facilities to the tourists coming to the state.