Inaugurates golf tournament organized by TAAI
Srinagar: Tourism Minister Tassaduq Hussain Mufti Tuesday stressed on a need to develop a developmental policy that could protect air, water, land and forests.
“It is best to accept that 73 percent of our waste is going into fresh water bodies. As a tourism department we come at the end of many things and all the departments have to work for us to do our jobs successfully,” Mufti said. “In one way I see ourselves (Tourist Department) conservationists, as guardians, and I think we have to start doing that and we are trying to develop a policy keeping in mind air water, land and forests as our primary goals. Our policy will be driven by that but it will take time.”
Mufti was speaking at a press conference after inaugurating a golf tournament organised by Travel Agents Association of India at Royal Springs Golf Course.
Responding to a question about wanton constructions coming up at tourist spots, Mufti said that development needs to be redefined.
“I agree with you, firstly I think it is to redefine what development is and that is the most important thing that we should be doing as the department of tourism. Is to define a strong policy, is to also have sense of our sub regional identity,” Mufti said. “I must agree that these are things that have been there so many, many years and I am sure that you will agree that we don’t have language in terms of architecture in terms of taking our culture forward.”
Mufti also stressed on a need to change negative perception about Kashmir valley by promoting alternative stories.
“When it is a question of perception, I should be asking you questions, because you are the people who make perception. I shoot commercials. I have arrived here just now,” Mufi told journalists in response to question why Kashmir was seen as if nothing was fine here despite the fact that Uttar Pradesh witnessed 900 encounters while as J&K witnessed around 150 encounters in a year.
“If we keep our city vibrant, if you keep our culture vibrant and have positive stories to talk about and events like TAAI we will definitely change perception,” Mufti added.
Asked if state government would write to GoI to allow tourists to visit border areas Mufti said, “It a part of an all round master plan.”
President TAAI, Sunil Kumar, told reporters that the association was delighted to hold its first ever golf tournament in Kashmir valley to commemorate its 64th convention.
Kumar said that the association will consistently work on the need for the world, particularly India, to look Kashmir as a tourism opportunity. “We would be working in our knowledge session on the subjects of tourism. We have speakers who focus on initiatives that the industry stake holders must take,” he said.
“We are very confident and I would like to tell media that once this event concludes successfully the visibility of Kashmir as a tourism destination will multiply many times and this will result in many tourists coming to Kashmir,” Kumar added.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Mehmood Ahmad Shah and Joint Director Information Zahoor Ahmad Mir along with other officers were present on the occssion.
Kumar thanked the Tourism Department for entering into a partnership with them.