Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer A Khan, on Wednesday convened an officers’ meeting at Civil Secretariat, Srinagar to review the overall functioning of Tourism Department.
Secretary Tourism, Zubair Ahmad, MD J&K Cable Car Corporation, Director Tourism Kashmir, Director SKICC Srinagar and CEO’s of Tourism Development Authorities of Kashmir besides Secretary, Royal Spring Golf Course attended the meeting.
MD JKTDC, Executive Director Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society, Director Tourism Jammu and CEO’s of Tourism Development Authorities of Jammu besides Secretary Jammu Tawi Golf Course participated in the meeting via Video Conferencing from Jammu.
Secretary Tourism apprised the Advisor of the challenges being faced by the Tourism stakeholders in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic and its economic impact on the sector. He gave a detailed overview of the Tourism Department, highlights of the sector and the activities undertaken over the years to promote and expand tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
The status of various schemes viz PMDP, PMRP and PRASAD of Government of India and progress of ongoing works in the Tourism Development Authorities (TDA’s) was also reviewed.
Taking note of the challenges being faced by the Tourism stakeholders in the wake of COVID-19, Advisor said that Government is aware of these difficulties and is taking up measures to help the stressed stakeholders through income support and other possible measures.
While reviewing Tourism developmental works, Advisor emphasized completion of the ongoing projects in a time bound manner. He asked the Directorates and CEOs of the Tourism Development Authorities to prioritize such projects which can be completed immediately and are of immense utility for the sector and tourist destinations.
Regarding issue of proper use of land and implementation of the Master Plans in areas under various Tourism Development Authorities, Advisor directed that no violation of the Plans be allowed and strict action should be initiated against encroachments. He said concerned CEOs of TDAs will be held responsible for any violation or encroachment in areas under their jurisdiction.
He asked the CEOs of TDAs to make an inventory of assets, undertake asset mapping and audit of executed works from the engineering point of view. He also stressed on renovation and beautification of existing tourist destinations and infrastructure, wherever required.
While reviewing the languishing projects in the department, the Advisor expressed concern over slow pace of work in projects sanctioned for Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex. He observed that the Administrative Approval has been accorded by the Tourism Department for all six languishing Projects of the Heritage Complex and directed the Executive Director Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society to expedite the work on these projects, so that the historic Complex comes up as a major tourist attraction in Jammu city.
The Advisor also stressed on the Managing Directors of the Corporations to take all steps for securing viability of their corporations through proper resource utilization.
The Secretaries of the Golf Courses were advised to forward requisite plans immediately to the Administrative Department, which are crucial for proper maintenance and upkeep of these sports assets.
Advisor emphasized the need of preparing a Tourism Revival Plan by the department after the scare of COVID-19 Pandemic abates, so that promotional and developmental activities could be taken up immediately.