Government Initiatives April 4-10, 2021

Half Budget Released

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha meeting with Film-maker Kabeer Kaushik in Srinagar on Sunday, April 4, 2021. Pic: DIPR

Lt Gov Manoj Sinha has approved the release of half of the revenue and capital outlay on the budget for fiscal 2021-22 on the very first of the new financial year. The timely release of revenue and capital component is expected to accelerate the pace of development in the Union Territory. Jammu and Kashmir is spending Rs1,08,621 crore of which Rs 68804 crore is the revenue expenditure. The Government has issued strict directions for timely completion of tendering process before the end of May to ensure that there are no constraints due to the limited working season. The flow of funds to the subordinate offices will be in online mode through BEAMS and all departments shall be required to submit monthly reports regarding the progress made by them under various components. In order to ensure a uniform pace of expenditure, it has been clearly stipulated that not more than 30% of the funds can be spent in the last quarter of the financial year and not more than 15% of the funds can be spent during the last month of March. This is intended to avoid the rush of expenditure towards end of the financial year.

The Jungle Tourism

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha chairs Administrative Council

The Administrative Council (AC) last week approved the development of seven new trekking routes in various wildlife protected areas by the Wildlife Department in coordination with the Tourism Department. The move is aimed at promoting tourism in the forest hinterland without disturbing the ecological balance in the protected areas The AC also approved the opening-up of the existing infrastructure and resources of the Forest Department including the rest houses/inspection huts to tourists and wildlife enthusiasts. The decision will allow online booking of 29 forest rest houses/inspection huts in Kashmir and Jammu divisions; under a common brand and logo from May 1, 2021.

The Department of Forest, Ecology and Environment will put in place a user-friendly online portal for booking identified rest houses on a first-come, first-serve basis as per their availability and intake capacity. The Department will refurbish and open another batch of 58 rest houses/huts to tourists by July 1, 2021. The trekking avenues range from short day-long treks up and down mountain slopes, to long-trans-mountain traverses involving a week of trekking and camping in the wilderness.

Rejuvenating Wetlands

Gusts-taking-siesta- in Hokersar wetland

The Forest Department is preparing digital inventory, documentation, and development of a geospatial database on wetlands; to profile various wetlands of Jammu and Kashmir and subsequently recommend their notification under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Wetland (Conversation & Management) Rules, 2017. The Department is to evolve a strategy for the regulation of activities within the notified wetlands and their zone of influence, besides recommending conservation plans for sustainable use of water resources.

There are a total number of 3754 water bodies in Jammu and Kashmir which are being regulated by different departments and agencies including Forest, Wildlife, Soil and Water Conservation, and local government bodies. The meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary B V R Subramanyam.

Building Houseboats

Houseboats parked in Chinar Bagh in Srinagar.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has rolled out a policy aimed at regulating the functioning of the houseboats moored in the world-famous Dal and Nigeen lakes by adopting the models of sustainable and responsible tourism. Under the new policy, the houseboats are required to be registered online, subject to the fulfilment of various conservation parameters, within 30 days from the date of notification of the policy.

Keeping in view the carrying capacities, the tourism department has capped the number of houseboats in both lakes at 910. The Administrative Council, which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, approved the rollout of the policy and guidelines for a sustainable operation of houseboats in the twin lakes, a star attraction for the tourists visiting Srinagar. The policy envisages providing an experience to tourists and a sustainable source of living to the stakeholders while preserving the fragile ecosystem. The policy lays down regulations for ancillary facilities such as kitchens, lodging, furniture, first-aid, electricity, power back-up, sanitary fittings, and shikara for navigation, the spokesperson said.

Flying At Night

Dir Tourism receives travellers at Srinagar Airport

The first-ever direct evening flight of Indigo airline with 184 passengers on board from Bangalore landed at Srinagar airport on March 29 which was warmly received by Director Tourism Kashmir Dr GN Itoo along with Director AAI, Srinagar, and senior officers from the tourism department. Both the evening and the direct flight from a major city like Bangalore will go a long way in attracting more tourists to the Valley. Welcoming the development, Director of Tourism Kashmir said evening and also direct flights from major cities will give a major fillip to the Valley’s tourism sector. He said that they have been pursuing direct and evening flights for a long time which has now got materialized.  He said there are many travellers, especially business class who fly by evening flights to save time. “These flights will further increase the tourists’ influx to Kashmir and boost economy” said Itoo. Meanwhile, the Tourism department also organized many festivals and events at Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Doodhpathri, Badamwari in addition to organizing around 20 road-shows in different cities in the country which helped promote the JK tourism sector in a big way.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here