KL NEWS NETWORK
Dispelling the apprehension that Jammu could lose focus after direct rail connectivity to Katra, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Sunday assured that an appropriate strategy has been devised to create attractive assets in and around the winter capital to sustain tourist footfall. He was inaugurating the River Tawi Front Park.
Mufti described Jammu as a repository of rich heritage reflected in its historic temples and monuments. “Jammu has its own significance. We will create new areas of attraction to make the stay of the visitors in Jammu memorable,” he stated.
Elaborating upon various measures afoot to position Jammu as a leisure and heritage destination, Mufti referred to Mubarak Mandi Complex, which previously housed the State Legislature, as a heritage treasure that has a huge potential to attract art lovers both from within and outside the country. He said the work on the execution of Jammu Ropeway shall be expedited, which will also come as a shot in the arm for Jammu tourism.
Besides, he highlighted several other measures taken to diversify tourism-related activities in Jammu region at places such as Ranjit Sagar and Baghliar Dams, Sanasar, Marwah, Warwan, Bhaderwah and Jai.
In his meeting with Union Tourism Minister yesterday, Mufti had raised the issue of fast-tracking the work on conservation of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex. The Ministry has assured that a Central team will visit the summer capital soon to assess the progress of work on the project.
Emphasising upon development of more parks alongside River Tawi front in the city, the Chief Minister said Jammu tourism will receive fillip once the Artificial Lake project will be completed. “Jammu is the City of Temples and government will leave no stone unturned to project it as an independent destination,” he assured.
River Tawi Front Park has been set up on 25 kanals of reclaimed land transferred by I&FC Department to Tourism Department and constructed at a cost of Rs 5.50 crore, which includes one crore additionality for damage sustained in 2014 floods.
Highlighting the significance of good connectivity across the state, Mufti said while the rail connectivity up to Katra has given impetus to pilgrim tourism, simultaneously widening and up-gradation of road connectivity has been taken up on a major scale to make the travel pleasurable and memorable an experience for the visitors. He also said there is no reason to harbour apprehension that the footprint of tourists to Patnitop will get considerably reduced due to the realignment of Jammu-Srinagar National Highway. “Patnitop is a breathtakingly captivating destination, where people will continue to make a beeline,” he said, adding that the resort would be promoted as a premier leisure destination for MICE and golfing.
Referring to the government’s plans to create tourism infrastructure in PPP (Public Private Partnership) mode, Mufti said Ranjit Sagar Dam in Basohli will be developed as a prestigious tourist resort in Jammu region. He said some places in Jammu which are as beautiful and mesmerizing as some of the fabled resorts in Kashmir valley, will be brought on the tourism map of the state.
Earlier, he had announced creation of a new Basohli Tourism Development Authority to give focussed attention to the development of Ranjit Sagar Dam as the ‘Gateway’ to Jammu Tourism.
Later, the Chief Minister arrived at Jammu Tawi Golf Course at Sidhra and distribution prizes amongst the winners of the Chief Minister’s Golf Cup, that Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma has inaugurated in the morning.
While as Vikram Kapoor was declared overall winner of the Chief Minister’s Golf Cup, Arun Sharma emerged as the Runner Up in the tournament. T S Wazir won the first prize in the senior category while Col Jamwal won a special prize for his straight drive during the tournament.