Mansar offers huge potential for tourism: MoS Jitendra Singh
Jammu a major pilgrimage tourism destination: Advisor Baseer Khan
SRINAGAR : The government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to promote Mansar as a major tourist destination under the Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation and Development Plan.
This was stated at a video conference chaired by Union Minister of State, Dr Jitendra Singh to discuss the draft Comprehensive Development Plan for Mansar.
While chairing the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh said that there is great potential for developing Mansar as a major tourist destination. He said that Mansar has a huge potential for attracting religious and non-religious tourists while offering an added advantage of connectivity. MoS further asked the concerned to align the things in order of priority and asked them to rope in other departments in rejuvenation and development of Mansar. He also asked them to include a wellness centre in the proposed interventions for the development plan.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Baseer Ahmad Khan while speaking on the occasion said that Mansar offers a great potential for development and we need to exploit and explore potential tourist destinations for attracting tourists.
The Advisor said that Mansar has emerged as an important tourist destination in Jammu region and a large number of tourists and visitors throng this lake. He said that Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation/Development Plan will cater to the influx of tourists and give a big boost to the tourism sector. He said that in North India, pilgrimage tourism is a major attraction and Jammu is one of the major pilgrimage tourist attractions in the whole country. While asking the concerned departments to work in close coordination and prepare a detailed project report, he assured them that he will personally intervene in the matter so that the different interventions are carried out in due course of time.
The aim of the rejuvenation/development plan is to ensure development of the destination adhering to sustainable and carrying capacity of destination and identification of infrastructural gaps that have been major road blocks in unlocking the true potential of the destination.
In the next three to five years, the government wants that destination shall emerge as the most sought after tourist place, with easy access and availability of the basic requirements ideally desired at a tourist spot. This shall also ensure better conservation & management of the wildlife area.
Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Zubair Ahmad presented a detailed presentation about the Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation and Development Plan and said that tourist footfall of Mansar speaks volumes about the popularity and potential of being one of the best recreational spots in Jammu division. He said that tourist footfall of Mansar has increased to 9.92 lakh in 2019 from 4.57 lakh in 2016 and with the proposed interventions they want to increase the expected footfall to 20 lakh per year.
Under the ambitious plan the proposed interventions include development of tourist infrastructure in the form of facilitation/view points/ floating jetties etc. upgradation of roads/existing pathways around the lake, ensuring access to different hamlets around the lake periphery.
The plan also includes restoration of the heritage buildings and reinforce the existing infrastructural facilities, besides encouraging eco tourism and boost economy the department also proposes developing the destination for water sports activities, musical water fountains, water cascade works.
The tourism department will also identify potential sites for outdoor recreational activities like planning zip lines, open air gyms, development of amusement park, development of car/ bus parking.
The proposal also includes development of allied works by way of augmenting existing electrical and drainage schemes around the lake complex besides creation of wi-fi zone/ internet connectivity around the entire Mansar lake compound.
It was given out in the meeting that the area has tremendous untapped tourism potential which requires to be explored with active participation of the wildlife department, being an important partner in addressing the infrastructural gaps.