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Multi crore PMDP tourist circuits to be a game changer in tourism sector: Sarmad Hafeez

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Reviews progress and utilization of funds

SRINAGAR : Secretary Tourism and Culture, Sarmad Hafeez today said that infrastructure is quintessential for advancing tourism of any area. He maintained that every tourist asset should be an insignia of local culture and heritage.

He made these remarks while reviewing  the multi-crore tourism infrastructure projects taken up under the Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP).These projects include development of several tourism circuits across J&K.

Director Tourism, Nisar Ahmad Wani; Director Archives, Archaeology & Museums,  Munir-ul-Islam; Director SKICC, Javid Bakshi, Director Planning Tourism, Parvaiz Sajad Kakroo, CEOs of all the Tourism Developmental Authorities and representatives from R&B, JKPCC, LAWDA, J&K Housing Board and NBCC were present in the meeting.

The Commissioner Secretary impressed upon the officers that nobody is immune to accountability and it is our duty to accomplish the tasks giving best from us. He urged them that such kind of meetings are held to find solutions of problem instead of only discussing them.

Sarmad directed the executing agencies to be sensitive to the local needs of the place while formulating the DPR’s of the projects. He impressed upon them to ensure all the infrastructure projects raised reflects aesthetic aspect in them. He asked them to be sensitive about the beautification and development of surroundings also as they act as eye sore if kept unaddressed.

Sarmad further asked the officers to necessarily include the operation and maintenance clause in the DPR’s as assets lying unattended lose sheen and serviceability. He asked them to take every step for looking after the assets created by the department as they only prove useful while in good condition.

A detailed presentation was given by the Director Tourism regarding the progress registered the component of each tourism circuit. The physical and financial progress made till date was given in the meeting. The possible dates of completion of each component was also fixed.

Moreover the executing agencies put forth their issues demanding attention of the indenting departments. All such issues were deliberated upon and possible solutions against each were explored.

It was given that all the tourist circuits developed are evenly distributed in J&K.

The tourist circuits under execution through different executing agencies include Jammu- Rajouri- Shopian- Pulwama Circuit, Anantnag- Kishtwar- Pahalgam – Daksum – Ranjit Sagar, Jammu- Srinagar- Pahalgam- Anantnag- Salamabad Uri. The activities include development of tourist facilities like construction of tourist facilitation centres, gender based toilets, Solid waste management plants, improvement of pathways, fencing, beautification of surroundings, lighting, cafeterias and many other allied works.

The development of Dal Lake and Babademb lagoon is also part of this plan. These include improvement of pathways, illumination, development of Shikara Ghats, landscaping and site development, construction of kiosks and flea market are worth mentioning.

Majority of the projects are scheduled to get completed till December, 2020, the meeting was informed.

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