On Friday, Arun Kumar Mehta, Jammu And Kashmir Chief Secretary (CS) have set the deadline of march end to complete all the ongoing projects of the department in the union territory as per the officials. CS also said that all 582 works that were targeted to complete last year should be completed within time.Also Read – Dubai Witnesses Increase in International Travellers by 32 Per Cent in 2021
The official asked the department to put all unutilised assets to use by March 31, 2022. Also Read – What Does Union Budget 2022 Have For Travel Amid Pandemic? Industry Experts React to Budget Dynamics
Saying tourism has great capacity to create large-scale employment of diverse kind, Mehta asked the department to look for complementarities and synergies with other departments to generate economic activity and create productive jobs in the sector. Also Read – COVID-19 Travel Update: 8 Places That Allow Unvaccinated Tourists With Special Guidelines
The officials said that while 224 projects under capex have been completed so far, out of 122 under the Prime Minister Development Programme (PMDP), 94 have been completed and the remaining 28 will be completed as per the set timelines.
Giving details of the various tourism activities initiated by the department, they informed that snow scooters have been introduced in Sonmarg and the ice skating rink has been made fully functional in Gulmarg.
Mehta directed the department to involve local people in and around the tourist destinations in the effort to improve the ambience of these places.
He added that all tourist places need to be advertised on hoardings and billboards along the national highways and other important roads in the UT.
Highlighting the importance of Akhnoor town as a tourist destination, the chief secretary directed the department to develop the place as a popular weekend getaway for residents of Jammu city and surrounding places.
Mehta also highlighted the importance of Surinsar as a potentially attractive evening destination for Jammuites and directed the department to develop the place complete with all recreational activities, improved surroundings and well laid internal roads.
He further said that city and heritage tour campaigns have been launched in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.
The CS directed the department to synergise with Mission Youth for purchase of snow scooters and ATVs under the scheme to the willing youth in Sonmarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam and other such like tourist areas to create self employment opportunities for them.
Mehta asked the department to ensure that river cruise on Jhelum river is started by March-end, while adding that the amphitheatre at the Bagh-i-Bahu garden should be put to use by roping in local talents or by organising other activities.
(With PTI inputs)
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