Saying that Chenab Valley is a goldmine of natural resources, Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh today called upon the stakeholders to synergize their activities so that the region and other unexplored areas of the state are brought on the tourist map.
The Deputy Chief Minister was speaking at a convention, which was part of 3-Day FAM tour organized by Department of Tourism. The tour was flagged off for Bhaderwah by Secretary Tourism, Farooq Ahmed Shah earlier from Jammu Tawi Golf Course Sidhra on 14th November.
Dr Singh appreciated the commitment of the Buyers and Sellers of Tourism and Travel & Trade operators to explore and write on these untouched destinations. “Chenab Valley and erstwhile Doda is an unexplored goldmine of natural resources”, he said and maintained that the entire region is known for wild herbs like Gucchi, Nagchatri and Kalla Zeera. “Rajmash of Bhaderwah and sapphire of Kishtwar is world renowned,” he said.
“Connectivity is the lifeline of the area and more focus has been laid in this sector as Rs 42,000 crore out of total 80,000 crore package announced by Prime Minister for the state will be utilized for the strengthening road infrastructure”, he stated.
The present Government, he said, is also keen to develop an alternate route to Doda via Chennani – Shudhmahadev and “we will be also working out the feasibility of starting Helicopter facility to the area.”
He said there is wonderful scope of adventure tourism, ecotourism and pilgrimage tourism in the region and appealed all the travel operators to showcase Bhaderwah as an attractive tourist circuit, an official statement said.
Recalling the experience of trekking to the Seoj Meadow, he enjoined upon all the participants that it a huge meadow with 22km area and could be developed as a world class skiing spot and Government has already mooted a proposal to provide road connectivity to this spot.
The Deputy Chief Minister called on the District administration to strictly implement the ban on polythene and ensure that all the tourist spots both recreational and devotional are immediately cleaned up and further issued directions to launch a cleanliness drive under the Swacch Bharat Abhiyan. Director Tourism was asked to organize road shows and other publicity activities to bring the unexplored destinations on the world tourism map.
Referring to the provision of providing professional training to the people related to tourism sector, Dr. Singh announced that a technical training institute for all the courses will be established at Baglihar for which MoU has already been signed with Hyderabad based institute. “We are also in process of providing a separate power line to all the tourist destinations so that visiting tourists do not face inconvenience. Tourism industry has a major role to play and Rs 2241 crore in the recent announced package will be utilized for developing and strengthening tourism sector”, he informed.
Director Tourism was also asked to identify spots for the construction of wayside amenities including toilet facilities en-route Jammu-Bhaderwah.
MLC Naresh Gupta in his address said the skilled man power in tourism sector is available but there is need to augment it. Earlier, in his welcome address, Director Tourism said that apart from Kashmir valley, Jammu region has a vast tourism potential and government is keen to develop the major tourist destinations to increase tourist footfall in these areas.