With two tourist seasons in a row having got destroyed due to violence in Kashmir, the centre has assured support to Jammu and Kashmir for promoting tourism under its “Incredible India” campaign.
This was announced here on Tuesday by the Director General of tourism ministry, SatyajeetRajan, while reviewing the tourism scenario in the state with the Chief Secretary BB Vyas and other officers.
Rajan called for roping in Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), FICCI and other corporate bodies for facilitating tourism promotion in J&K. He also suggested holding of International Travel Mart in Srinagar around the Tulip Season in March 2018.
Pertinently, Rs 2000 crore have been earmarked under the Prime Minister’s Developmental Package (PMDP) for development of tourism infrastructure in J&K. These funds are to be spent over a period of five years beginning 2016 with Rs 400 crore to be released by the Government of India each year.
The projects to be taken up under PMDP include providing infrastructure at 12 Tourism Development Authorities, creating 3 Tourism circuits, setting up 50 tourist villages and conservation of Wullar Lake in Kashmir.
It also includes reconstruction of government tourist assets where they were damaged or destroyed.
Vyas called for fast-pacing tourism projects in the State to ensure productive use of the resources available to Jammu and Kashmir for this key sector under the PMDP.
“Access the funds available to the sector, use it judiciously and deliver the mandated outcome within the set time-frame,” the Chief Secretary told the officers in the high-level meeting.
The meeting was informed that some of the key projects taken up under PMDP include development of tourism facilities at Mantalai-Sudhmahadev-Patnitop circuit in Jammu at a cost of Rs 97.82 crore, development of tourism facilities at Gulmarg-Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh circuit at a cost of Rs 96.92 crore, development of tourism facilities at Jammu-Rajouri-Shopian-Pulwama circuit at a cost of Rs 96.38 crore and development of tourism facilities at Anantnag-Pahalgam-Daksum-RanjitSagar at a cost of Rs 96.39 crore. These projects are being executed by the Government of India subsidiaries, National Building Construction Corporation(NBCC) and National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC).
The Chief Secretary said Jammu and Kashmir has immense potential for varied tourism activities and with adequate infrastructure in place, every part of the state can benefit from tourism promotion. He said tourism sector also has huge employment generation potential.