Srinagar, Jun 26: Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today chaired a maiden meeting of Tourism department to review its functioning and progress made on various developmental projects under various state and central sponsored schemes.
Secretary Tourism Rigzin Samphel, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah, Director Tourism Jammu, Smita Sethi and other senior officials of the department were present in the meeting.
Addressing the officers, the Advisor called for putting in coordinated efforts at various levels in the administration and with the executing agencies to address the bottlenecks, if any, hampering the progress on the developmental projects. He called for regular follow-up of the projects to achieve the desired results at the earliest.
The officers of the Tourism department briefed the meeting about various ongoing projects to develop the tourism infrastructure in the state.
While reviewing the facilities available for the tourists in the state, the Advisor was informed that there are about 1560 hotels, 787 guest houses and 910 houseboats in the state registered with the department having about 85672 bed capacity. It was informed that 281906 tourists visited the state upto May this year.
The meeting was told that various projects worth Rs 569.19 crores are in progress and two installments have been released so far for different projects including construction of assets in lieu of those destroyed in 2014 floods.
Detailed discussion was also held on the progress made on Cable Car projects in the state including ropeway from Bahu Fort to Mahamaya Park in Jammu and renovation of the first phase of Gulmarg Gondola. Officials informed that the trial of the Jammu ropeway will start soon while renovation works of Gulmarg Gondola will be completed soon and the first phase shall restart by early July.
While discussing the performance of JKTDC and various Tourist Development Authorities, the Advisor stressed for speedily developing all tourist circuits with all requisite facilities for the visiting tourists. All the potential tourist places must be developed on the modern lines and every facility must be provided at these places so that tourists do not face any inconvenience and after return must act as ambassadors to the Tourism department as well as the state, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, K Vijay Kumar called for practicing modern marketing strategies to portray the State’s tourism potential in international market besides using social media effectively as a marketing tool to attract more people to visit the state.
He lauded the efforts of the officers for trying to give their best while working in the most difficult circumstances and asked them to work with extra zeal as there is always room for improvement. He asked the officers to regularly monitor the works and interact with the ground staff so that the staff works with more enthusiasm.
The meeting also discussed some key issues of the department including absence of Review Mechanism, scattered works, reimbursement of GST, drafting of Tourism policy for the state and fighting bad publicity.
Delhi obsessed with Kashmiri Pandits, silent about Kashmir massacres: Rasheed
Srinagar, Jan 21: Paying rich tributes to the “martyrs” of Gawkadal massacre on their 28th anniversary, AIP President Er Rasheed said that Delhi and its institutions have failed to kill, humiliate and deny justice to Kashmiris has become the permanent interpretation of “nationalism and patriotism”.
In a statement issued here, Rasheed said that national media, politicians and a section of “pseudo-intellectuals with a communal mindset” have been often calling few unfortunate killings of Kashmiri Pandits at the hands of unknown persons as “genocide” but don’t speak even a word on Gawkadal massacre and other worst massacres which took place in every area of Kashmir at the hands of men in uniform.
The huge sacrifices offered by Kashmiris deserve a response within India and at the international level. The state has used its institutions and huge propaganda machinery to mislead the world community and create confusions about what Kashmiris stand for. The Gawkadal massacre reminds Delhi and the world community that after 29 years, the will, commitment and desire to get Jammu & Kashmir dispute resolved in accordance with UN resolutions have not only deepened but India is finding it difficult day by day to prove its narrative, Rasheed said.
Rasheed added that Kashmiris are not worried about the behaviour of New Delhi and are mature enough to understand that the colonial mind. However, the truth lies on the side of Kashmiris and they cannot compromise on their stand or surrender before the New Delhi.
NHM employees stage protest, demand regularisation
Srinagar, Jan 21: Employees of National Health Mission (NHM) on Monday staged a protest rally in Bandipora district of north Kashmir, demanding regularisation of their services.
Scores of the employees while shouting anti-governmental slogans held a protest rally from Hospital to mini secretariat Bandipora where they provided a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.
The protesting employees said that most of employees working in the department have passed half of the age but were not regularised till date. “Govt must take any action to regularise us now,” one of the protesting employee said.
According to the protesting employees, the government had promised them social security benefits but till date, there were no initiatives taken by the government in this regard.
The protesting employees said that government is violating the guidelines of Supreme Court by not paying the equal pay for equal work, adding that people with the same profession in Delhi and Haryana are being benefited fully but their counterparts in valley are not.
The protesters threatened of more protests if their demands are not fulfilled.
Anantnag’s Kothar residents protest to demand degree college
Srinagar, Jan 21: Scores of residents from Nowgam Kothar village of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday staged a protest to express their dismay over government’s indifference and demanded for the establishment of Women’s Degree College in the area.
The residents including the senior citizens of the area assembled here at press enclave in Srinagar and raised slogans in favour of their demand.
Protesters carrying placards read “we want Degree College” and “we want Justice”.
The proposed college was first promised to the Shangus constituency but was later given to Chattisinghpora.
We were sure that the government would announce the college for their area said the protestors.
“In September 2018, when governor administration announced 40 colleges, we started the process. We completed all the formalities and were sure that college would be allotted,” said a protestor Mushtaq Ahamd.
“Our girls are forced to seek admission far from the home, either in colleges at Anantnag or in Srinagar. It is very hectic for them to travel long distances to reach to their colleges. It is not only expensive, but time consuming as well,” another protestor Bashir Ahmad said.
The protestors said that they would launch a full-fledged agitation to ensure that the government sanctions college in their favour.
“We would hit streets regularly to lodge our protest. We urge authorities to allot the college at an earliest or else be prepared for the consequences,” warned Bashir Mir.
“Any law and order problem arising out of our protests would directly be the responsibility of the government if it does not address our genuine concern immediately,” Mir added.
“We did everything that was required as far as official formalities are concerned. We met Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ganie. Later on we even sent the documents to the governor. We fail to understand as to why the authorities have not allotted the college. All the assurances provided to us proved futile,” the protesting residents said.
The Nowgam Kothar area comprises of 1041 households with no degree college. As per the locals, the said area has all the feasibilities required for the establishment of a college including land. “The college was not still allotted to us rather was given to a less feasible area,” the aggrieved protesters said.
Protestors appealed Governor Satya Pal Malik to look into the matter and fulfil their demand at an earliest.