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Rs 2000 cr earmarked for tourism infrastructure under PMDP: Secy Tourism

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Srinagar, Oct 16: Secretary Tourism, Rigzian Sampheal Tuesday said that Rs 2000 crore have been earmarked for the development of tourism infrastructure at various destinations in the state under Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP) projects.

Rigzin Sampheal was addressing the office bearers of the Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) during an interactive meeting here during which the Secretary Tourism was apprised about various issues and problems confronting the travel and hospitality sector.

On the occasion, TASK sought massive marketing through Incredible India promotional campaign of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

 

They also demanded upgradation of public infrastructure at tourism resorts and heritage sites besides the launch of laser show at Dal Lake and sound and light show at Shalimar Garden.

TASK also apprised Secretary Tourism of airport immigration problems and hassles in getting airport passes for bonafide tour operators.

They also demanded the classification of hotels and houseboats as per the criteria laid down in the Tourist Trade Act besides fixing their tariffs.

The travel agents also expressed dismay over the dilapidated condition of roads leading to various tourist destinations like Yusmarg, Gurez, Doodhpathri, Toshimaidan and also demanded facilities for the travellers.

Secretary Tourism said the Department is organizing road shows within and outside the country to boost foreign tourist flow to the J&K State.

He informed that there is a 45 per cent increase in the tourist flow from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

On the occasion, Secretary Tourism informed the travel agents that under PMDP projects, GoI has earmarked Rs 2000 crore for development of tourism infrastructure across the state.

He said under the project, the J&K tourism department will identify tourism potential at various destinations, which would be developed in a phased manner.

While giving further details, Samphel said the tourism products on themes including Heritage, Eco, Pilgrimage, Himalayan, Adventure, Safari, Golf etc will be identified and developed at various destinations.

In this regard, he said, the department has directed chief executive officers of various development authorities and other line agencies to submit detailed project reports worth Rs 100 crore per theme and per circuit.

Secretary Tourism also sought suggestions from the travel agents for the planned execution of the resources for sustainable tourism development.

He said the infrastructure will come up with proper planning and develop perfect tourist resorts without compromising on fragile eco-system.

“We are already executing some projects worth Rs 400 crore at various destinations of the State in phase 1 to upgrade tourism infrastructure,” he said.

The TASK was represented by its President Mir Anwar. Others who were present include Mohammad Ibrahim Siah and Showkat Pakhtoon, Senior Vice President Mohammad Hafiz Shala, and Secretary General Athar YaminNarwari.


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Forest Protection Force seizes illicit timber in Rafiabad

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Baramulla, June 17: Forest Protection Force Baramulla Monday claimed seized 80 feet illegal timber from smugglers in Rafiabad forest area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

An official said that Forest Protection Force unit K07 Baramulla seized illicit timber being smuggled from Rafiabad forest area of the district.

“A team of forest protection force seized a vehicle bearing registration number JK02R 1756 laden with illicit timber in Rafiabad. The smugglers escaped from the spot however timber worth lakhs was seized by the team near Tragpora Rafiabad. A case has been registered and manhunt for the smugglers has been launched,” the official said.

 

He said that the timber was axed down by smugglers in upper belt of Rafiabad and was being smuggled to urban areas of the district.

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Akhtar expresses dismay over lack of dev in B’pora

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Srinagar, Jun 17: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senior leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar toured various far-flung areas of north Kashmir’s Bandipora in order to get the first-hand appraisal of the grievances being faced by the people in these remote hamlets of the constituency.

Akhtar visited Chandaji area where recently two young were killed due to the windstorm. Expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, he questioned the delay being done by the government in disbursement of ex-gratia in favour of the next kin of the victims.

Also, while meeting several peoples’ delegations in the area,

 

Akhtar was appraised about the lack of proper road connectivity and how in spite of the approved scheme under PMGSY, no work on the project has been started yet.

Akhtar also spoke to the concerned Chief Engineer over the issue who assured him that the work on the road will begin soon.

The PDP leader, meanwhile, urged the government to ensure that present development season is not lost and take into consideration the hardships being faced by the inhabitants of the area as they have to walk through 7 km long tough terrains to reach the main road.

Akhtar also expressed concern over the non- implementation of the SAUBHAGYA scheme, stating that till date only half of the hamlet has been covered under the said scheme, thus contradicting claim of the Prime Minister that every single hamlet has been electrified. He urged the government to address the issue on priority so that people aren’t made to face further problems on this front.

Akhtar also highlighted the issue pertaining to the lack mobile telephony services in the area. He said that as Gurez and Bandipora are already connected, it is the only place where there is no mobile connectivity. The PDP leader said that it will need just one mobile tower to bring the area on the communication map.

Further, Akhtar also visited several other areas where the recent hailstorm had wrecked havoc. He has urged the government to compensate the victims on priority at an earliest.

The former minister also expressed dismay over the dismal pace of work on main Bandipora road from Ajas to Sonarwani being executed under CRF. He said that keeping in view the snail’s pace of work, it doesn’t look like that it will be completed in December this year which is the target completion date of the road project.

He also questioned government’s non- serious approach as the work on Athwadu Sonarwani road project is yet to begin, adding peoples woes to a large extent.

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CB arrests man impersonating as official from CS’s office

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Srinagar, June 17: The crime branch of Jammu on Monday arrested a man from Talab Tillo Jammu for impersonating as an official of Chief Secretary’s office. The fraudster according to the statement issued here, has duped several senior officers of various departments.

The person identified as Ashwani Bhardwaj, son of Shiv Kumar Bhardwaj, a resident of JMC 39, House No 223, Mohalla Jhullka, Darbar Garh Jammu, have ho duped and cheated numerous senior officers of various departments by fraudulent means.

The fraudulent activities of accused Ashwani Bhardwaj came to light after Director Tourism, Kashmir filed a complaint against a person who claimed to be an officer of a personal section of Chief Secretary’s office and asked him to direct the Assistant Director Tourism, Leh to contact on his mobile No 9797578686.

 

The fraudster was contacted by AAssistant Director Tourism Leh, and he asked Assistant Director Tourism, Leh to deposited Rs 10,000 in A/c No. 36341661376 of SBI on the plea that some of his relatives are presently stuck in Leh and are in severe need of money and have no source of means there.

Subsequently the Assistant Director of Tourism, Leh transferred an amount of Rs 10,000 in the given account. Later on, during the enquiry, it came to fore that there is no such official in the personal section of Chief Secretary etc.

On receipt of this complaint, Crime Branch begun an enquiry based on preliminary information and it was found that the said accused has duped several other senior officers of J&K by impersonation and fraudulent means and cheated them worth lakhs of rupees. Accordingly, a case FIR No 34/2019 U/s 170,420 RPC was registered in Crime Branch Jammu and the investigation was entrusted to SI Hilal Azhar of CBJ. The accused Ashwani Bhardwaj was arrested by a special team led by SI Hilal Azhar after hectic efforts under the supervision of SP Crime Mushtaq Choudhary. The accused is presently on police remand and involvement in other cases is being investigated.

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