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Tassaduq Mufti reviews adventure tourism circuit scenario in JK

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SRINAGAR, MARCH 29: Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti today stressed for focusing on sustainable and eco-friendly interventions for the development of adventure tourism, besides generating employment avenues for the locals.
The Minster was addressing a meeting convened with the consultants to review the developmental scenario of the adventure tourism circuit of the state under ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’.
The meeting was apprised that various initiatives are under way to enable Jammu & Kashmir be the most sought after tourist destination in India by developing interactive, inclusive and sustainable model of tourism by leveraging the natural assets of the state.
The consultants also presented a comprehensive presentation to apprise the Minister about the plan and concept for promoting and developing the adventure tourism destinations including, Basholi, Sarthal, Baglihar Dam, Nagrota, Akhnoor, Reasi, Yusmarg, Gulmarg and Gurez valley.
During the meeting, it was informed that 6 projects have been sanctioned by Government of India for the State under PMDP-1 ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ and the sanctioned project cost is Rs 569.19 crore out of which Rs 113.83 crore has been released so far.
Addressing the meeting, Tassaduq Mufti said that the natural topography and climate factors enables the state to develop adventure tourism infrastructure facilities for various adventures like trekking, rock climbing, paragliding, water skiing and other winter sports.
He asked the concerned officers of the tourism department to come up with innovative packages to promote tourism in the area by attracting tourists belonging to different age groups.
The Minister stressed for taking innovative measures for increasing the tourist footfall, besides enhancing the stay durations by motivating the visitors to spend more time in the state. He also directed for introducing day trips and weekend destinations for outdoor adventure sports lovers across the state.
Mufti said that the state has huge potential in adventure and the department should focus on creation of adventure tourism based infrastructure that helps in attracting adventure lovers from across the world.
He asked for developing tourism infrastructure keeping in mind its relevance to the area, without disturbing the natural essence of a place and its surrounding ecology, besides maintaining natural assets by minimizing the civil work intervention to maintaining rich heritage, habitat, diverse flora and fauna existing in the state.
It was given out in the meeting that the development strategy will involve comprehensive development at locations which shall provide a boost to local economy. The plan will focus to develop optimal infrastructure in the proposed locations and will focus on activity based developments in the locations for maintaining ecological balance of these places.
Further it was informed that the plan has proposed integrating the non-tangible tourism assets like arts, crafts, local cuisines, traditional music and dance, besides enhancing abilities of local community for operation , maintenance and overall management of interventions.
Secretary Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah, Consultants and concerned officers were present in the meeting.


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State

Valley prepares for snow

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Jan 18: With the MeT department’s weather advisory predicting moderate to heavy snowfall from January 19 to 23,The Kashmir Monitor spoke with various people at Lal Chowk to find out how Valley is gearing up for the tough week ahead.

 “I have stockedup grocery items for a week in my home,”  Pedestrian, Basharat Jabeen

 

Keeping in mind, the work would be slow in next few days, I decided to give off to our employees. For home, I have brought extra groceries and necessary food items for children.   Owner, Caliph Restaurant, Mushtaq Ahmad

Apart from grocery items, I brought extra coal and fire wood for heating purposes–Alluchi Bagh resident, Fazal Ahmad

 

Have covered water pipes and hoses with the wool insulations and plastic to ensure running supply of warm/cold water pedestrian.Besides, I have also purchased extra battery for inverteras there is no guarantee of power supply during snowfall.Aquib from Mazhama

 

I purchased extra cooking gas cylinder as an alternative, incase of power supply is not restored immediately. Besides, have also purchased some cough syrups and antibiotics.  Rasiq Manzoor, Sonwar resident

 

 

Brought groceries for a week– Saliq Parvaiz Rangreth resident

 

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Govt keen to tap Ladakh’s immense tourism potential: CS

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Leh, Jan 18: Chief Secretary, B.V.R Subramanyam Friday said that Leh district of frontier Ladakh region possesses immense tourism potential and the Governor’s administration is keen to upgrade its tourism-related infrastructure to attract increased tourist footfall to the region.

The CS made these remarks at a meeting with Executive Councillors of LAHDC, Leh headed by Chairman and CEC, JamyangTseringNamgyal here.

Expressing happiness over the increasing trend of tourist inflow to Leh, touching around 3 lakh mark last season with 50,000 foreigners, the Chief Secretary stressed on LAHDC Leh to work out a master plan for guiding tourism sector towards inclusive and sustainable development of the district.

 

On the occasion, CEC Namgyal thanked Chief Secretary for his intervention in fulfilling long pending demands of Leh district including sanctioning of Cluster University for Ladakh, Khaltse Degree College, filling up of 33 posts of Medical Officers and up-gradation of SNM Hospital from 150 to 300 bed  capacity.

A charter of demand and issues were taken up with Chief Secretary by CEC, Deputy Chairman and Executive Councillors, like inclusion of villages along ALC bordering China in Changthang region under reservation policy for recruitment to various posts, grant of 10% SDA in favour of State Government Employees serving in Leh for which the State Government has in principle agreed.

Besides, special consideration for regularization of casual labours of PWD Circle Leh and PDC Leh in view of the peculiar working condition in the District, inclusion of left out villages in BADP schemes, creation of posts  in LREDA.

They further sought creation of separate Hydraulic PWD Circle, Leh and three more Hydraulic Special Sub Divisions, creation of 124 posts of Bhoti  and Arabic  teachers, up-gradation of PHCs of Nyoma and Khaltse  to SDH, creation of posts for Nubra Development Authority,  PRC signing authority for Khaltsi and Liker Sub Divisions, financial support for organic project of Leh district and release of funds from higher education to EJM College Leh, establishment of Ice Hockey Academy at Leh.

Responding to the demands, the Chief Secretary assured to give due consideration to all the projected demands.

Principal Secretary, Planning & Development RohitKansal, Deputy Chairman Gyal P Wangyal, Executive Councilor for Agriculture, PhuntsogStanzin, Executive Councilor for Health TseringSandup and DC/CEO, LAHDC, Leh AvnyLavasa were also present in the meeting.

 

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Hurriyat (g) protest against prolonged detention of Hurriyat leaders

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Srinagar, Jan 18: Hurriyat (g) Conference leaders and activists on Friday held peaceful protests after congregational Friday prayers in Hyderpora about the prolonged detention and the “ill-treatment” meted out to Hurriyat leaders especially deteriorating health condition of Hurriyat leader Peer Saifullah in Tihar jail.

In a statement issued to the media, the spokesman said that Hurriyat Conference leaders and activists including Abdul Ahad Parra, Bilal Sidiqui, Molvi Bashir Ahmad Irfani, Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Mohammad Yasin Ataie, Syed Mohammad Shafi, Khawaja Firdous, Mohammad Maqbool Magami, Arshid Aziz, Mubashir Iqbal, Showkat Ahmad Khan, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah, Rameez Raja, Abdul Hameed Elahi and Abdul Rashid Lone organized a peaceful protest at Hyderpora Srinagar against the inhuman attitude meted out towards the political prisoners in and outside state especially in Tihar Jail.

Hurriyat leaders while condemning the pro-long detention of political prisoners said that suppressing even the pro-freedom voice and curbing their peaceful activities is no bravery but shameful, which government itself is responsible for the consequences.

 

While demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners including leaders lodged in and outside state particularly in Tihar Jail include Shabir Ahmad Shah, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal, Dr. Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Syed Shahid Yousuf, Syed Shakeel Ahmad, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Asia Indrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fehmeeda Sofi. Hurriyat leaders said that by pushing people to wall Delhi will achieve nothing; they should face the political leaders and workers on political turf.

Hurriyat Leaders appealed Amnesty International, Asia Watch, and other international organization for human rights to break the silence and take cognizance of the plight of people in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and urged to fulfil their obligations in accordance with human rights specified for the political prisoners.

Meanwhile, All Parties Hurriyat Conference has strongly condemned the raids on the houses of Muslim League leader Rafiq Ahmad Ganie and political activist Sabzar Ahmad of ArinhalBijbihara and said that Jammu and Kashmir have been turned into a police state, where political leaders and activists are regularly harassed by the men in uniform.

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