Jammu, Feb 4 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary (CS) Arun Kumar Mehta on Friday set a deadline of March-end for completion of all ongoing projects of the tourism department in the union territory, officials said.
Reviewing the progress of the projects, the CS directed that all 582 works targeted for completion during the current fiscal year should be completed on time.
The official asked the department to put all unutilised assets to use by March 31, 2022.
Saying tourism has great capacity to create large-scale employment of diverse kind, Mehta asked the department to look for complementarities and synergies with other departments to generate economic activity and create productive jobs in the sector.
The officials said that while 224 projects under capex have been completed so far, out of 122 under the Prime Minister Development Program (PMDP), 94 have been completed and the remaining 28 will be completed as per the set timelines.
Giving details of the various tourism activities initiated by the department, they informed that snow scooters have been introduced in Sonmarg and the ice skating rink has been made fully functional in Gulmarg.
Mehta directed the department to involve local people in and around the tourist destinations in the effort to improve the ambience of these places.
He added that all tourist places need to be advertised on hoardings and billboards along the national highways and other important roads in the UT.
Highlighting the importance of Akhnoor town as a tourist destination, the chief secretary directed the department to develop the place as a popular weekend getaway for residents of Jammu city and surrounding places.
Mehta also highlighted the importance of Surinsar as a potentially attractive evening destination for Jammuites and directed the department to develop the place complete with all recreational activities, improved surroundings and well laid internal roads.
He further said that city and heritage tour campaigns have been launched in the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar.
The CS directed the department to synergise with Mission Youth for purchase of snow scooters and ATVs under the scheme to the willing youth in Sonmarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam and other such like tourist areas to create self employment opportunities for them.
Mehta asked the department to ensure that river cruise on Jehlum river is started by March-end, while adding that the amphitheatre at the Bagh-i-Bahu garden should be put to use by roping in local talents or by organising other activities. PTI AB IJT
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Source: The Print