J&K Assembly appeals people for safe passage of tourists
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Assembly passed a unanimous resolution appealing to people of the state for "safe" passage of current tourism season and not harming tourists and tourism infrastructure.
"Let the members of this House bring a unanimous resolution cutting across the party affiliations and appeal people for safe passage of tourism season... Not to harm tourists, damage tourism infrastructure and transport carrying tourists and pass it with thumping of benches," state tourism minister Gulam Ahmed Mir told Assembly last night.
Mir, senior Congress Minister in the state, appealed to the people of Kashmir valley for ensuring safe passage of the season starting from April this year.
The Minister said the state has recorded highest ever tourist influx in 2011 and 2012, with 13.11 lakh tourists, including 37,000 foreigners, and 6.21 lakh Amarnath yatris visiting Kashmir Valley during last tourist season.
Over 1.03 crore pilgrims visited Mata Vaishno Devi while 1.40 lakh, including 38,000 foreign tourists, visited Ladakh during last season, he said.
The Centre has sanctioned 79 tourism projects worth Rs 367 crore for creation of varied tourist related infrastructure facilities in the state during last four years against which 62 projects have been completed, he said.
Three mega projects, including Rs 38.15 crore for Naagar Nagar, Srinagar to Watlab, Rs 16.92 crore for Mubarak Mandi Heritage Conservation Project and Rs 22.43 crore for Trans-Himaliyan Cultural Centre Project Leh, are also under implementation, he said.
The government has forwarded DPRs of Rs 150 crore to the Centre for development of Sufi Circuit in Kashmir, Spiritual Circuit in Jammu and Buddhist Circuit in Leh, which in principle has been agreed to by the Centre, the Minister said.
To promote adventure tourism in the state, second phase of Kongdoori-Marysholder Ski Chair Lift Gulmarg has been commissioned at a cost of Rs 17.50 crore. Rs 6 crore Ropeway Project Makdoom Sahib would be commissioned during coming financial year, he said.
The Minister said construction of Rs 40 crore Mubarak Mandi-Maha Maya Shahbad Cable Car project would be taken up soon after receiving Forest, Wildlife and Environment clearances. He said Ropeways at Patnitop and Shiv Khori would also be taken up after clearing certain bottlenecks.
The Minister said the revenue of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation is expected to touch Rs 36 crore during the current fiscal.