Bhaderwah tourist fair a mere official show
Local artists, craftsmen kept at bay
Jammu, June 16: The Bhaderwah Tourist Mela, that took off today, turned to be more an administrative and political extravaganza as absence of local art and culture was most conspicuous during the inaugural function and the following day long activities.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad who inaugurated the function said Bhaderwah had marched towards progress and prosperity during last few years thus occupying a significant place in national tourist map adding lot needs to be done to make this place the most liked tourist hub of the country. He said the tourism infrastructure development in Bhaderwah is 80 per cent complete and the remaining works would be completed within year so that more and more tourists from other parts of state and country could be attracted.
Referring to road connectivity of Bhaderwah with different parts of the District and neighboring state Himachal Pradesh, he said that with the up gradation and augmentation of Bhaderwah-Chamba and Bhaderwah– Bani–Basohli road, alternate road connectivity, would certainly help in giving a fillip to tourism, trade and people to people contact.
Since the Bhaderwah Development Authority has outsourced organization of cultural events during the Mela days, Non-participation of local artists and absence of stalls of indigenous art and craft further diminished the local importance of the event.
Sources said even the contract for organizing cultural programmes during the 4 day event had been given to Jammu based Cultural Troup leaving little chance for the local artists to participate.
“We have been expelled from the entire course of events by bringing artists from outside” said a disillusioned local flute artist. The local traders are also discontented with the arrangements with little scope of business left for them. “The authorities even hired catering and tent material from outside ignoring the local people associated with this business, said a local trader on condition of anonymity. “We have many local specialties but the authorities did not bother to provide stalls to youth who have some experience in catering”, he added.
At the inaugural function the Union Minister was accompanied by the minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora, minister for PWD (R&B) and Mechanical Engineering, GM Saroori besides legislators, Muhammad Sharief Niaz (MLA Bhaderwah), Abdul Majid Wani (MLA Doda), Ashok Kumar (MLA Ramban), MLC’s, Khalid Najib Sohrawardy and Naresh Gupta.
AJNEA to boycott
Jammu: Accusing tourism department of adopting pick and chose policy, All Jammu Newspapers Editors Association (AJNEA) has decided to boycott Bhaderwah Festival.
In a meeting held here today, the members of AJNEA expressed their concern over the biased attitude of the Tourism Department for not inviting the journalists of local newspapers of Jammu to cover Bhaderwah festival.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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