Famed Bungus valley in this frontier district is being developed as a Himalayan Biosphere Valley and around Rs 15 crore are being expended on developing tourism infrastructure in its catchment.
This was disclosed in a review the Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti took here about enhancing tourist footfall to the Bungus-Drangyari circuit and developing the necessary infrastructure for the same.
Terming Bungus as the future of Kashmir tourism, the Chief Minister directed holding of a tourist festival in Bungus valley in midsummer this year with the participation of tour operators and other industry stakeholders. This she said would not only expose the destination to potential customers but also give a fillip to tourist footfall to the area.
Mehbooba Mufti also directed holding of excursions and visits for the students of schools in the State and local people so that the potential of the place is adequately marketed. In this regard, she asked the Tourism Department to extend all courtesies to the schools whose students would be coming to visit the Valley.
The Chief Minister was informed that Bungus is being developed as Himalayan Biosphere Valley by Tourism Department under which no concrete structure would be raised within the Valley and all tourist infrastructures in the catchment areas would be developed in conformity with local architectural pattern and cultural ethos. The destination would be offering Eco, Adventure and Cultural Tourism in single package, the review meeting was told.
Mehbooba Mufti was informed that Tourism Department has been developing requisite infrastructure in the form of accommodation and Tourist Information Centres around Bungus Valley at Khumriyal, Reshwari, Handwara, Kupwara, Chandigam, Chotipora, Watayan, Lolab and other areas for which this year Rs. 15 crore would be expended.
Minister for Rural Development Department, Abdul Haq Khan; Member Parliament, Fayaz Ahmad Mir; legislators, Bashir Ahmad Dar and Raja Manzoor; Secretary, Tourism & Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah besides officers of district administration were present on the occasion.
Later, the Chief Minister visited Machil where she inaugurated a model village and addressed a public meeting.
Enroute, Mehbooba Mufti listened to many deputations at Chowkibal, Liderwan, Jorwan and Jumagund. The people demanded augmentation of power supply, completion of work on Tumina bridge and development of other social infrastructure in their areas.
The Chief Minister directed the officers to reach out to people and redress their grievances at the earliest.