Srinagar, July 03: Jammu and Kashmir’s Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Monday said that foreign tourist arrivals have shown a significant increase in the UT post G-20 Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar and the figure is set to go up further in the coming months.
He also announced five malras land for the landless families of J&K and stated that almost two lakh homeless families are being provided homes in the UT under Prime Minister’s Awas Yojna (Yojna).
Addressing a press conference at Rajbhawan here, the LG, as reported by news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that the successful G-20 meeting in Srinagar held on May 22 to May 25 this year is proving to be a game changer for the tourism sector in J&K. “The participants of the G-20 meeting have gone back to their respective countries with a good message. Post G-20 meeting, we have seen a significant increase in the foreign tourist arrivals in J&K. The number is set to go up further in the coming months,” he said.
Pertinently, the first six months of ensuing year has registered 15,000 foreign tourist arrivals after a long gap. Majority of foreign guests are coming from South East Asian Countries.
The LG further said that Srinagar is fast emerging as the hub of international activities. “For the first time, the Indian System of Medicines, Engineer’s Association, Chartered Accountant Association and 18 Supreme Court judges participated in different meetings in Srinagar recently,” he said.
He said that Prime Minister Narendera Modi had announced PM Awas Yojna and J&K couldn’t lag behind. “After discussing the issue at the Administrative Council and with the Revenue and Rural Development department, it was decided that 5 malras land will be given to the landless families of J&K. So far 2711 landless families have been given land and more will be covered shortly. Similarly, as far as the homeless families are concerned, a total of 1,99,550 families have been identified and till June 21, 1,44000 families have been given sanction while remaining will be covered as well,” he said.
To a query whether West Pak Refugees were covered under the scheme, the LG gave a guarded reply stating that there is no caste and religion being followed in the scheme? “A proper eligibility criteria is being followed. Whosoever is eligible is being covered,” he said. “Providing land to landless and homes to the homeless is a revolutionary step. Once a poor person gets home, he will think of earning a living and sending his children to schools,” the LG said. He said land and homes are being given to the eligible people in their respective Panchayats only. “It is not like someone who is eligible in Anantnag district will be given a home in Samba,” the LG said.
About the Amarnath Yatra, he said that the pilgrimage is going on smoothly on both tracks amid proper security arrangements.
“There are 4000 sanitary workers who are deployed for cleanliness of trash,” he said, adding that the one area of concern is traffic management of tourists and local citizens which is being streamlined in next two days. “It is being ensured that locals face least inconvenience,” the LG said. Asked during the VIP movement, people face inconvenience, the LG said that people are feeling the normalcy and in the coming months, more people will feel it. “As I stated, traffic management will be streamlined in the next two days. A pilgrim coming to Kashmir for the first time is not aware of the timing etc and gets stuck in traffic and is stopped by the security forces on ground. So a traffic regulation plan is being worked on that will be implemented in the next two days ,” he said. The LG while replying to a query that there was no restrictions on media for covering Amarnath Yatra.