Parliamentary Standing Committee on 3-day visit to Kashmir

The Department related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture arrived today on a three days visit to Kashmir.

The group of 31 Members of Parliament will be meeting stakeholders and officials related to sectors such as road, air, rail connectivity and tourism. The visit is also in connection with monitoring various central government schemes in the Valley with an aim to bring improvement in the way these schemes are implemented, officials said.

Speaking with the Greater Kashmir, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole said 20 Parliamentarians arrived at the Srinagar International Airport on Wednesday, while rest of the 11 MPs will be arriving Thursday.

The Div Com said the visiting delegation, during its stay in the Valley till January 23, will be focussing on three sectors and meeting stakeholders related to these specific domains.

“The delegation is here to hold meetings related to three sectors which are road, rail and air connectivity. They will be also meeting stakeholders of tourism and culture,” Pole said.

The Div Com said the delegation will be briefed by both central government departments and officials of the J&K government, with regard to various central schemes and issues pertaining to connectivity and tourism.

“This visit is taking place under the aegis of Lok Sabha Secretariat. For the next three days, the delegation will be meeting stakeholders and officials. Members of various Parliamentary Committees, who are part of the delegation, are subject specific experts from different sectors whose prerogative is to monitor the implementation of various central government schemes on the ground level,” Pole said.

The Div Com said the visiting delegation will also find out whether there “is any scope for improvement in implementation of the central government schemes”. “The delegation after the visit will be giving the feedback to the concerned ministries in the central government,” Pole said.

Some members of the delegation today visited Hazratbal shrine here and will also be visiting Gulmarg for a one-night stay, officials said.

Among the 31 MPs visiting the Valley, 10 members are from Rajya Sabha and rest from Lok Sabha.

The delegation is being led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha member T G Venkatesh. The other members from Rajya Sabha include Congress’ K.C. Venugopal,  Prasana Acharya from Biju Janata Dal (BJD), BJP’s Sushil Kumar Modi, Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) Derek O’Brien and others.

From Lok Sabha, the MPs visiting the Valley include Congress’ Anto Antony, BJP’s Manoj Tiwari, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Indian National Congress’ (INC) K. Muraleedharan, Janata Dal United’s (JDU) Dinesh Chandra Yadav, among others.

As per the schedule, on Thursday the delegation will meet stakeholders in the tourism sector.

An official spokesman said the committee is scheduled to meet various stakeholders to have an appraisal of the issues pertaining to these sectors.

The committee shall hold a meeting with concerned stakeholders on issues related to Road, Travel and Hospitality sectors.

They shall also hold a meeting with the officials of Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, NHAI along with representatives of the UT Govt of J&K on, ‘Role of highways in Nation building’ with reference to the status of National highways/ State highways in J&K.

The members of the committee will also hold a meeting with the officials of the department of culture and tourism and Archaeological Survey of India, along with representatives of the UT Govt of Jammu and Kashmir, with focus on, ‘promotion and preservation of archaeological sites and artefacts in J&K’.

The delegation shall have an on the spot assessment of the tourism facilities/ amenities available at Gulmarg. They will hold a meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Tourism, along with representatives of the UT Govt of Jammu and Kashmir and J&K Police, Institute of Hotel Management Srinagar, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Gulmarg and various stakeholders of Tourism.

The visiting committee members shall hold a meeting with the officials of Ministries of Civil Aviation, Home affairs, Railways, Tourism, Road Transport and Highways and NHAI on safety and connectivity aspects in the respective sectors.