Several underway projects to bolster socio-cultural economy of Jammu & Kashmir: Union Minister

Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), Prahlad Singh Patel, Saturday said that several underway development projects in tourism and culture will bolster the socio-cultural economy of J&K region.

In an exclusive telephonic conservation with Greater Kashmir from New Delhi, the minister said that the artist fraternity in J&K, who have witnessed worst times during COVID19 lockdown, would soon have a big relief. “We are taking up several projects which are going to prove a big relief for the artist fraternity and tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir.”

The minister added that the government of India “plans to boost culture and tourism in Jammu and Ladakh, which had so far highly been discriminated against on many fronts.”

Patel said that the Tourism Ministry was mulling to recommend nearly 100 roads to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) “for exploring the tourism potential, and cultural landscape of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“We will include roads in Ramnagar, Basantgarh and Udhampur, (and) few areas in Kashmir region to link vital tourist and culturally important sites and the Archaeological Survey of India protected sites. This will give a big boost to the socio-cultural landscape of J&K,” he said.

“We are in constant touch with the J&K administration and there are many projects that need to be augmented on priority list,” he said.

He said that the government of India was also working on developing new circuits, including from Chamba to Bhaderwah, besides bringing several unexplored areas in J&K on the world tourism map.

“In these sectors everything is interlinked. The more tourism footfall means more and more work for the stakeholders,” he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir,” the minister said, “is not only a beautiful place, it has also a huge potential for tourism and culture,” he said, adding that the government was working to explore every mode which can benefit the people of J&K.

Meanwhile, the union minister on the occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights, greeted the people of Jammu and Kashmir, prayed for peace and prosperity, and hoped that J&K would scale new heights.