'Government aiming at bolstering socio-economic development of J&K'

Srinagar, Nov 1: Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, in presence of MoS, PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh on Sunday laid foundation stone of prestigious ‘Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation, Development Plan’ worth Rs.198.37 crores through virtual mode.

In an official handout, issued here, the spokesperson said that the Lt Governor observed that the prestigious project aims at increasing tourists’ influx which will facilitate the socio-economic development of the area, will open more avenues for holistic development of the areas and will generate more employment opportunities for locals.

He said that Jammu and Kashmir has the potential to become a preferred tourist destination and this sector can support a much higher employment work force. “The Government is working on a strategic plan for growth & development of tourism sector in J&K,” the LG said. “With numerous heritage sites, world- class infrastructure and promotion of adventure sports, we can achieve the tag of India’s most preferred tourist destination,” observed the Lt Governor, adding “We are also expanding the Skill Development Programme for hospitality industry so that tourists have a positive experience of travelling and enjoying the hospitality of J&K.”

The LG said that J&K has abundant wealth in terms of water bodies. The Government is working rigorously for conservation & preservation of water bodies in Jammu and Kashmir and is taking comprehensive measures for restoring their ecosystem.

“Mansar and Surinsar are the most sought after tourist destinations visited by the tourists in Jammu. It is in the close vicinity of from Katra, City of Mata Vaishno Devi where more than 1.00 Crore Pilgrims from across India and abroad visit on yearly basis,” said. “Mansar is of immense importance from Pilgrimage as well Heritage point of view besides being the most scenic attraction due to vast Mansar Lake and its wildlife sanctuary and flora & fauna. The implementation of its Rejuvenation/Development Plan will certainly bring Mansar on the world tourism map,” he added.

The ‘Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation, Development Plan’ after its implementation shall provide a big boost towards increase in the number of Tourists/pilgrims from around 10 lakhs in the year 2019-2020 to 20 lakhs; Employment generation of around 1.15 crore approximately; Income generation of approximately 800 crore per year; Development of Mansar and its surrounding hamlets in terms of socio-economic upliftment and better future of the residents of the locals- collectively bringing Mansar on the world tourism map, said the Lt Governor.  UT Government has approved Rs 16.50 Crore under CAPEX budget against 13 components and the remaining components will be completed under Central Government’s Swadesh Darshan. We are targeting to complete the project within a period of 5 years.

The prestigious project comprises of Sub-Project Components like establishment of Tourist Facilitation Centre, Development of Wellness,  Naturopathy Centre, Restoration of Mansar Haveli and Narsingh Temple, Ornamental Entrances among other vital factors.

“I am thankful to the Prime Minister for taking the historic step of developing our rich Cultural, Historical, Natural and Religious Heritage into World Class Tourist Destinations, said the Lt Governor,” the statement, adding LG, said. “Tourism contributes about 7% of the GDP of Jammu Kashmir; the revival of Tourism Sector is our top most priority; new policies will help in value creation and profitability for the local businesses. In the last two months, the UT Government, in consultation with officers and stakeholders, is working on bringing tourist spots of J&K in World Tourism Map. We are implementing the recommendations made by the committee constituted in the month of August for development of tourism sector and for the welfare of all those associated with the sector, he continued.” Besides, Light and sound show at Bagh-e-Bahu is also under execution at a cost of Rs.10.82 Crore and the project is likely to be completed by December 2020. We are also focusing on water based tourism and in this regard Water sports equipment including Cruize Boats have been procured and commissioned at Pull Doda , Baglihar and Ranjit Sagar Dam at a cost of Rs.6.83 Crore.

The Central Government has allocated Rs 706 cr for tourism sector which will go a long way for revival of tourism infrastructure, observed the Lt Governor.

He said it aims at boosting the socio-economic development of Jammu region. The plan includes upgradation of existing facilities and development of new projects aimed at increasing the annual tourist footfall to 20 Lakhs once completed, said the Union Minister.

Speaking on the occasion, MoS, PMO, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh highlighted the significance of the prestigious ‘Comprehensive Mansar Rejuvenation, Development Plan’ and said that the entire area of Mansar Lake and its surrounding premises will be developed as a multi-purpose destination, which could attract visitors of various interests.