The Centre has assured the Jammu and Kashmir government support under the its flagship tourism programme ‘Incredible India’, an official spokesman said today. The central government has also called for roping in business and corporate houses for facilitating promotion of tourism in the state, he said. Director General, Tourism Ministry, Satyajeet Rajan has suggested that the International Travel Mart be held in the state’s summer capital Srinagar around the Tulip Season in March, the spokesman said. Rajan was speaking at a high-level meeting convened here last evening to review the progress of tourism projects in J-K under the Prime Minister’s Developmental Package (PMDP). Under the package, Rs 2,000 crore has been earmarked for development of tourism infrastructure in the state, the spokesman said. These funds are to be spent over a period of five years beginning 2016 with Rs 400 crore to be released by the Centre each year, he said. Rajan suggested that corporate bodies such as the CII and the FICCI should be involved by the state for the promotion of tourism and said that support under Incredible India would be provided to J-K . Chief Secretary B B Vyas said that Jammu and Kashmir has immense potential for varied tourism activities and with adequate infrastructure in place.
He said that the tourism sector has the potential to create jobs and it can be harnessed to address unemployment in the state. Given the resources available for infrastructure development in the tourism sector, the state is going to witness huge augmentation of facilities in the coming years, the chief secretary said. He called for fast-pacing tourism projects to ensure productive use of resources under the PMDP. “Access the funds available to the sector, use it judiciously and deliver the mandated outcome within the set time-frame,” Vyas said.
The key projects taken up under the PMDP include the development of tourism facilities on the Mantalai Sudhmahadev-Patnitop, Gulmarg-Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh, Jammu- Rajouri-Shopian-Pulwama, Anantnag-Pahalgam-Daksum-Ranjit Sagar circuits. These projects are being executed by central government subsidiaries– the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) and the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC). The official said that coordinated efforts must be made at various levels in the administration to remove bottlenecks and called for regular follow-up of projects.
“You can personally flag issues with me, if my intervention is needed at any level to expedite the execution of these important projects,” the chief secretary told the officers. He also called for employing innovative marketing strategies to sell tourism projects. The projects to be taken up under PMDP include providing infrastructure to 12 tourism development authorities, creating three tourism circuits, setting up 50 proposed tourist villages and conservation of the Wullar Lake, the official said.