India Launches Adventure Tourism Initiative
Phalgam (J&K),May 30 (Vijay Kumar) - Minister for Tourism and Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora has said that the government is exploring the possibility of tapping Pahalgam’s rich potential in golf and adventure tourism, given its treasure of natural landscape best suited for modern tourism-related activities.
Mr. Jora said Pahalgam will get certain add-on facilities to make tourism year-round activity and disclosed that the National Rafting Championship, to be organized in the third week of June, will be a beginning in that direction. He said Pahalgam, like Gulmarg, is also ideally suited for heli-skiing, which can attract more tourists to the place.
Mr. Jora said this while visiting Pahalgam today during which he took stock of various ongoing developmental projects and met representative of various tourism-related associations.
MLA, Pahalgam. Mohammad Rafi Mir, MLC. Mohammad Altaf Kaloo, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Farooq Ahmad Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Pahalgam Tourism Development Authority, Abdul Rashid Parray accompanied the Minister.
The Minister inspected the pace of up-gradation work of golf course at Pahalgam, which is being upgraded to 18 holes at a cost of Rs. 26 crore and is spread over 1,133 kanals. He was informed that the development of golf course would be completed by the end of current financial year.
In order to provide prime facilities that can match the very best in the world, Mr. Jora said a health club, six tourist huts and a cafeteria would be constructed in close proximity of the golf course and added that Pahalgam Club, having facilities to host national and international conferences, is being constructed with a cost of Rs 12.50 crore.
The CEO, Pahalgam, while briefing the Minister, said the basic infrastructure in Betaab Valley has been created at a cost of Rs 2.38 crore and work on sewerage project at Pahalgam is afoot. He said TDA, Rs. 20 crore is being utilized on up-gradation of tourism infrastructure in the area, adding so for Rs. 11.59 crore have been expended for the purpose.
The Minister also inspected the newly-renovated TRC and Adventure Complexes, completed at a cost of Rs. one crore and directed the concerned authorities to keep available all facilities to the visitors there.
Earlier, the Minister held a meeting with the representatives of various tourism-related associations. He assured them that, keeping in view the vitality of tourism sector to the economy of the area, it was necessary that all resources are pooled in to promote the sector.
The Minister, however, also sought cooperation from the people associated with tourism for maintaining ecological balance and urged for awareness campaigns for banning use of non-biodegradable items like polythene at tourist destinations in the area.
Giving details about infrastructure extension programme, the Tourism Minister said the government is going to create added infrastructure at various other identified destinations. He said additional accommodation at known tourist spots like Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Yousmarg and Gulmarg at an estimated cost of Rs 20.30 crore would be constructed.
Responding to the demands of the associations, the Minister said a reputed consultant would be engaged for upgrading various tourism-related infrastructure in and around the health resort.
Mr. Jora said the government has sanctioned a Package of Incentives for the entrepreneurs in the State for development of tourist resorts, hotels, paying guest houses, besides setting up of other tourism-related units. He called upon interested unemployed educated youth to come forward and take benefits out of these schemes.
The Minister directed the concerned authorities to involve locals in development of new and established resorts and to make them stakeholders in tourism related ventures.
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Tags: Pahalgam , Golf , Adventure Tourism , Kashmir
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