Bhaderwah/Jammu,June 16 (Scoop News) – Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, today said that Bhaderwah has marched tremendously towards progress and prosperity during last few years thus occupying a significant place in national tourist map but still a lot needs to be done to make this place the most liked tourist hub of the country.
Ghulam Nabi Azad today inaugurated 3-day Bhaderwah cultural-cum-tourism festival at Bhaderwah in
The Union Minister was accompanied by the Minister for Tourism & Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister for PWD (R&B) and Mechanical Engineering, G.M Saroori, Legislators, Mohd. Sharief Niaz (MLA Bhaderwah), Abdul Majid Wani (MLA Doda), Ashok Kumar (MLA Ramban), MLC’s, Khalid Najib Sohrawardy and Naresh Gupta, Director Tourism Jammu, M.S Sawhney, DDC Doda, Farooq Ahmed Khan, CEO, BDA, Kalyan Singh besides other senior functionaries of the District Administration.
Addressing the mammoth gathering at Bhaderwah, Azad a said that the tourism infrastructure development in Bhaderwah is about 80% complete and the remaining works will be completed within year so that more and more tourists from other parts of state and country could be attracted. The massive tourism development in the area will not only give boost to economy of the area and state but will also help immensely in transforming socio economic profile of the people of the region and create job opportunities for the unemployed youth.
The Union Minister urged upon the people to take maximum benefit from various schemes initiated by the Government for raising their living standards. He also praised the people of the region for maintaining age old traditions of communal harmony and brotherhood between different sections of the society.
Referring to road connectivity of Bhaderwah with different parts of the District and neighboring state Himachal Pardesh, he said that with the upgradation and augmentation of Bhaderwah-Chamba and Bhaderwah– Bani–Basohli road, an alternate road connectivity, will certainly help in giving a fillip to tourism, trade and people to people contact. With the completion of these road projects the local made products and other items will get huge exposure in other parts of the country.
The Union Minister also said that such festivals should also be organized in other parts of erstwhile District Doda like Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Banihal, Bhalessa and Chatroo to exploit the tourism potential of these areas to the fullest. He said that these festivals will not only help in exploring the potential of the area but will enable the local craftsmen to display their art and craft in these mega events which will encourage the aspiring craftsmen to flourish in this vital field which is a part of rich cultural heritage of erstwhile District Doda .
On the occasion the Union Minister was given a rousing reception enroute Bhaderwah by the people.
Azad also released a brochure “Bhaderwah a Paradise Unexplored” by the Tourism department on the occasion.
A coulorful cultural bonanza was also presented on the occasion. The folk dances like Dhiku Dance, Bhaderwahi folk songs Padderi Dance, Pogali Dance, Kashmiri and Dogri songs, and many other mesmerizing programmes kept the audience spell bound.
The Minister also inspected the stalls established by various Departments of the district for creating awareness among the people of the area regarding various welfare and benefit schemes of the government.
Earlier, the Union Minister inaugurated Solid Waste Management Plant at Doda, Nerru Nallah Bridge at Pul Doda and Double laned Pul Doda Bhaderwah road and laid foundation stone of Improvement of 42.57 kms Bhaderwah- Chamba inter state road being constructed at an estimated cost of 73.33 crore.
The Minister also inspected the under construction hospitals of New District Hospital Doda and Sub-District Hospital Bhaderwah.
Meanwhile All Jammu Newspapers Editors Association (AJNEA) today accused Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department of ignoring and adopting biased attitude towards local newspapers of
Statement said that in a meeting held here today, the members of AJNEA expressed their concern over the biased attitude of the Tourism Department for not inviting the journalists of local newspapers of
‘Tourism department has selected only the privileged ones particularly Electronic Media for the Bhaderwah Festival and is trying to create a wedge within the media fraternity which would not be tolerated at any cost’, said members.
They termed it as very shameful for all the journalists who besides knowingly being treated indifferently by the department.
‘Since the Tourism Department and former Chief Minister and Union Health Minister made claims to promote tourism of Jammu and Kashmir but when the local media particularly print media was not invited in such kind of functions how it could be possible’, they mentioned.
They called for unity among the media fraternity and asked the Department to shut this biased approach towards media fraternity as such approach will not be tolerated anymore.
Statement said, when the president AJNEA S Ravinder Singh contact Director Tourism S M Sahni, he told, “Tourism Department has not adopted biased approach towards journalists of Jammu as we had already asked the concerning Department of Information and Public Relation to give the list of journalists who wants to coverage the Bhaderwah Festival for its promotion”.
‘Our officials had asked the incharge officials of Information Department for the list of journalists of Jammu who want to go Bhaderwah to cover the festival but they only provide us list of electronic media not print’, Director Tourism said.
Sahni said, “it’s not our fault and Tourism department is stick to its stand to promote tourism and culture of Bhaderwah through wide media coverage’.
Later, the members have decided to boycott the media coverage of ongoing Bhaderwah festival in protest.
Among those who were present in the meeting included Ravinder Singh (The Latest), Adarsh Pal Gupta (Pir Panchal Newsline), Bansari Dutt Sharma (Young Organizer), Jamshed Akhtar (Lajwal) and others.