Rajouri, June 10
Minister for Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Information, Choudhary Zulfkar Ali today stressed on chalking out a comprehensive plan to optimally tap the tourism potential of the Pir Panchal region. The Minister was speaking at a meeting convened to review the progress of tourism development works taken up in Rajouri district. District Development Commissioner Rajouri Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Joint Director Tourism Jammu Vishesh Paul Mahajan, Chief Executive Officer Rajouri Development Authority Showkat Malik, Executive Engineer besides senior officers of the tourism and concerned departments were present in the meeting. The Minister took a detailed review of the ongoing works taken up under Integrated Development of Tourist Circuit Darhal as base camp and Shakarmarg being projected as gateway to the tourist destination of Pir Panchal. The project is being executed under Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Programme (PMRP). The Minister directed the concerned executing agency to complete the work of Tourist Reception Centre at Koteranka and ensure better tourist amenities at Base Camp Kandi and Darhal. He directed that the work on Budhkhanari the base camp for Shakarmarg trek route should be completed on priority. The Minister also directed to prepare a comprehensive plan for developing more tourism infrastructure under PMDP envisaging water resort near Ans river, Tribal museum cum cultural center, golf course, amusement park in the district. He said these would certainly give a fillip to the tourism activities in the area. He also asked to complete the ongoing work of Rock Garden at Ujhan. The Minister also asked the tourism department to take up Development of Girgantop which has potential to act as a feast for nature lovers. He said that Rajouri and Poonch region has a treasure trove of sites of historical and pilgrim importance which need to be highlighted and projected on the state’s tourism map to open a new era of Heritage Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir and change the economic landscape of the region. Zulfkar stressed that all stakeholders need to work in synergy to ensure that all the Developmental projects are completed in time and best of facilities are offered to the tourists. He also maintained that Rajouri has many revered religious places of all communities and tourists can be diverted to these places.