The problem with the Jammu city which is a base camp for the pilgrims of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi and Shri Amarnath Shrine has hardly anything to offer to the tourists to stay longer in the city. There are a number of sites which if developed would have gave a gigantic boast to the tourism in state.
Here are the five main projects of J&K State Tourism Departmen that are in Limbo for last so many years :
Artificial Tawi Lake Project: This project regarding the construction of artificial lake on the Tawi and beautification was conceived by Ghulam Nabi Azad’s government in 2006-2008. The idea was to build a barrage near Gujjar Nagar and stretch the lake stretch to the Sidhrah Bypass bridge.
The project was sanctioned by centre in 2010 under the Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme. It was worth 140-crore. The work started in 2010 but then it remained suspended for 20 long months and has missed nearly five deadlines. The new deadline which has been set up for the project is March 31, 2016. Let us all hope that this will not become the sixth missed headline now…
Ambran in Akhnoor: Ambram is an 2400 years old Buddhist site situated in the outskirts of Akhnoor where Harappan and Buddhist period ruin were excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during 1991-2001. The Buddhist monarchy here was confirmed by Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama after his visit to the site in 2011.
After his visit, the state tourism department had sent a proposal to the union tourism in the year 2011 to seek financial assistant to develop infrastructure at the ancient site to make it as a pilgrimage site. But the proposal is biting the dust in the office of union tourism ministry since then. And the story ends here…
Purmandal Temple Complex: This ancient temple complex is situated at the bank of river Devak which is mostly undergrounded at a distance of 30 kms away from Jammu. Situated just off the National highway leading towards Pathankot, the main highlight of this sacred place is you can pull out water by digging the sand.
The plan of tourism department was to promote this place as “Chota Kashi” which has not only added one more site on Jammu Tourism Map but also created options for employment of local public. Undoubtedly, the place has huge potential for tourism and I can’t think of any reason why the project is not being taken seriously by Tourism Department.
Mubarak Mandi Ropeway: The project was started with much enthusiasm but soon the project died of negligence. According to the sources, the State Cable Car Corporation has prepared the technical report of proposed ropeway project, one from Peerkho near Mubarak Mandi to Mahamaya and other from Mahamaya to Shahabad in Bahu Fort long back. Also that the project will be of an estimated cost of Rs. 47 crore. After a lot of delays and premature announcement, the foundation stone of the project was finally laid in 2014 but since then this much hyped project has not seen the light of the day.
And the irony is even the officials sitting in the office of State Cable Car Corporation at Peer Kho, Jammu know nothing about when the construction for the project is going to start.
Gharana Wetland: This place situated in the border district of RS Pura is a paradise for bird watchers as every years since thousands of migratory birds from across the world visit this place in winter season.
Back in 1981 when Gharana Wetland was notified as a protected site in 1981, an area of 200 acres was reserved for this important tourist site of Jammu but subsequently, the place suffered uncontrolled encroachment and negligence from authorities. Now after more than 30 years, the land for wetland is not segregated by the Revenue Department and it has become the reason for its non conversion into a major tourist attraction.