Development of Suchetgarh Border Belt : The WHYs and WHATs
Despite one hundred and twenty other reasons for people to visit Jammu and Kashmir be it the scenic beauty, the weather, the temples etc, there is another, not so prominent reason why some people like to visit here. It is because the state is situated at the Indo-Pak border and visitors come here with a thought they might get to peep across the border.
This probably was the thought behind former Chief Minister, Late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was interested in the development of Suchetgarh border belt which, if done properly, can open up other tourism avenues in the state.
Suchetgarh is just 35 km from the main Jammu town and the distance between Sialkot (Pakistan) and Suchetgarh is 16-km. Since, places other than Vaishno Devi and Amarnath cave are required to attract the tourists to stay in Jammu for longer duration, the development of Suchetgarh Border belt is a fine idea. It will not only promote tourism but also the flow of trade from both the sides.
Besides, It will also provide local inhabitants a big opportunity to earn a livelihood and improve the overall economy of the village.
What can be done:
The border belt should be developed on the pattern of Wagah Border.
There should be hassle free transport in the area.
There should be the establishment of tourist facilitation centers, restaurants view deck etc.
The “Gharana and Abdullian’ wet lands where migratory birds of a number of varieties flock during winter season is situated in the vicinity should also be developed to add to the attraction.
There should be the restoration of old Octroi post built during British Era situated in the area.
It is understandable that these points look easy on paper while the groundwork is mammoth but if the functionaries of the government departments are truly willing, this belt in Jammu can attract people from across Punjab and Himachal and of course generate business from and for the locals.