Jammu : At last Mantalai property is coming back to life

Union Ministry of Tourism awards project worth Rs 98 cr to NPCC

After total neglect of properties of  Dhirendra Brahmchari including Aparna Ashram at Mantalai in Sudhmahadev area of  Chenani in district Udhampur besides multi-storey building and prime land in posh Gandhi Nagar area of Jammu by the State Tourism department for about a decade, the National Project Construction Corporation (NPCC) Ltd has finally launched work on  Rs 97.82 crore  prestigious project at Mantalai-Sudhmahadev with the  funding  purely by the Union Ministry of Tourism.

The project has been handed over to NPCC ltd, the agency has moved in machinery & a man power in Matalai ave started soil testing and other initial works of raising infrastructure for the workers at the site.

Among  total 25 components of  this project, the major will be setting up of   International Yoga Centre, construction of   twenty beautiful huts, Club House, creation/ up-gradation  of  Cafeteria,  Heliport, beautification of the entire Mantalai site  and renovation/ upgradation of existing buildings/hotel etc. A Delhi based consultancy  has prepared DPR of the project and 36 months time has been given to the agency   NPCC Ltd to complete this work.

CEO, Patnitop – Mantalai Development Authority, Rakesh Srangal, when contacted, said that  a national level agency  has already been engaged to have survey and initiate tourism promotion projects in Mantalai -Sudhmahadev area.  He said the property of Late Brahamchari would also be developed and the place  converted into a fascinating tourism destination.

Srangal said that Solar light system will be fully installed at Mantalai and a Heliport of the international standard is being created there for the night halt facilities (hanger) for  at least two helicopters. This destination is likely to receive guests even from abroad and facilities are being created taking all these things into consideration.

During the previous several Assembly sessions also this issue was raised in the Upper and Lower Houses of State Legislature by some members from Jammu region and they had also suggested to frame a House Committee for having  assessment of the properties and recommend suggestions for the utilization of the infrastructure.  They even suggested to promote this belt up to Latti- Dudu-Seoj Dhar and Shivgalli for Adventure tourism.
A senior officer in the Tourism department disclosed that the property of Aparna Ashram  and the land measuring 1002 kanal at Mantalai was finally taken over by Patnitop Development Authority in 2009.  He said the constructed and semi-constructed structures at Mantalai have also been handed over to the PDA which included Aparna Hotel and Restaurant, hanger for aircraft, petrol pump, air strip, semi-constructed hotel, cow sheds, personal residence of Swami Dherandra, a double storey building, swimming pool, orchards, zoo, half a dozen vehicles, bulldozer, road roller, construction equipment  etc.

Gopal Sharma

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