Mehbooba urges GOI to provide funds for upgrading tourism infrastructure in JK

Ms Mehbooba called for integrated development of various existing and new tourist destinations in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh under the Himalayan Circuit. She said a spiritual destination could be developed in Kashmir, with International Yoga Centre at Mantalai and a Buddhist Centre in Ladakh. “Besides, niche activities like paragliding, river rafting, motor safaris etc could be promoted in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said and added that at the same time there should be simultaneous investment in restoration of the State’s distinct heritage.

She also called for expansion of facilities for winter sports and leisure tourism at Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Patnitop and Bhadarwah with main focus on infrastructure development like roads, underground cabling and frost proof water piping. “Convention Centres of international standards should be also developed at Gulmarg and Patnitop to promote corporate tourism,” she said and sought the Union Tourism Minister’s intervention for release of balance funds under PIDDC scheme for ongoing projects in J&K which are at different stages of completion.

Ms Mehbooba said that despite submission of DPRs for restoration of flood-affected tourism infrastructure in Kashmir, the follow-up action by the Union Tourism Ministry is still awaited. She called for expediting the release of funds for the restoration of the infrastructure damaged by September 2014 floods.

Ms Mehbooba also called for expansion and augmentation of facilities at Srinagar, Jammu, Leh and Kargil Airports. She said in view of the tourist season flights should operate to and from Srinagar airport from 7.00 am in the morning upto 10.00 pm as has been already agreed by the Air Force authorities. She also called for increasing frequency of flights to Srinagar and Leh.

She also sought adequate funding for New SPS Museum at Srinagar, Abhinav Theatre Jammu and Tagore Hall Srinagar so that these institutions are reactivated for promotion of tourism and cultural activities.

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