PAHALGAM, MAY 12, 2015 – In an effort to project Pahalgam as one of Valley’s premier eco-destinations, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today took a series of on-spot decisions including uninterrupted power supply to the bowl, promoting Aru as a ‘Lavender Village’ and improving the intake capacity by establishing high-end tented accommodation to attract both domestic and overseas travellers.
He said tourism sector cannot grow in isolation and its future lies in integration with the associated economies of the areas where tourist potential exists.
Mufti Sayeed said this while undertaking a day-long tour of Pahalgam Resort during which he visited the Golf Course, Amusement Park, Aru, Pahalgam Club, Betaab Valley and the Circular Road. He also paid a visit to the Government Higher Secondary School, Pahalgam.
Emphasizing upon linking tourism sector with growth of rural economies, Mufti Sayeed asked the Tourism Department to provide a sense of ownership to the local community in development of the resort and its suburbs. He stressed upon creating ample opportunities of employment for native inhabitants by working to build their capacities in tourism and hospitality sectors.
Minister for Horticulture, Haj & Auqaf, A. R. Veeri, Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, former MLA, Rafi Mir, accompanied the Chief Minister.
While chairing the Draft Master Plan meeting on Sunday, the Chief Minister had laid stress on creation of Citizens’ Committee which have to be taken on board in decisions taken to promote Pahalgam as an all-season destination.
On his arrival at picture-perfect Pahalgam Golf Course (PGC), the Chief Minister called for aggressive marketing and composite management of the course, club and hutments so that it becomes a revenue generating asset. He directed the Tourism Department that local youth are gainfully employed in running of the Course.
The Chief Minister went around the golf course and inspected the site for creating additional accommodation and developing a ski slope to the north of PGC, which will provide basic training to children and ski enthusiasts. The 18-hole Pahalgam Golf Course, with sprawling greens and fairways, is considered one of the most ideally located courses in the country.
Mufti Sayeed directed Chief Engineer PDD to install automatic governance system to ensure uninterrupted power supply by the end of this year in Pahalgam Resort. Instructions were also issued to him for underground power cabling.
During his visit to Pahalgam Club, the Chief Minister was briefed about the present status of ongoing works on the project. He was informed that Pahalgam Club is being constructed as a multi-faceted recreational centre comprising health club, Auditorium, 24-room guest house block, swimming pool and open food court, which will be most suited for conference and convention tourism. The Club is expected to be completed by August this year.
The Chief Minister also visited the Amusement Park, which is being maintained by the J&K Bank. He directed the Bank Chairman, Mushtaq Ahmad, to expedite the up-gradation of the Park which is a major attraction for children. To facilitate senior citizens, the Chief Minister also passed instructions for procuring three battery-driven carts in the Park.
While inspecting the Park, the Chief Minister passed instructions to Chief Engineer R&B to prepare a detailed plan for construction of a subway for facilitating the entry of visitors towards Deer Park. The DC Anantnag was also directed to expand the pedestrian walkway from the Amusement Park to Wildlife Park.
Mufti Sayeed also directed the Deputy Commissioner to ensure that no illegal constructions are allowed to come up in Pahalgam and its notified areas.
On reaching Aru, which is at a distance of 12 kilometres from Pahalgam Resort, Mufti Sayeed declared it as a ‘Lavender Village’ for which the Agriculture Department was directed to take necessary steps. He interacted with several domestic and overseas tourists at Aru, which is considered one of the most picturesque spots in the Pahalgam valley.
While inspecting the 7-km Circular Road from Pahalgam Town to Ganeshbal, the Chief Minister issued directions to Minister for R&B to maintain all internal roads of the resort bowl including the Circular Road. He also passed directions that only pine trees should be planted in a large chunk of land behind the office of the Municipal Committee, Pahalgam.
The Chief Minister, while reviewing the Draft Master Plan on Sunday, had also highlighted the potential of developing Pahalgam as a major Leisure-cum-Education Hub, on the pattern of Dalhousie, in Himachal Pradesh.
Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner / Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Shailendra Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, Anantnag, Bashir Khan, Director Tourism and MD JKTDC, Farooq A. Shah, Chief Town Planner, Iftikhar Hakim, CEO, Pahalgam Development Authority, Riyaz Ahmad Wani, Chief Engineers of PDD and R&B, besides several other senior officers were present on the occasion.