Sayeed Takes Measures to Improve Tourism in Pahalgam
SRINAGAR: In an effort to project Pahalgam as one of the Valley's premier eco-destinations, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today took a series of on-spot decisions including improving the intake capacity to attract both domestic and overseas travellers.
The decisions, which also include uninterrupted power supply to the bowl and promoting Aru as a 'Lavender Village', were taken by Sayeed during a day-long tour of the south Kashmir hill resort that serves as the base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, scheduled to begin this year in July.
Accompanied by Finance minister Haseeb A Drabu, Horticulture Minister A R Veeri, and Public Works Minister Syed Altaf Bukhari, the chief minister visited the Golf Course, Amusement Park, Aru, Pahalgam Club, Betaab Valley and the Circular Road besides higher secondary school Pahalgam.
"Tourism sector cannot grow in isolation and its future lies in integration with the associated economies of the areas where tourist potential exists," Sayeed said.
He also directed to improve the intake capacity by establishing high-end tented accommodation to attract both domestic and overseas travellers.
Emphasising upon linking tourism sector with the growth of rural economies, he 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.
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 its running.
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.
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 work 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.
Sayeed also visited the Amusement Park, which is being maintained by the J&K Bank and directed the Bank Chairman, Mushtaq Ahmad, to expedite the up-gradation of the park which is a major attraction for children.
He 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 km from Pahalgam Resort, 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, he issued directions for maintenance of all internal roads of the resort bowl including the Circular Road.