Srinagar: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer A Khan today chaired a meeting at Civil Secretariat, Srinagar to review the overall functioning of the Tourism Department.
Secretary Tourism, Zubair Ahmad, MD J&K Cable Car Corporation, Director Tourism Kashmir, Director SKICC Srinagar and CEO’s of Tourism Development Authorities in Kashmir besides Secretary, Royal Spring Golf Course attended the meeting.
MD JKTDC, Executive Director Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society, Director Tourism Jammu and CEO’s of Tourism Development Authorities in Jammu besides Secretary Jammu Tawi Golf Course participated via Video Conferencing from Jammu.
Secretary Tourism apprised the Advisor about the challenges being faced by the Tourism stakeholders in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic and its economic impact on the Tourism sector. He also gave a detailed overview of the Tourism Department, highlights of the sector and the activities undertaken over the years to promote and expand tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. The status of various schemes viz PMDP, PMRP and PRASAD of Government of India (GoI) and progress of ongoing works in the Tourism Development Authorities (TDA’s) were also reviewed.
Taking note of the challenges being faced by the Tourism stakeholders in the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic, Advisor said that Government is aware of the difficulties of the stakeholders and has already started taking measures to help the stressed stakeholders through income support and other possible measures are also under consideration.
While reviewing Tourism developmental works, Advisor emphasized on early completion of the projects in a time bound manner. He asked the Directorates and CEOs of the Tourism Development Authorities to priorities such projects which can be completed immediately and are of immense utility for the sector and destinations. “Only high Priority works and those to be completed, befitting the ecology and fragile eco-system of these destinations shall be included in current year’s plan”, he said.
On the issue of proper use of land and implementation of the Master Plans in areas under various Tourism Development Authorities, Advisor, Baseer A Khan directed that no violation of Master Plan should be allowed and strict action should be initiated against encroachments. He said concerned CEOs of TDA’s will be held responsible for any violations or encroachments in areas under their jurisdiction.
He further directed the CEOs of TDA’s to make an inventory of assets, undertake asset mapping and audit of executed works from the engineering point of view. He also stressed on beautification of existing tourist destinations and renovation of existing tourism infrastructure, wherever required.
While reviewing the languishing projects in the Department, the Advisor observed slow pace of work in languishing projects sanctioned for Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex. He took note that the Administrative Approval has been accorded by the Tourism Department for all six languishing Projects of the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex and directed the Executive Director Mubarak Mandi Heritage Society to expedite the work on these projects, so that Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex comes up as a major tourist attraction in Jammu city
The Advisor also stressed on the Managing Directors of the Corporations to take all steps for securing viability of their corporations through proper resources utilization.
The Secretaries of the Golf Courses were advised to forward requisite plans immediately to the Administrative Department, which are crucial for their proper maintenance and upkeep.
Advisor observed that the Tourism Department should be prepared with a Tourism Revival Plan after the scare of COVID-19 Pandemic abates, so that promotional and developmental activities commence immediately.