Calls for creating Billawar-Duggan, Bani-Basohli tourist circuits
The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal Singh today directed the officers to explore the possibility of bringing more areas in Bani-Basohli and Billawar area on the tourist map and also augment the facilities and carry out the necessary renovation of the already existing facilities.
The Deputy Chief Minister was addressing officers during a review meeting convened to discuss the tourism scenario in Billawar, Bani and Basohli areas of the Kathua district.
Secretary Tourism, Mr. Farooq Ahmed Shah, Director Tourism Jammu, Ms. Sushma Chouhan, other senior officers and representatives from the areas were present.
The Deputy Chief Minister while asking the officers to come up with comprehensive proposal for putting Billawar-Bani and Basohli areas on the tourist map said these have tremendous potential and the need is to take necessary steps for ensuring the creation of new infra and also renovating and augmenting the existing one. He said by bringing the areas on the tourism map we would also be ensuring that the tourist related activities get a flip which would ensure that the economic and allied activities also get a boost which would in turn result in creation of jobs for the youth of the area.
While highlighting the importance of the newly launched Swadesh Darshan Scheme (SDS) by the Centre, Dr Singh said by virtue of this flagship programme we can also explore the possibility of having two tourist circuits in the areas which would be Billawar-Duggan and Bani-Basohli. He said by doing so the tourism of the areas would get the requisite push and also awareness would be created among the people about the potential of these areas.
Dr. Singh also directed the officers to take up the Garhi archeological site and prepare a comprehensive project report about the same in consultation with INTACH so that the necessary restoration and other works can be carried out. He also asked for the restoration of the historical sites of the Billawar-Basohli areas especially the Saries and the Fort.
The Deputy Chief Minister also asked for speeding up the pace of work on the infra of the Sukhrala Mata Shrine Board maintaining that the government is committed to provide the pilgrims coming to pay obeisance and perform their religious duties with all the requisite facilities. He said that the comprehensive programme is also underway to bring the state of Jammu and Kashmir on the Religious Tourism Map.