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Efforts afoot to develop JK as a major religious tourism destination: MOS Smt. Priya Sethi

Minister of State for Education, Tourism and Culture, Priya Sethi today stated that the government is committed to develop the places of religious importance and other tourist’s places “Efforts are afoot to tap the immense potential of pilgrim tourism in the state and putting J&K in the world map as one of the major religious tourist destination”, the Minister asserted.

The Minister was speaking during the inauguration of Shiva Vatika at Peerkho costing Rs 47 lakhs executed by Floriculture department. The work included supply , installation, testing and commissioning of Red sand stone Sculpture of Lord Shiva Fountain in three layers.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the government is working with a purpose to boost the religious tourism besides providing the requisite necessary facilities not only to the tourists but also catering to the needs of everyone coming to pay their obeisance in the shrines across the state.

Citing various steps undertook by the Government, the Minister said that several new initiatives including Ropeway projects, Multilevel parking, developing Bawe, Mohmaya and Peerkho as a tri-shrines on the lines of the idea once conceived by Jambhu Lochan, connecting five shrines and many more prestigious projects are underway to attract more tourists and enhance the pilgrim tourism in the region.

Priya said that the government is ensuring the proper augmentation of the infrastructure at religious places and working on the same line, the installation of Fountain will add to beautification of the Peerkho shrine and attract more footfalls to the holy place,the Minister maintained.

She said that the recently held Peerkho mela has attracted a huge crowd and successful conduct of such events will prove to be decisive in development of Peerkho and other such historical significant places.

She further said that a special component has been earmarked for the tourism sector under Prime Minister’s Development Package that will prove to be key factor in expansion of JK’s tourism industry.

Priya said that the state government has included the development of pilgrim tourism in the development plan and is reaching out to the tourists by undertaking several promotional activities in the state as well as outside J&K.

Terming J&K as a unique bouquet of diverse tradition and culture, the Minister said that the state inherited the wealthy traditions and spirituality wherein several religious places are thronged by people of all faiths.

A comprehensive mechanism has been put in place to promote and develop the prominent places of religious and tourist importance, she added.

PeerKho shrine has been a major pilgrim tourist destination in the region and requisite measures have been taken to enhance amenities for the pilgrims, the Minister said adding that its development will act as a stimulus for the economy of the area.

MLA East , Rajesh Gupta,State Vice President Yudhvir Sethi, Distt President Baldev Baloria, Mahant Pir Ravinath Vinay Gupta, Hari Om, Shashi Khajuria and Director Floriculture, Babila Rakwal,xen Arvind Gupta besides prominent citizens from all walk of life and functionaries of the concerned departments were present on the occasion.