State BJP Spokesperson Prof. Virender Gupta expressed his great concern that tourism potential of Jammu region are not being explored and properly developed though there are very beautiful spots of scenic beauty and health resorts. He said that very meagre amount of tourism budget is being spent in Jammu region to develop the tourist spots and to attract the visitors to visit these spots.
He said that he has no objection against the efforts of State government and its tourism department to organize press conferences and public awareness functions to appeal to the people of the country to visit Kashmir, assuring them that Kashmir is a safe tourist destination. He added that Chief Minsiter of the state during her visits outside the state and the tourism department by its advertisements frequently appeal the people for visiting the valley, but unfortunately so far no effort has been made to highlight the various tourist spots existing in the Jammu region. He said that in a recent visit of official of J&K Tourist Department to Pune to attend a conference on mounteering organized by an NGO, they stressed Kashmir is a great adventure destination and it is safe to visit valley but no where there was mention of Jammu region which has far more adventures mountaineering spots.
He added that because of the prevailing conditions in the valley tourists from rest of the country instead of visiting valley they prefer to visit the tourist spots in Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and North East states. The Spokesperson said that it is therefore better to highlight the tourist spots of Jammu region so that the people may be attracted to the state, atleast Jammu region is also a constituent of the state and its neglect can be considered as criminal negligence.
Prof. Virender Gupta called upon the Chief Minister, Director Tourism Jammu and other concerned authorities to draw a plan to develop the tourist spots in Jammu region and asked the Centre to sanction a special grant for the development these spots on the priority basis. He drew the attention of the government both at the Centre and the state about the various tourist spots of Jammu region which are Dhagan Gali, Narsingha, Gorha Gali, Tata Pana and Firatlapri in Gool (Reasi District), Landar Panchari, Jaie, Chinta in Baderwah, Askhi in Gulabgarh apart from Patnitop, Sansar, Mansar, Surinsar, Bani, Sudh Mahadev etc.
He also appealed to the people and the political class of Jammu region to raise their united voice for the development of tourism in the Jammu region.