Minister for Education, Naeem Akhter today informed the House that Rs 63 crore are to be utilized for development of various tourist related infrastructure in 20 Tourism Development Authorities across the State during current fiscal.
Replying to a question by Ranbir Singh Pathania, the Minister said that the focus of the CAPEX Budget would remain on completion/augmentation of ongoing approved works and strengthening of existing infrastructure at all tourist destinations of the State.
The Minister said that since the creation of Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority Rs 20.24 crore out of total allocation of Rs 23.20 cr have been incurred on the creation of different tourist related infrastructure in the jurisdiction of the Authority.
The Minister informed that Union Ministry of Tourism has also sanctioned two projects of Rs 9.37 crore for development of tourist infrastructure at Surinsar and Mansar tourism spots against which Rs 2.24 crore has been utilized.
To make Surinsar-Mansar a prime tourist destination under Prime Minister’s Special Package, the Minister said that the government has a proposal to develop Surinsar-Mansar-Uttarbehni circuit at a cost of Rs 74.05 crore for the creation of different facilities for pilgrimage tourism.
The Minister said there is no proposal for the establishment of Tourism Development Authority for Ramnagar. He however said that tourist infrastructure worth Rs 94 lakhs has been developed at potential spots in Ramnagar area by the Tourism Department from time to time.
The Minister said that almost all Tourism Development Authorities have adopted e-tendering, adding that there is no violation of financial code and no loss has been caused to the State exchequer.
In reply to another question by Jewan Lal, the Minister said that the proposal for the creation of Tourism Development Authority at Basohli is under consideration of the government. He said that in this regard, deliberations with various stakeholders are being held and the modalities of creation are being worked out.
The Minister said that there is no proposal for the creation of Development Authorities at Bani and Billawar areas. He said the tourism potential of these areas are being tapped though Lakhanpor-Sarthal Tourism Development Authority and by the Department of Tourism.
Pawan Gupta and Ravinder Raina and Abdul Rahim Rather, raised supplementaries to the main questions and pleaded for development of leisure and pilgrimage tourism in their areas.
2015 Kashmir Despatch