Tourism projects yet to take off


Of three multi-crore tourism projects in Jammu which had been approved by the Union Ministry of Tourism about 15 months back, to boost tourism in Jammu district, two are yet to take off while the work on third one is going on at snail's pace. Direct train service to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi base camp town of Katra, which was started in July 2014, gave a setback to Jammu tourism, after which on the recommendation of State Government, the Union Ministry of Tourism in 2016 accorded sanction to three tourism projects for Jammu and one for Katra to give fillip to the tourism activities. All these projects worth Rs 27.73 crore were sanctioned by the Union Ministry under 'SwadeshDarshan' scheme and to ensure no delay in execution of the projects the whole amount of funds were sanctioned by Ministry to the J&K Government within few months. The projects sanctioned for Jammu were development of Suchetgarh border with a cost of Rs 4.92 crore, construction of Rs 8 crore worth Amusement Park at Sidhra Golf Course and establishment of musical water foundation with sound and light show at Bagh-e-Bahu with a cost of Rs 10.82 crore.
Establishment of musical water foundation with sound and light show at Bagh-e-Bahu is the largest with an approved amount of Rs 10.82 crore and if the project is completed in time, it may attract thousands of tourists, who, at present, prefer to leave immediately after paying obeisance at Bagh-e-Bahu (BaweWali Mata) Temple, as presently there is nothing which can fascinate the tourists. The second major project, the construction of Amusement Park at Sidhra Gold Course, is also facing apathy of the State Tourism department, which is yet to complete the process of land acquisition to start the project, as sources alleged that some land where the project has to be executed belonged to Forest department. The work on project of development of Suchetgarh border is on. They said that work on the project was started in May this year after completion of tendering process but after passing of five months no much progress is visible as work is going on at snail's pace. They said that all these projects may prove boon to the otherwise dying tourism industry of Jammu but due to slackness on the part of Tourism Department in timely execution of these projects, thousands of people belonging to Jammu who are directly and indirectly dependent on tourism industry for their bread and butter are suffering badly.

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