Sunday, May 25, 2003
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Jammu & Kashmir
By Shujaat Bukhari
While various sites would be highlighted, the focus would be on Kashmir in the Tourism Ministry's road shows in the Gulf this year, to which the Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has also been invited.
The Ministry has sanctioned Rs. 6.60 crores for tourism related projects in Jammu and Kashmir. This follows a meeting Mr. Sayeed had with the Union Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Jagmohan, in New Delhi recently. As a follow up, the Secretary, Tourism, Najmus Saqib, and other Central Government authorities held a meeting on May 21.
The Chief Minister has appreciated the quick response of the Minister to his proposal for revival of tourism. The amount released is for phase-I of the seven projects being taken up by the State Government with Central assistance.
An official spokesman said that the Tourism Ministry sanctioned Rs. 1.07 crores for the famous Khir Bhawani shrine and Rs. 1.03 crore for the Mattan pilgrim centre. The project relating to Baba Reshi shrine at Tangmarg that has been approved includes construction of drains, parking places and roads, besides development of parks. Rs. 1 crore has been sanctioned for this project.
The Tourism Ministry has also approved construction of shelters and toilet blocks on the Amarnath route.
Three shelters each are to be built at Sheshnag and Panchtarni. Drinking water facilities will also be provided at these two halts. Rs. 1 crore has been allocated for it.
Another Rs. 1 crore has been sanctioned for the promotion of tourism on the Katra-Patnitop circuit.
Another famous Muslim shrine, Aishmuqam, will also be developed to promote pilgrim tourism. Rs. 50 lakhs has been sanctioned for this.
Rs. one crore has been sanctioned for work at the famous Mughal garden-Nishat, over looking the Dal lake. It will be renovated conforming to Mughal architecture.
The Chief Minister has ordered that a project to develop the areas surrounding the famous shrine of Shah Hamdan, Khanqah-i-Moulla, be prepared and sent to the Tourism Ministry for funding. A similar project is being prepared for the preservation of the historic Jama Masjid in downtown Srinagar.
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