As part of Union Government’s public outreach programme for Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State (MoS) for Defence and Tourism, Ajay Bhatt today had a detailed interaction with the officials of Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Department at Royal Springs Golf Course at Srinagar. Besides, Bhatt met various stakeholders associated with the tourism sector of the UT of J&K.
On the occasion, the Union Minister reviewed the tourism scenario of the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. A detail overview was presented by Secretary, J&K Tourism Sarmad Hafiz, Director Tourism Kashmir Dr. Ghulam Nabi Itoo and other officials of the department.
Bhatt underlined the infrastructure and measures in place as well as potential available. He highlighted the Union Government’s commitment towards developing and improving the overall landscape to boost the tourism landscape of the Union Territory.
Addressing the gathering, the Union Minister of State, Ajay Bhatt said that the Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making all out efforts to keep the essence of Jammu & Kashmir intact by ensuring holistic development of the region. He assured that besides the existing avenues pertinent to the tourism in the region, border tourism, eco-tourism and Horticulture tourism will be taken up on priority.
On the occasion, Union Minister had an interactive meeting with stakeholders associated with tourism sector of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Representatives comprising of travel and tour operators and hoteliers were present during the interaction. During a meeting, various challenges and issues faced by the industry were put forth.
Bhatt ensured the support and assistance of the Union Government which is committed towards the betterment of the region. All the measures are being taken to boost the tourism sector, he added.
Earlier, a Mountain Biking Expedition was flagged off by the Union Minister adding on to the diverse Tourism options and capacities already in place in the sector.
Div Com reviews arrangements for Navratra festival
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer, today reviewed the arrangements for smooth conduct of the annual Navratra festival at a meeting of concerned officers.
The meeting informed that the nine-day festival would commence on October 7, 2021, culminating on October 15, 2021.
The inaugural function of the festival would be held at Asia Chowk Katra, followed by Shobha Yatra and a grand event showcasing the culture and heritage of Jammu and Kashmir and India as a whole.
The Assistant Director Tourism presented a detailed report on the scheduled programmes, the activities to be held during the festival, and the preparations being put in place for the same. Threadbare discussions were held on each activity/ event while seeking suggestions from the stakeholders. The Div Com stressed adhering to the covid protocols while holding the festival events. He also suggested excluding activities involving large gatherings.
Representatives of the Hoteliers Association assured to extend full cooperation towards facilitating tourists and guests during the festival. They also confirmed to maintain cleanliness besides following covid related guidelines while serving the guests.
The Divisional Commissioner also had a detailed review of beautification of the town, provision for sanitation, essential services, traffic management and emergency services.
While reviewing arrangements for congregational programmes like ‘Prabhat Pheris’, ‘Mata ki Kahani’ recitation, Devotional Song Competition, Dangal and other cultural items, the Div Com instructed that the committee headed by DC Reasi shall inspect the venues for taking the final decision.
The Div Com directed the concerned officers to put in place all necessary arrangements and work well-coordinated to make preparations well in advance. He stressed proper regulation of traffic, foolproof security, maintenance of roads and streets, beautification of shops/ market, sanitation of Katra town etc.
Chief Executive Officer SMVD Shrine Board, DC Reasi, Director Tourism, SSP Reasi, Assistant Director Tourism Katra, Director Urban Local Bodies, Chief Engineer, PWD, Joint Director Information besides elected members of Katra Municipal Committee, Presidents of Market associations and other eminent citizens among others were also present at the meeting.
J&K Youths Taking To Drugs Due To Unemployment, Frustration: Farooq Abdullah
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah accused the Jammu and Kashmir administration of being indifferent to the plight of the youths of the Union Territory, who, he claimed, were turning to drugs out of joblessness and ensuing frustration.
The NC president, who is also the Srinagar MP, made the allegation while interacting with party workers who had called on him at his residence here.
The visiting delegation apprised the party president of various issues concerning the people, particularly youths.
“The J&K youths are sinking under the weight of the incumbent administration’s indifference,” said Mr Abdullah.
He also told the visiting delegation that the August 5, 2019 decision of revoking J&K’s special status has adversely affected the local educated and skilled youths.
“The mounting evidence is in the form of widespread and scathing unemployment and job losses resulting in their continuing alienation and frustration,” he said.
The NC president said the incumbent administration’s “lack of interest” in the needs of youths has also incurred a cost in terms of their physical and mental health.
“Youths are a major part of our demographics but regrettably this promising chunk of the J&K population is living in frustration, unemployment, and insecurity. Despite having the best of capabilities, our youths from Kashmir, Chenab, and Pirpanjal and Jammu regions are uniformly caught in a vortex.
“Mired by hopelessness and anxiety, our youths are taking to drug addiction and substance abuse. The situation is very grim and our youths are living the grimmest nightmare, one which brings new government diktats seeking to deprive them of their land rights, natural resources, livelihood and freedom. There has been no respite,” he said.
Mr Abdullah said there is a great need to come up with a “youth project that seeks to relocate and rejuvenate the disenfranchised energies of our youths”.
Terming unemployment as the most alarming issue faced by youths, he said, “The much-touted promises of local and central governments on extravaganza, investment and fast-tracking of recruitment has fallen flat.”
“On the contrary, unemployment in all J&K regions has seen a manifold increase which also had a cascading effect on other social and health issues particularly of our youths,” he said.
He said the NC remains committed to the revision and revival of the youth policy that will create a situation wherein the J&K youths will get education and employment and remain free from drug abuse, sectarianism and communalism.
Patwari arrested for taking bribe
The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) trapped and arrested a Patwari in Halqa Dab Wakura in Ganderbal district for accepting bribe for issuance of revenue extracts of land.
The ACB said that it received a written complaint alleging therein that Patwari Halqa Dab Wakura, Ganderbal namely Ajaz Ahmad Bhat is demanding Rs. 20,000 as a bribe to issue the revenue extracts of land situated at Dab Wakura, Batpora Rab Rakhtar in favour of the complainant “and thereafter negotiation between the complainant and patwari concerned, the matter was settled at Rs 15000.”
On receipt of the complaint, the Bureau said that a case FIR No.28 of 2021, under Section 7 Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 was registered in Police Station ACB Srinagar and investigation was taken up.
“During the investigation, a trap team was constituted. The team laid a successful trap and caught red-handed Aijaz Ahmad, Patwari, Halqa Dab Wakura while demanding and accepting a bribe amount of Rs. 15000 from the complainant. The amount of bribe was recovered on the spot in presence of an independent witness. He was arrested and taken into custody by ACB,” it said, adding, further investigation is going on.
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