State Times News JAMMU: The hot-spots of Jammu region in Bhadarwah, Sanasar, Bani Sarthal, Ramnagar, Reasi, Udhampur, Kathua continue to suffer due to lack of vision of the Tourism Department and discriminatory approach adopted by those at the helm of affairs in the corridors of power. Soon after taking charge of office in March 2015, former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had accorded top priority towards developing Jammu as an independent tourist destination but he failed to do so in his life time. His predecessors too had promised the same to the people of Jammu region but they too failed to make significant contribution in reviving the tourism industry in Jammu region. After Mehbooba Mufti took over the baton, she made efforts in the beginning but she too failed miserably in implementing vision of her father.
Most of the big ticket projects such as Artificial Tawi Lake, Tawi River Front, Gandola connecting Peer Kho with Bahu Fort are yet to see the light of the day in Jammu.
Out of these three, work on Gandola project was completed after missing several deadlines but it is yet to be made operational.
A mishap , which took lives of workers, delayed the launch of the project. In the wake of Model Code of Conduct in place it is not supposed to be made operational till the completion of poll process in the State.
The conservation and renovation project of Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex is also going at snail’s pace but in the absence of concrete road map and budget allocation and expertise it is losing its sheen brick by brick with every passing day.
The lakes across Jammu region viz Mansar, Surinsar, and Sanasar lack conservation plans and facing serious threats but till date adequate amount of money has not been dedicated to ensure proper conservation of these water bodies to attract tourists in the region. Some of the hot spots in Bhadarwah region have been attracting tourists but lack of infrastructure support prevents majority of people from visiting these places for longer duration.
In most of these tourist destinations across Jammu region either the road network does not exist or in some cases snail pace of work is posing biggest stumbling block in promoting tourist traffic.
Tourists have to take many risks before reaching there and in the absence of any government support they have nothing to fall back upon in case of emergency.
Local tourists and large population of pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine prefer visiting Reasi, Patnitop-Sanasar, Bani-Basohli-Sarthal but poor road conditions force them to drop their plan.
There are several other tourist hot spots located in Udhampur, Ramnagar and Mahore belt but poor maintenance of roads in the region act as dampener and families avoid visiting these scenic destinations.
These tourist places also lack other basic amenities such as affordable accommodation and refreshment counters in comparison to other places.
In the absence of government support, the hotel industry has not flourished in these places and tourists have to suffer in isolation or fall prey to monopolistic practices adopted by the tour operators.
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