STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Jammu wing of the State Tourism Department is organizing a series of events to promote tourist destinations in and around Jammu and exploring new places and trekking routes to attract tourist rush to these local getaways. While focusing all their energies on these tours and organisation of special camps, the Tourism Department is apparently ignoring the local spots and shying away from maintaining them. In Jammu City alone, the department has failed to promote Har-ki- Paudi as an important tourist destination among the pilgrims. In the absence of adequate infrastructural support and proper maintenance of viewpoints and pathways, the outstation tourists seldom spend any time in the area and return after visiting temples in the vicinity. For the past several months, the local residents in the area have been demanding proper maintenance of these viewpoints to promote foot fall of tourists in the area but instead of spending money on the maintenance works the Tourism Department has virtually ignored these places. A random visit to the area is sufficient to expose the tall claims of the Tourism Department and other departments responsible for the maintenance of different utilities. The street lights remain nonfunctional in the area. The entry point of the corridor near Gorkha Nagar is yet to be completed. Viewpoints set up along the road side are used by the local residents to dump garbage and animal fodder. The place is spread with litter and is seldom cleaned. The path decorated with colourful tiles is uprooted at several places and present a dirty picture. The boundary wall is broken at several places and worn out. Due to poor maintenance of the spot, the regular visitors prefer returning back without having a stopover. The local residents, who have set up kiosks in the area and offer snacks and refreshment are unhappy with the approach of the local officers of the State Tourism Department as they seldom pay a visit to the area and are not so keen on promoting the popular tourist destination. The residents complained, “We are not sure even after the development of Tawi River Front the area in the neigborhood would be developed. Ironically, work on the Tawi River Front is yet to begin on ground zero”, said a resident.
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