Gurez : Minster for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti took an exhaustive tour to Gurez, Tulail Valley to explore recent approaches to policy-making and exploring possibilities of further developing the picturesque border area of the state.
The Minister who was on 3-day visit to Gurez and Tulail Valley visited various spots including Izmarg, Bagtoure, Barnoi, Zidgay, Purana Tulail, Dungthal Tulail, Sheikhpora, Badugam Lower, Badugam Top, Sardaab, Tatun Sardaab, Khutrin, Buglinder, Hassangam, Baduaab and Anaikote.
District Development Commissioner Bandipora Khursheed Ahmad Sanaie, Director Tourism Mahmood A Shah, sectorial and district officers also accompanied the Minister.
The Minister sought details about the departmental assets, their upgradation and renovation, capacity building programmes, waste management and other activities being taken up by the concerned for the development of the area.
The Minster expressed strong concern over the eroded hillsides, stressed the need for adopting bioengineering techniques to address the problem.
The Minister stressed the need to develop and preserve aesthetically rich heritage and natural resources of the area, the Minister directed DDC Bandipora to make teams and conduct regular recce to set a system in place for everyday grievances.
He laid emphasis on the need to organize skill development and capacity building programs to boost tourism in the area and to encourage locals to opt for paying guest accommodation, travel guiding, adventures sports and other tour and travel related activities.
Expressing his displeasure over the dilapidated condition of Bandipora -Gurez -Tulail and other Rural as well as urban roads of the district, the Minister asked concerned engineers to improve the quality of engineering and produce good quality of roads.
The Minister also stressed the need for Hill Stabilization, conservation of environment and resources and to avoid inconvenience faced by the people travelling to the area, besides protecting picturesque hillsides. He asked NHPC authorities to remove the accumulated debris at the dam site of Power Project which has polluted the local environment.
Tassaduq Mufti also took review of sanitation facilities and directed the concerned officers for creating proper Waste Disposal Management across the district to improve hygiene.
He stressed for holistic development to attract more tourists to the area without disturbing the natural essence of a place and its surrounding ecology and asked for maintaining rich heritage, habitat, diverse flora and fauna existing in the area.
The Minister asked for taking innovative measures to promote niche tourism activities, besides preparing a fresh roadmap to strengthen the tourism industry in the area by integrating leisure, adventure and heritage tourism.
He said that the ground staff service should also be improved so that they could serve in a more professional manner, besides taking care of landscape, plantation, sanitation and proper waste management.
The Minister also visited various schools in the vicinity and found the infrastructure is not maintained up to the mark to meet the standard to impart proper education and basic skills among students.
Stressing the need for making education qualitative, the Minister questioned Chief Education Officer, Bandipora about the challenges he is facing at primary school level and asked him to streamline the system by improving the quality of education across the district.
During the visit, the Minister also convened a meeting of officers in Gurez to review of the status development process works being executed by various agencies in the area. He stressed upon the need for improving coordination among departments including BEACON, PWD R&B, UEED, PHE, RDD, PDD, Health, Education and Tourism Department so that target achieving mechanism can be initiated.
The Minister met various delegations during the tour and interacted with the locals and tourism stakeholders of the area. He gave patient hearing to the grievances and issues raised by them.