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Jammu & Kashmir - Current Events
, June , 2009
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Shri Amarnathji Yatra-2009
11500 Yatris performed Darshan yesterday.
Work continuing apace on improving
Poshpathri-Mahagunas Top stretch of the track

Srinagar, June 29 – 11,465 pilgrims performed darshan at the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji yesterday. While a fresh batch of 5,661 pilgrims left Baltal Base Camp this morning, another batch of 1,955 pilgrims commenced their Yatra from the Nunwan Base Camp early today. Further, 1,078 pilgrims, mostly women, children and old, were diverted from Pahalgam to Baltal for undertaking Yatra on the Baltal route. Another batch of 1,764 pilgrims also left Jammu today for the Nunwan and Baltal Base Camps.

According to Shri B. B. Vyas, Chief Executive Officer of the Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board, one Mobile Rescue Team each, comprising a Sub-Inspector and eight J&K Police personnel, has been stationed at Sheshnag and Poshpathri. These teams are moving to the critical stretches of the track between Sheshnag and Poshpathri to ensure the safe crossing of Yatris, both ways, across the arduous Mahagunas Top.

The Spokesperson said that certain portions of the track continue to remain critical. At a number of places, the track is still covered by 3 to 7 feet of accumulated snow. To ensure proper movement, steps are being cut on a 400 metre long stretch, on the new alternate track. For this task the Board is in touch with the Pahalgam Development Authority which is entrusted with the responsibility of opening and maintaining the Pahalgam-Chandanwari-Holy Cave traditional route. The Board is working with the PDA to speed up clearance and improvement of the track for ensuring the safety of the Yatris. Towards this objective the SASB has also deployed 50 labourers to supplement and support the efforts of the Pahalgam Development Authority.
Meanwhile, an adequate number of medical teams have been deployed at various Camps, enroute on both the tracks and at the Holy Cave, to provide medicare facilities to the pilgrims. The Shrine Board has issued explicit directions to the Camp Directors that the Board will make all arrangements for evacuating any of the Yatris whose condition becomes critical, for immediate specialized treatment, in the case of any medical emergency. One girl, Richa Singal D/O Pardeep Singh R/O Uttar Pradesh, was evacuated by helicopter by the Board from Panjtarni to the Baltal Base Camp late yesterday evening, at the Board’s expenses.

The Spokesperson of the SASB stated that one more Yatri, Mrs. Patal Jiviben Ramadass W/O Ramadass R/O Parbathpora, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, age 70 years, passed away at Panjtarni yesterday due to cardiac arrest. With this, the total number of Yatris who have lost their lives during this year’s pilgrimage has gone up to 14, including two ponywallas.
The Board has further stepped up efforts to ensure cleanliness and sanitation in the Cave Shrine area. Yesterday, a team led by the Board’s Consultant on Environmental issues, Dr. C. M. Seth, conducted a surprise inspection of shops and langars and seized a significant quantity of polythene bags.

Click here to read more information on Shri Amarnathji Yatra.


Worlds’ Highest Lift served Ski Resort of Gulmarg to get
Chairlift an estimated cost of Rs.9 Crore

Srinagar, June 29–Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora, has said that Gulmarg Asia’s premier tourist resort, is the treasure-trove for a traveler. He said upgradation of the tourist related infrastructure at par with international standards to tap fully its tourism potential for achieving the target of attracting more overseas visitors at this destination, are afoot.
Mr. Jora said this during a day-long extensive tour of Gulmarg today while taking stock of various ongoing developmental projects and to assess on spot further development requirements of the tourist destination.

The Minister said that Gulmarg has become worlds’ highest lift served ski resort providing a downhill ski run of over 5 kms from a hight of 14000ft in Apharwat range. He said to explore fully the potential of this premier hill resort a chair lift from Kongdoori-Marrishoulder of Apharwat would be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 9 crore adding that construction would be started in July this year.

Director Tourism Kashmir, Mr. Farooq Ahmed Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Gulmarg Tourism Development Authority, Mr. Farooq Ahmed Lone, Managing Director Cable Car Corporation (CCC), Mr. Farooq Ahmed Khan, General Manager, JKTDC and other senior officers and engineers accompanied the Minister.

The Minister during a Gondola ride to Kangdoori and Apharwat assessed the required development of infrastructure. He said state’s highest altitude cafeteria, a Iglo type hut would be constructed at Apharwat. He said in order to protect the environment of Gulmarg- Kungdoori corridor aforestation work would be also taken up at a cost of Rs. 1 crore and old chairlift would be made functional for visiting tourists to the area.

Giving details about infrastructure expansion programme in the area, the Minister said creation of more infrastructure is needed at Gulmarg and its surrounding tourist resorts. He said 20 rooms budgeted accommodation at a cost of Rs. 4 crore would be constructed besides, the conversion of old Maharaj’s palace into a Convention Centre would be also taken up at a cost of Rs. 2 crore adding that underground cabling of electric net work and improvement of water supply is also on anvil in the area.

Mr.Jora visited old dilapidated ITC 100 room hotel building and took stock of its renovation and repairs. He said that the matter would be taken up with Union Tourism Ministry for its early renovation and repairs.

While taking stock of the functioning of Gondola Cable Car project, the Minister was apprised that the Corporation has earned a revenue of Rs. 5.10 crore from April to June this year. He was informed that about 2 lakh domestic and foreign tourists visited Gulmarg so far this year.
The Minister inspected various under execution and newly completed projects and was briefed that the works amounting over Rs. 7 crore including construction and renovation of huts, cafeterias, way side amenities, development of Parks, lakes and upgradation of Ice skating, ice hockey rink have been completed.

Mr. Jora also inspected the pace of upgradation work of golf course Gulmarg, which is being upgraded to 18 holes involving a cost of Rs. 4.50 crore. He was informed that this worlds’ highest golf course would be ready for Tee of by September this year. He also inspected ski hire shop and was informed that good quality equipments worth Rs. 5 crore are available on hire besides services of trained instructors are at hand for guiding amateur skiers.

During the inspection, the Minister issued instructions for landscaping and face lifting of various spots. He also instructed for taking measures for construction of commercial hotels especially at Dhobhi Ghat tourist resort besides replacing of old furnishing in Apharwat cafeteria.

Seeking the appraisal about the development of Botapathri tourist resort, the Minister was apprised that 5 camping sites at a cost of Rs. 5 crore are being developed in the area. He emphasized involvement of local people in tourism related activities so that they become equal partners in the venture besides will benefit the states’ economy. He also impressed upon the concerned authorities to ensure timely completion of upgraded works so that top-notch facilities are extended to the tourists.

Click here to read more information on the Hill Resort of Gulmarg.


Shiv Temple, Naryan Bagh, Srinagar to be developed a Pilgrimage Spot

Srinagar, June 29 - Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Mr. Mohammad Akbar Lone has said that Shiv temple at Nariyan Bagh would be developed as pilgrimage tourist spot.

This, he said, during his visit of various areas including Bazari Shadipora of Sonawari constituency today. Director Tourism, Mr. Farooq Ahmad Shah alongwith a team of senior officers of tourism and other departments accompanied the Speaker during his tour.

Mr. Lone directed the concerned to make a comprehensive plan for the development of the said temple alongwith allied facilities like park, public convenience, cafeteria besides constitution of paths at Bazari, Shadipora and Maharaja ghats on either side of the river Jehlum. He urged for restoration of past glory of the temple as well as publish pamphlet regarding the history of the temple as well as the spot.

Speaker directed the concerned to construct a drain on both way of approach road from main road to Shadipora ghat. He also asked them to raise the link road also. Later, the Speaker inspected the irrigation pump station at Gansthan village. He directed the concerned to ensure regular irrigation facilities to the farmers. On the occasion, Mr. Lone assured the people that the pump station would be augmented under Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) soon.

During his visit, several deputations met the Speaker and apprised him about their individual and collective problems included construction of culverts at Check Gansthan, Wani Mohalla and Kralyar. Mr. Lone heard them patiently and directed the concerned for immediate construction of the same.

Click here to read more information on the Temples & Shrines in Kashmir.


Kashmiri Wazwan Restaurant and Island inaugurated by Minister for Tourism and Culture

Srinagar, June 29 – The Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora today inaugurated Peerzoo restaurant and island, constructed by Tourism department at a cost of Rs 72 lakh near General Post Office (GPO) Road on the bank of river Jehlum.

The restaurant provides facilities like Kashmiri Wazwan, walk way and boating to the tourists. The second phase of the project would be completed by September this year.

MLA Amirakadal, Mr. Nasir Sogami, Secretary Tourism & Culture, Mrs Tanveer Jahan, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mr. Farooq Ahmad Shah, prominent citizens, tourists and other senior officers of tourism department were also present at the inaugural function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jora said that government would develop many tourist spots in Srinagar city for locals as well as outside tourists for enjoying their holidays. He said that this island would serve as launching point for Jehlum river transport towards Khankha Mohalla and Chattabal. He said government is committed to promote tourism infrastructure in and outside the city vicinity for attracting more tourists.

Mr. Jora said that focused attention is being given on promoting heritage and pilgrimage tourism in the city. He directed the concerned authorities to take necessary steps for landscaping of the area and also asked for planting of ornamental plants and flowers on the banks of island and park.
Mr. Jora said that once the river Jehlum-front is beautified in the old city area, the tourists would be able to cherish a once in life time experience of witnessing the unique charm in the city in a shikara or a motor boat.

MLA Amirakadal appreciated this step taken by Tourism department for developing a park and restaurant on the bank of the river Jehlum. He urged for developing other spots of the constituency for the attraction of the tourists. He said that construction of welcome chowks at various sites of the constituency is beneficial for attracting the tourists towards the markets.
Director Tourism, in his welcome address said that many development projects in the Srinagar city are near completion. He said that Rustam Gari Restaurant is near completion and this would become attraction for tourists as well as locals. He said the development of Zabarwan Park with the facilities of museum, food court and children play area are near completion.


23rd Annual General Meeting of Kashmir Golf Club
Chief Secretary stresses better infrastructure to attract Golfers

Srinagar, June 29 - Chief Secretary Mr. S. S. Kapur has stressed on putting in place better and improved infrastructure to attract golfers both from within and outside the state, adding Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with huge potential for developing golf courses.

Chairing 23rd Annual General Meeting of Kashmir Golf Club, Mr. Kapur called for initiating measures to popularize golf activities in the state.
Member Assembly, Mr.Nasir Aslam Wani, Secretary Tourism, Mrs Tanveer Jehan, Director Tourism, Mr. Farooq Ahmad Shah and members of the club attended the meeting.

Mr Kapur said that the membership of the Kashmir Golf Club needs to be broadened by including women and children in this sports activity. He stressed for creating resources so that the better facilities are available to the golfers, and sought suggestions from the members for the purpose.
The meeting also approved budget to the tune of Rs 55.54 lakhs for 2009-10 with anticipated expenditure of Rs 48 lakh. It was informed in the meeting that painting, paneling, flooring was completed both in new and old club houses during last fiscal.

The elections for the new members of the executive committee of the club were conducted on the occasion. A one-minute silence was also observed in memory of the members who passed away during last year.

Source: Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, June , 2009
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