Chief Minister for Eco-friendly Tourist Infrastructure at Sonamarg
Sonamarg, October 16 – Chief Minister, Mr. Omar Abdullah Friday said that tourism is an essential sector for generating economic activities in the State and creating job avenues for thousands of young people directly and indirectly. He called for capacity building and training of youth so that they could earn their livelihood in tourism related activities.
Chairing the 3rd meeting of Sonamarg Development Authority at Sonamarg, the Chief Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Authority, said that the Tourism Development Authorities in the State should create environment friendly tourist infrastructure, maintaining and preserving the natural beauty God has bestowed upon the State.
“Tourism is a sector offering vast potential for economic upliftment and employment generation”, he said and added that strengthening and showcasing Jammu and Kashmir as a birth place of tourism is need of the hour. He said Sonamarg like picturesque spots need focused attention for development and conservation. “Our first priority should be to protect eco-system and environment which are the soul of the natural beauty of Kashmir”, he added.
The meeting was among others attended by the Minister for Forest, Minister for Tourism, Minister of State for Tourism and Secretary Tourism. The Chief Executive Officer, Sonamarg Development Authority gave resume of the development plans of the Authority and explained the agenda points in detail.
The meeting discussed matters pertaining to Sonamarg Master Plan, engagement of consultants, development of golf course, works under Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP), eco-tourism, wayside amenities, international youth hostel, tourist village, development of Yachimarg as satellite tourist spot, preservation of Durnar Glacier, development of Lachpathri, etc.
The Chief Minister directed the Development Authority to arrange trainings for the youth in various institutes in the fields of mountaineering, tracking, white-water rafting, rock-climbing, etc so that they could utilize their skill to earn livelihood as tourist and adventure sports guides. He asked the Development Authority to also explore possibilities of keeping Mountain Bikes available during the tourist season in Sonamarg so that these could be given on hire to the tourists. “The local youth can be engaged in this activity”, he said adding that out sourcing of tenting, kiosks and small commercial points to youth are other venues of creating job opportunities for youth.