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Friday, November 27, 2009
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Minister for Tourism call for facelift of pilgrim sites in
Jammu & Kashmir.

Jammu, November 27 – The Government will upgrade infrastructure at pilgrimage sites across the Jammu & Kashmir State to provide added facilities to pilgrim tourists, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Niwang Rigzin Jora today said while announcing the construction of community kitchens and renovation of old Sarais at Utterbehni and Purmandal.

During his visit to Utterbehni and Purmandal this morning, the Minister took stock of the facilities being provided to pilgrim tourists and directed the concerned authorities to ensure timely completion of the ongoing works for benefit of the pilgrim tourists.

Purmandal and Utterbehni, the revered pilgrim spots receive a sizable number of pilgrim tourists every year. The Holy Devika river flows through these spots known as Gupt Ganga, this river flows from Gouri-Qund, Sudmahadev through Udhampur. The famous temple situated at Purmandal known as Chota Kashi is associated with the King Vinay Dutt of Awantipora.

The Minister was accompanied by Minister of State for Tourism Jamm & Kashmir, Member Legislative Assembly, Samba, Deputy Commissioner, Chief Executive Officer, Surinsar & Mansar Development Authority (SMDA), and other senior officers.

The Minister inaugurated Children Park at Utterbehni that has been built at a cost of Rs 18 lakh.

The Minister said that a budgeted accommodation would be constructed to facilitate the visiting pilgrims at Utterbehni. He said a project report of Rs 2 crore has been submitted to the Union Ministry of Tourism and after receiving the nod its construction would be taken up on immediate basis. He said about Rs one crore would be spent in Utterbehni and Purmandal on creating various facilities during current fiscal. He said that a bridge and footpath over Devika River would be constructed for the pilgrims, adding that a Project Report of Rs 1.5 crore is being submitted to the Centre for approval.

The Minister, while taking stock of the facilities being provided to the pilgrims at Utterbehni, directed SMDA to ensure development of the park as also protection bunds and cleanliness at the site. He also instructed for construction of a pond at Purmandal for the Holy dip of pilgrim. During inspection the Minister was apprised that Rs 79 lakh have been incurred for development and execution of two bathing ghats, two toilet blocks and a public park at Utterbehani while Rs 54 lakh have been spent on construction of bathing ghat, children-park and view points at Purmandal.

The Ministers also visited Birpur temple and took stock of the facilities. They issued instructions for development of the pond and a theme park to be laid in front of the temple.

Source: Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, November 27, 2009

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