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JAMMU: Minister of State for Education, Tourism and Culture, Priya Sethi today stated that the government is committed to develop the places of religious importance and other tourist’s places “Efforts are afoot to tap the immense potential of pilgrim tourism in the state and putting J&K in the world map as one of the major religious tourist destination”, the Minister asserted. The Minister was speaking during the inauguration of Shiva Vatika at Peerkho costing Rs 47 lakhs executed by Floriculture department. The work included supply , installation, testing and commissioning of Red sand stone Sculpture of Lord Shiva Fountain in three layers.

 

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that the government is working with a purpose to boost the religious tourism besides providing the requisite necessary facilities not only to the tourists but also catering to the needs of everyone coming to pay their obeisance in the shrines across the state. Citing various steps undertook by the Government, the Minister said that several new initiatives including Ropeway projects, Multilevel parking, developing Bawe, Mohmaya and Peerkho as a tri-shrines on the lines of the idea once conceived by Jambhu Lochan, connecting five shrines and many more prestigious projects are underway to attract more tourists and enhance the pilgrim tourism in the region.

 

Priya said that the government is ensuring the proper augmentation of the infrastructure at religious places and working on the same line, the installation of Fountain will add to beautification of the Peerkho shrine and attract more footfalls to the holy place,the Minister maintained. She said that the recently held Peerkho mela has attracted a huge crowd and successful conduct of such events will prove to be decisive in development of Peerkho and other such historical significant places.

 

She further said that a special component has been earmarked for the tourism sector under Prime Minister's Development Package that will prove to be key factor in expansion of JK’s tourism industry. Priya said that the state government has included the development of pilgrim tourism in the development plan and is reaching out to the tourists by undertaking several promotional activities in the state as well as outside J&K.

 

Terming J&K as a unique bouquet of diverse tradition and culture, the Minister said that the state inherited the wealthy traditions and spirituality wherein several religious places are thronged by people of all faiths. A comprehensive mechanism has been put in place to promote and develop the prominent places of religious and tourist importance, she added. PeerKho shrine has been a major pilgrim tourist destination in the region and requisite measures have been taken to enhance amenities for the pilgrims, the Minister said adding that its development will act as a stimulus for the economy of the area.

 

MLA East , Rajesh Gupta,State Vice President Yudhvir Sethi, Distt President Baldev Baloria, Mahant Pir  Ravinath, Vinay Gupta, Hari Om, Shashi Khajuria and Director  Floriculture, Babila Rakwal,xen Arvind Gupta  besides prominent citizens from all walk of life and functionaries of the concerned departments were present on the occasion.

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SRINAGAR: The two-day tourism festival aimed to boost the Kashmir tourism at Pahalgam besides attracting tourists had also lend a helping hand to Kashmir based young entrepreneurs. As many as hundreds of stalls were setup by local young entrepreneurs, during the festival at Pahalgam, which otherwise is a summer resort for outing. The stalls were decorated with thatched roofs, giving them a traditional look. 

 

The tourism department made elaborate arrangements to entertain tourists and provide them an insight into the local culture and heritage. Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation, Agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture, Handicrafts, Handlooms departments also participated in the festival, with their stalls showcasing different Kashmir products. 

Speaking to KNB, Mudasir Muran who runs a handicraft and walnut showroom ‘Paradise Wood House’ said it was a great opportunity for entrepreneurs like me to be the part of the tourism festival, adding, I had installed a stall inside the club to act as an ambassador of our culture and to boost the efforts with regards to self reliance. He said there is high need to encourage more and more youth towards such initiatives.  Omaira and Binish owners of Craft World Kashmir who also had a stall at the festival with a variety of traditional crochet bootees, key chains, rubber bands, wall hangings and other items attracted the visitors said the festival depicted the great traditions and culture of Kashmir and obviously a boost to young entrepreneurs.

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SRINAGAR: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday castigated UP Politician Amar Singh for his statement on Article 370 and Muslims, terming it as provocative, biased and an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere of tranquility in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. PDP senior Vice- President Sartaj Madni in his reaction to Singh’s statement said that Jammu and Kashmir is availing the special status as per constitution and its Muslim majority character is a recognized historical reality. He said the state also has a separate constitution which symbolizes its unique position in the Indian union.

 

Madni said PDP is duty bound and committed to safeguard this special status of Jammu and Kashmir from any assault and that it has been striving since its inception to protect state’s unique identity and status as its moral duty. He said any utterances against the defined position of the state and its complexion are not only unfortunate but seditious in character and brazen attempt to undermine the trust people have reposed in the system. He said it has been abundantly made clear at several occasions to powers that people of the state will  thwart any move which is aimed at undoing the state’s constitutional position.  Any assault on the demography veiled or obvious will simply be viewed as outrageous and therefore intolerable. 

 

Observing that some communal elements are out to hurt the sentiments of Muslims in the state and country as a whole, PDP vice President warned that the communal hatred will take the country back into chaos and uncertainty and that those trying to make such bizarre attempts must be to be dealt with through positive social discourse and should also be brought to book for an exemplary punishment under the law of the land.

 “Whatever is guaranteed by the Constitution of the country has to be preserved and protected. It is the unity in diversity which will lead one and all towards the better and prosperous times in which new horizons could be scanned with eager hope and earnest efforts,” Madni said. He said Muslims of the state and Muslims elsewhere in India have immensely contributed to nation-building on principles of equity. History is replete with details on how the Muslims have shaped Indian civilization through their acknowledged contribution to its ethos, architecture and economy. India would not have been a competing economic power or a strong cultural entity but for the sacrifices given by Muslim community at the history’s crucial junctures.

 

Madni suggested that instead of making provocative statements, those who try to resurrect their dying political careers through unpleasant rhetoric and divisive agenda should work towards harmony in the society and its betterment through positive contributions. He said it is simply bizarre and unnatural to attack  Muslim majority character of the state and bound to drift the state towards separation. He said no lessons need to be given that Art.370 is a bridge between union of India and Jammu and Kashmir. Do away with it, the state has a right to fall apart, he added. . He said Amar Singh and his likes would do well by concentrating on their personal well-being than giving useless sermons on Jammu and Kashmir.

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