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  • Interacts with trade, travel bodies of Jammu

JAMMU: Advisor to Governor Khurshid Ahmed Ganai today said the Governor’s Administration is making all out efforts to develop and promote tourism sector in the Jammu region besides taking innovative measures to boost the vital industry in the State. The Advisor said this while chairing a joint meeting of tourism stakeholders and senior officers of Tourism Department.

Secretary Tourism, RigzianSampheal, Director Tourism Jammu, O P Bhagat, Managing Director JKTDC, Asif Hamid Khan, Deputy Director Tourism besides senior functionaries of Tourism and concerned departments attended the meeting. The representatives from tourism industry included Hotels, Restaurant, Bar and Lodges Associations from Katra, Bhaderwah, Patnitop, Tour and Travel Association, Jammu Heritage Society, Raghunath Bazaar Traders Association, Chamber of Industries and Commerce, Taxi operator Association and others.

The meeting discussed various strategies for the promotion of tourism in Jammu including arrangement for successful conduct of Jammu festival. Representatives of trade, travel, hotel associations put forth their suggestions and demands including improvement of  basic facilities at Shiv Khori, promotion of Border tourism, publishing  tourist information brochures, organizing trade fairs, road shows, invitation to media houses for wide publicity of tourism destinations, up-gradation of road connectivity of  tourist circuits, helipad services toPatnitop and Mantalai, calendar of activities of tourism department, establishment of Hotel Management Institute in the region, preservation and promotion of Buddhist Heritage at Akhnoor, BhimGarh Fort at Reasi, constitution of Kailash-Machail Shrine Board, light and sound show at Bagh-e-Bahu, promotion of scenic beauty along Mughal road besides many others.

To increase tourist footfall in the region, the Advisor observed that the ongoing work on prestigious tourism projects like restoration of Mubarak Mandi complex, Jammu Ropeway should be completed on fast track. He directed Secretary Tourism to closely monitor work on Jammu Ropeway Project and gear up men and machinery for its commissioning in January 2019. The Advisor called for organizing winter sports and allied activities at Patnitop in collaboration with Department of Youth Services and Sports to attract tourists.

He directed the concerned officers to prepare Detailed Project Report for the improvement of road infrastructure in the tourist bound destinations and circuits. He also observed that the luxury buses should also ply on major tourism destinations for the convenience of the tourists. Having huge tourism potential in erstwhile district Doda, the Advisor said that he will personally visit Bhaderwah to take stock of tourism related facilities available there.

The Advisor appreciated their ideas and suggestions and said that both the department and the trade bodies would work as a unit to promote Jammu tourism. The Advisor said that hotels and lodges are an integral part of tourism sector, and all stakeholders associated with the tourism industry have a significant role to play for promotion of tourism. The trade representatives also projected their several issues pertaining to renewal of registration, obtaining certification from pollution control board besides demanding recognition of hotels as industries so that they can avail the same benefits. The Advisor assured that government will take every possible step to get their grievances redressed.

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  • Dr Samoon takes stock of measures to ensure effective traffic management

JAMMU: To arrest the trend of traffic accidents and ensure effective traffic management in the state, the State Government for the first time released Rs 8 crore under Road Safety Fund. This information was given at a high-level meeting chaired by Principal Secretary Transport, Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon.  The meeting was attended by IGP Traffic, Alok Kumar, Additional Transport Commissioner, Ajaz Abdullah, Additional Secretary Transport, Ashok Kumar, Additional Secretary Technical (Police), R K Bhat, Additional Secretary, PWD Technical Mushtaq Ahmed, Director Finance Transport, Mahesh Kumar, RTO Jammu, Deep Raj and other officers. 

RTO Kashmir AhmudullahTak, ARTO Kathua, R K Thappa also participated in the meeting through video conferencing. The initiative is in tune with the directions of the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety which has called for establishment of non-lapsable Road Safety Fund in the States. Threadbare discussion was held in the meeting regarding the effective utilization of fund for different activities and purchase of equipment for road safety measures.

The meeting decided to release Rs 2.5 crore for establishment of traffic and design wings in Transport Commissioner’s office at Srinagar and Jammu for effective planning of traffic management in Kashmir and Jammu regions. For mobile checking of pollution standards of vehicles, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for purchasing smoke meters/ gas analyzers, tyre depth gauges, route survey etc.

To create awareness regarding traffic rules, Rs one lakh has been released to each Regional Transport commissioners, Assistant Transport Commissioner for conducting activities and programmes regarding road safety in their respective areas. For enforcing traffic discipline and checking violations on the roads, Rs 1 crore has been earmarked for fabrication of interceptor on a vehicle.  The other accessories and equipment which would be part of the vehicle include roof light bar with siren, cordless mike, One KVA with light bar with siren, cord less Mike, Speed hunter -III plus-speed laser gun, breath alcohol analyzer and others.

Stressing on the digitization and promptness of law enforcement, Dr Samoon called for equipping traffic and MVD personnel with latest gadgets for checking violators.  He called for including heavy duty torches/ warning lights, reflective jackets, breath analyzers, speed guns, Pollution checking mobile man, portable weigh bridges and other items. He also directed for release of Rs 12.8 crore to IGP traffic for purchase of Hill recovery cranes for use at Zojila, Jawahar Tunnel, Banihal-Ramban, Ramban- Nashri, Nashri-Udhampur, Rajouri-Poonch, Mughal Road, Leh and other places.

For effective regulation, traffic management in Srinagar, Jammu cities Dr Samoon also directed for hiring sufficient number of towing cranes, e-challaning machines, interceptive vehicles fitted with modern gadgets. He also reviewed the construction of RTO and Transport Commissioners office in Srinagar and called for speeding up the works. During the meeting Dr Samoon called for enhancing the capacity building of transport department besides strict enforcement of traffic rules to minimize the road accident deaths.

Expressing concern over the deaths on the highways, DrSamoon called for survey of vulnerable spots on these roads and directed for measures to avoid accidents at these places. Dr Samoon was also informed that 20 engineers have been trained on construction of roads keeping in view road safety. It is pertinent to mention that Governor’s administration has recently notified the rules for operationalization of the Road Safety Fund to ensure effective implementation Jammu and Kashmir State Road Safety Council Act-2018.

Road Safety Fund has provision for allocation of expenditure for implementation of road safety related schemes, programmes, projects, purchase and installation of equipment and devises connected with road safety, conduct of studies, projects and research on matters relating to road safety, trauma-care programmes or activities, etc.

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SRINAGAR: The workers of a right-wing group on Friday tried to manhandle a senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and member of legislative council (MLC) in Jammu. Several workers of Bajrang Dal raised slogans as they tried to manhandle Firdous Tak who was heading towards Jammu Press Club for a news conference. However, policemen escorted Tak into the press club safely by preventing the protesters from heckling him. The charged up protesters alleged that Tak had made some made anti-Jammu remarks.