Rs 30 Cr Gondola project to connect heritage sites of Jammu


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NOW THE EYE IS ON CITY OF TEMPLE
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*The aim is to involve the use of latest technology which will save the use of soil space and forests and maximum use of air space will be taken in consideration: Kotwal

*State Government is also trying to get permission for construction of ropeway project at Shankaracharyaji, Srinagar from Government of India so that this project could also be taken up in hand.

*All Jammu Hotels & Lodges Association flays the inordinate delay being caused in implementation of the rope way project.

*Develop Manda Wildlife Sanctuary into a National Wild Life Park which has been already agreed by the Central Government.

By Ajmer Alam Wani

JAMMU, NOV 12: Already in the top tourist destinations of the world, the Jammu and Kashmir State will soon shine for another tourist attraction initiative being taken by the state government.

Though the initiative was taken in the year 1995 but now it has been relocated keeping in view the present days requirements and increasing flow of pilgrim tourists in the city of temples. The Jammu and Kashmir state is already famous for the world's highest cable car service at Gulmarg and now the initiative is to promote the tourism in Jammu.

The state government has proposed a cable car project worth Rs 30 crore which is aimed to connect the heritage sites like Baghe-e-Bahi and Mubarak Mandi complex besides others across the city of temples. Gondola, a cable car project will connect Mubarak Mandi, Mahamaya Termple, Bagh-e-Bahu, Bawe Wali Mata Temple, Peerkho temple which will attract the visiting Vaishno Devi pilgrims.

Officials said that the blue print for this project was first prepared in 1995 and initially the cable car was to take off from Mubarak Mandi, but after the declaration of Mubarak Mandi and Bahu Fort as heritage sites, the project had was to be relocated.

A committee has been constituted for identifying new sites for constructing lower and upper terminals for the proposed ropeway,” said Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Pawan Kotwal.

The divisional administration is focusing on making the project self-sustainable by generating its own revenue. This would improve the economy of the region by creating varied avenues for the people associated with the tourism industry. The designing the project is being made in such a manner that it can retain the tourists for more time in the city of the temples by developing attraction sites at Aquarium, Bagh-e-Bahu, Mahamaya temple Manda, Peerkho and Sidhra Golf course.

Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Pawan Kotwal when asked said that the work is yet to start and the cost may increase.

“The aim is to involve the use of latest technology which will save the use of soil space and forests and maximum use of air space will be taken in consideration” Kotwal added.

This will be second cable car project in the state after Gulmarg. Relevant to mention here that an amount of above Rs 8 crore has been earned by the Cable Car Corporation as revenue by mid September this year as against Rs 5.73 crore last financial year with number of operational cable cars increased from 40 to 86 during current fiscal.

State Government is also trying to get permission for construction of ropeway project at Shankaracharyaji, Srinagar from Government of India so that this project could also be taken up in hand. Construction of ropeway project at Makhdoom Sahib Shrine at Srinagar and construction of ropeway for Aishmuqam Shrine has already been approved.

On the other hand All Jammu Hotels & Lodges Association flayed the inordinate delay being caused in implementation of the rope way project between Mubarak Mandi and Bahu-Fort. Referring to the recent meeting chaired by Divisional Commissioner Jammu Pawan Kotwal and constitution of a committee of officers, to identify the exact sites of the two ends of the rope way project, Inderjeet Khajuria, President AJHLA regretted that the blue print of the project prepared in 1995 has taken so long time in its implementation and the concerned authorities are still not decided over the actual site.

“This shows their non seriousness and apathetic attitude towards prestigious project which can provide big boost to tourism in Jammu”, he added. This delay has also escalated the estimated cost of the project from Rs. 25 crores to Rs. 30 crores. He demanded immediate taking in hand of the project and its completion in a record time.

AJHLA also demanded immediate action in developing Manda Wildlife Sanctuary into a National Wild Life ParkJammu city as an independent tourist destination, but all the projects in this regard are going at snails pace. The Association reiterated their demands for early setting up of artificial lake in river Tawi. Khajuria said that already Rs. 13 crores have been earmarked for this project and Rs. 3 crores are already allotted. But till date nothing is heard about this project. He also demanded expansion and extension of environmental park on Jammu by-pass road. The Association rued lack of adequate publicity about Aquarium at Bahu-Fort. The Association emphasized the need for early completion of all the projects, to make Jammu as independent tourist destination to off set the likely loss of business and importance to Jammu city with rail extension to Katra and train reaching there. Others who supported Khajuria included Pawan Gupta, Gen. Secretary, Ajay Gupta Sr. Vice President, H.S Manhas, Jr. Vice President, Sunil Suri, Secretary, Vikram Singh, Publicity Secretary and Baldev Treasurer. which has been already agreed by the Central Government. The Association regretted that the concerned authorities are only paying lip sympathy and indulging in rhetoric to develop

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