Advisor Baseer Khan reviews functioning of Tourism Development Authorities

SRINAGAR: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan today chaired a meeting to review functioning of all the Tourism Development Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Department Kashmir Dr G. N. Itoo, Managing Director JKTDC Nisar Ahmad Wani, CEOs of all Tourism Development Authorities and General Manager Cable Car Corporation. Officers from Jammu attended the meeting through video conferencing.

During the meeting, the Advisor passed on directions to the CEOs for improvement of services in their respective areas for the better experience of tourists. He said that CEOs need to be self driven and take initiatives for improving services, besides exploring new tourist destinations.

He also directed them to display the relevant information like contact numbers of the officers. Also, complaint boxes should be installed at the designated locations at all the tourist destinations. He said that the public utilities at the tourist spots should be in working order, neat and clean and proper mechanism should be in place for garbage disposal and sewage treatment.

He said that the Tourism sector has been designated as a priority sector for Covid vaccination and was informed by the Secretary Tourism that 85 percent of people associated with the travel trade have been vaccinated. Emphasising that there is no dearth of vaccines, Advisor asked the officers to ensure that 100 percent of the people associated with the trade should be vaccinated for maximum security. He also said that it is heartening to see people are following Covid appropriate behaviour and have started going to tourist spots but we must not lower our guard under any circumstances regarding Covid protocols and officers should remain proactive in ensuring that Covid measures are taken meticulously.

The Advisor said that the idea of conceiving Development Authorities was to have systematic development of tourist locations and exploration of new destinations. He said that the CEOs of the Development Authorities are the custodians of their respective master plans and they should remain vigilant in all respects. He directed them to report violations and take strict cognizance of any violation taking place in their areas of jurisdiction.

The Advisor directed the CEO’s that they should maintain inventories of their infrastructure and come up with a concept plan delineating each and every parameter determining the shortcomings so that a road map is formalized and adopted to improve upon all the aspects for betterment of the tourist resorts and to enhance the tourist experiences.

Emphasising upon the concept paper he directed the CEOs from both the divisions to submit it within a week encompassing all the details like infrastructure, tourism potential, short and long term plans, accommodation, connectivity, sanitation among other things of their respective Authorities. He said that this would give us an idea about the whole tourism sector in all respects and we will be in a better position to evaluate the situation and prepare our way forward. He directed both the Directors of Tourism Kashmir as well as Jammu to compile the information and send it to the Administrative department within ten days.

Advisor took a brief from each CEO about the facilities available at the tourist spots and discussed in detail the works plans, status of Master plans, Status of STPs, Tourist grievance redress mechanism, wayside amenities and new initiatives taken for improving tourist service. He stressed on the quality infrastructure and future plans of each development authority.

The Advisor also asked the CEOs to focus on adventure tourism and keep adventure equipments available at the tourist locations for purpose of hiring to the tourists interested in adventure tourism.

The Advisor also directed the officers to strictly adhere to the given timelines and complete their respective projects within the stipulated time. He asked the authorities to work in a coordinated manner and expedite the works of the ongoing projects under PMDP and other centrally sponsored projects so that they are completed within the given timelines.