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Jammu Heritage Society Proposes Ambitious Tourism Development Plans to Chief Secretary

A delegation from the Jammu Heritage Society (JHS), led by its President Bhuvneshwar Gandotra, recently engaged with Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo at the Civil Secretariat in Srinagar, presenting a host of suggestions to elevate Jammu as an independent tourist destination.

Against the backdrop of major infrastructure projects like the construction of the Ring Road from Samba to Nagrota, the Express Highway from Delhi to Katra bypassing Jammu, and the anticipated extension of railways to Srinagar, Gandotra emphasized the need to capitalise on these developments to position Jammu as a standalone tourism hub.
The proposed initiatives include the promotion of Heritage Tourism at Ambaran (Akhnoor), the enhancement of the Kameshwar Temple in Akhnoor, the development of eco-tourism at Gharana Wetland, and the expansion of Suchetgarh Border Tourism. The delegation also advocated for Railway Tourism from Kala Kendra to Suchetgarh and underlined the importance of developing religious sites such as Utterbeni and Purmandal, commonly referred to as Chotta Kashi.

Gandotra further suggested opening Bahu Fort for public water sports at Ranjit Sagar Dam and exploring the tourism potential of Shahadra Sharif in Rajouri and Buddha Amarnath in Poonch. Additionally, he pointed out the need for attention to water parks in Bajalta, Sidhra, and Jhajjar Kotli, while urging expedited completion of the tourism circuit comprising Mantalai, Krimchi, Pancheri, Mansar, and Surinsar lakes.

Addressing concerns about security infrastructure affecting tourist perceptions, Gandotra urged the removal of security towers and police vans at the Raghunath Temple. He also proposed the creation of a trademark and souvenir for Mubarak Mandi, along with the establishment of a single starting point and an advanced calendar for tourism activities in the upcoming season.

Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo assured the delegation of a patient hearing and pledged to issue necessary directives to relevant departments, especially Tourism, Culture, and Archives. The deputation included Ajesh Rohmetra (General Secretary, JHS), Sanjay Gupta (President, RBBA), Amit Goel (General Secretary, RBBA), and Sanjay Sethi (Executive Member). The meeting signifies a collaborative effort to unlock Jammu’s tourism potential and contribute to the region’s economic growth.

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