Violence hurting JK’s economy : Mehbooba Mufti

Violence hurting JK's economy - Mehbooba MuftiAgainst the backdrop of terror attack on CRPF bus, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said violence is hurting the state’s economic interests, with tourism being the biggest casualty, and sought the support of the people in maintaining peace.

“Unfortunately, the state’s tourism and business fraternity has to suffer the brunt when atmosphere of peace is disturbed in the valley by violent incidents,” Ms Mufti said while talking to the members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism, Transport and Culture in Srinagar.

She noted that tourism is directly linked to economic revival and Jammu and Kashmir has been gifted by the God with breath-taking scenic beauty and water resources which need to be harnessed judiciously for tourism promotion.

Seeking support of the people of the state in maintaining peace, she said, “Tourism spreads best by the word of mouth and the players associated with the industry have played a key role in establishing a feel-good factor among the tourists.”

Her comments assume significance as these came against the backdrop of terror attack on CRPF bus in Pampore on Saturday in which eight security personnel were killed and 21 injured.

The Parliamentary Committee discussed issues pertaining to development of modern tourism infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir, an official spokesman said in Srinagar today.

Ms Mufti told the committee members that the state government is in the process of developing new tourist destinations for which it needs adequate financial and technical support from the central government.

“We will involve experts in building state-of-the-art tourism infrastructure at these new destinations,” she said.

She said the government would not, however, allow vandalising of these new resorts as “has, unfortunately, happened” with some of the most cherished tourist destinations in the state.

“We will allow only development of eco-friendly infrastructure at the upcoming tourist destinations like Tosamaidan, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Mughal Road and Bangus Valley and develop local economic stakes in tourism promotion,” she said.

The chief minister, who also holds the charge of the Tourism portfolio, said the department is conceptualising a plan to promote niche tourism activities in the state including border tourism, religious tourism and adventure tourism.