JAMMU, OCTOBER 06: Secretary Tourism, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, today visited Gharana Wetland and Suchetgarh Border to take stock of development works being executed in these tourist destinations.
Secretary led a delegation to the picturesque eco-tourism spot of Gharana Wetland and Suchetgarh border to oversee progress on various development projects besides assessing facilities available there for the visitors in these key tourist spots of the UT.
The visit was a part of ongoing efforts of the government towards enhancing the eco and border tourism circuit under the ‘Development of Border Tourism’ initiative.
Secretary was accompanied by Special Secretary Tourism, Amarjeet Singh, DIG BSF, Chattar Pal, Special Secretary Culture, Trishla Kundal, Deputy Director Tourism (Admin), Dr. Umesh Shan,T Sonam, Commandant BSF Jammu sector and several other officers and prominent locals.
During this extensive tour, Secretary meticulously assessed the status of various development projects aimed at transforming Gharana Wetland and Suchetgarh area into major border tourism destinations in Jammu. These projects included construction of paved pathways to the complex, creation of scenic viewpoints besides installation of focus lights, high mast light and solar lights.
Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah emphasized the importance of active public participation, particularly the youth, in effective development of such splendid tourist spots. “Gharana and Suchetgarh have immense historic significance and tourism potential in the region. It is our earnest endeavor to accelerate development efforts in these areas with a sustainable perspective, tapping into their vast potential, he maintained”.
Engaging with members of civil society and local representatives, Secretary Tourism stressed the need for all stakeholders to collaborate with government agencies to further increase tourist footfall in the region.
During the interaction, he directed for installation of India’s tallest flag and creation of a pond at the Octroi post to enhance the region’s allure.
Deputy Director Tourism provided insights into the ongoing development works highlighting collaborative efforts of the department with the BSF authorities, local administration, religious organizations and Dharmarth Trusts. ‘Synergy between the Tourism Department and BSF authorities was acknowledged as instrumental in facilitating the smooth execution of development projects in the area’.
Warden wildlife Jammu ,Anil Attri informed that a slew of measures has been initiated by the wildlife protection department to promote tourist footfall in Gharana wetland like development of parking facilities, construction of separate road out of village for easy access to wetland by the visitors, procurement of 2 portable toilet units, installation of signages and display boards along the roads and crossings for wider publicity. Besides, various programs are being organised by the department for creating awareness and promoting eco tourism in the area. Also, registration of wetland society, development of eco park, nature interpretation centre, cafeteria, watch towers, viewing decks, children play area are in process of development.
Later, Secretary also took the opportunity to engage with local representatives, attentively listening to their concerns and demands, including fund availability and other issues. He assured them that the government would earnestly address all genuine grievances and demands brought forward.
During his visit, he, in a bid to immerse himself in the authentic local experience, partook in a delectable feast of indigenous cuisine within one of the quaint villages.
Besides, Secretary directed the officers to plan a festival during Christmas at Gharana wetland.
Secretary’s visit to Gharana Wetland and Suchetgarh demonstrates the government’s unwavering commitment towards realizing the immense tourism potential of these historic sites. The collaborative efforts of all stakeholders and the local community are expected to pave the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for these border tourism destinations.