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Officials of Tourism Department in Jammu sabotaging projects

Last Updated on December 9, 2020 at 9:36 pm

A few years back, many tourism sector projects were sanctioned under the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for the Jammu region. It is now being alleged that a few officers of the Tourism Department at the Civil Secretariat sabotaged these projects and the Government has failed to check their activities.

Projects which were sent to the Government of India for funding under Phase-II of the PMDP were not followed up. As a result, nothing concrete as a result of these projects for promotion of tourism in this part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir could be witnessed. Also Read: This lake in Jammu dug by Arjun’s son 12,000 years ago will now promote tourism

According to the official sources under Phase-I of the Prime Minister’s Development Package projects for development of tourist facilities at Bhagwati Nagar, Suchetgarh, Siarh Baba Reasi, Jhajjar Kotli, Pul Doda and Pancheri etc were sanctioned many years back and were allotted the work accordingly.

Contractors complain that more than 80% of the total work of these projects has been completed by them but only 20% to 30% payment has been released till date. Contractors are finding it very hard to complete the projects without releasing of funds. No clear reason has been given by the government officials for such inefficiency. Also Read: Paragliding can sustain tourism in Sanasar, Bhaderwah and other parts of Jammu

Sources informed that some officers of the Tourism Department say that funds have been delayed due to procedural formalities. However, other officials allege the Administrative Department has funds but not releasing them because of sabotage by officers who deal with the planning and financial aspects of the Tourism Department at the Secretariat level.

Sources say that if there is procedural delay then its responsibility lies on the Administrative Department and if the payment is not released for submission of Utilization Certificates (UCs) to the Government of India then its responsibility also lies on those who deal with such matters at the Civil Secretariat. Also Read: These spots can raise the bar of tourism in Jammu

Even High Court has chided the Tourism Department  for lack of any tourism strategy in Jammu region, still the department has not shown any interest in timely completion of projects.

A larger question which hunts everyone is that with such a casual approach by its officials, how the Government would promote tourism in Jammu region. Many are wishing that the Lieutenant Governor and the Chief Secretary should intervene in the matter so that there is no further sabotage of the Jammu projects by some inefficient officers of the Tourism Department.