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JAMMU: Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti today stressed for preserving and restoring existing tourism infrastructure, besides taking innovative measures to develop and boost the vital industry of J&K.  The Minister said this while chairing a meeting of consultants of Darashaw Consultancy to explore the possibilities to develop an eco-tourism circuit in Jammu and Kashmir State.


The consultants apprised the Minister about possibilities of regional planning, Urban Planning and Smart City Plans to develop sustainable, echo friendly and economy generating tourism infrastructure in the State. The consultants apprised the Minister about their vision towards the development of world-class tourism infrastructure in the state and said that the company is currently providing consultancy services to the various states under the flagship schemes of the Ministry of Tourism including PRASAD & SWADESH DARSHAN.


The Minister sought suggestion and details regarding the possibilities to develop better tourist destinations in the State, besides maintaining its rich heritage, habitat, diverse flora and fauna existing in the area. Tassaduq Mufti asked also asked the consultants to give details regarding the better Infrastructure, maintenance, Preservation, renovation, Planning, Design Engineering, Energy & Environment Development, Asset Management, survey and Technical Research for the sustainable and eco-friendly tourism infrastructure development in the state.


He stressed for promoting cultural and heritage value of the State to generate livelihoods, besides eencouraging responsible, sustainability and conservation activities in the State. The Minister asked for organizing training and motivation programmes to encourage and guide locals and tourists to opt for the paying guest accommodation facilities. He Minister stressed for developing renovating preserving, and promoting sustainable tourism infrastructure by involving local stake holders.


Mufti stressed for bio-stabilisation of roads, vegetation and plantation, besides up-gradation and renovation of the departmental assets, capacity building programmes, management of the assets and promotional activities being taken up by the concerned for tourism industry development in the State. He said that the ground staff service conditions should also be improved so that they could serve the in a more professional manner, besides taking care of maintenance, landscape, plantation, sanitation and proper waste management.


He stressed for making teams to conduct recce, surveys and research for better planning and developing aesthetically rich structures in the area to boost and develop sustainable tourism infrastructure. Representatives of Darashwa Consultancy including Assocaite Vice Prisedent Vikram Thapar, Associate Urban Planner Cosultancy Division Himalaya Chowdhary Senior Associate Vice President Artictect Urban Designing Chirag Kapadia and  Senior Associate Urban Planning & GIS Analyst Parvaiz Ahamd Bhat and various concerned official were present in the meeting.

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SRINAGAR: The Sixth Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting of J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA) on the preservation of Dal and Nigeen lakes was held today at SKICC. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of SAC Chairman and Ex. Member National Green Tribunal New Delhi (NGT) Dr A.R Yousuf, VC LAWDA Dr A.H Masoodi, Advisor to CM Pradeep Singh, Senior Advocate Zaffar Shah, Members of SAC: Dr D.P. Zutshi, Dr. G. Balachandar, Dr Pinaka Sar, Dr Ashok Kumar Pandita, Mohammad Shafi Bacha, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, Dr Manzoor Ahmad Shah, Conservator Forests Irfan Ali Shah and HOD NIT Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Rather.


Besides, the meeting was also attended by experts, officials of LAWDA and Forest Department. Threadbare discussions were held on various aspects of the conservation of Dal lake like deweeding and uprooting of Lily pads, occurrence and infestation of Azolla, Algal bloom, Water analysis, vegetation mapping, Assessment of pesticides and conversion of de-weeded material, vision document, monitoring of pesticide residues, Biodiversity and conversion of Dal weed into compost.


Prominent Lawyer Zaffar Shah stressed on the need to create mass awareness to preserve Dal and Nigeen lakes for the future generation. On the occasion, VC LAWDA highlighted the ongoing conservation works in and around Dal and Nigeen lakes. He said that a special drive for removal of lily pads, both manually and mechanically, has been started from August 2017 and so far one sq km area has been cleared.


He further said that the department is working round-the-clock on strengthening of the research and monitoring division, procurement of latest types of equipment, removal of Azolla and other pesticides in the lake waters and other preventive measures are being taken to save native fish species in the lake that are being carved out in a result-oriented manner so that the pristine glory of Dal and Nigeen lakes is restored. 

Later, Ecologists from International Institute of Sustainable Development Switzerland Laurin Wuewnenberg & George Pallaske made a power-point presentation about the conservation of Dal and Nigeen lakes on the scientific lines. The chairman SAC emphasized on the need of cross-checking different research and studies before embarking on the adoption of their recommendations on a large scale. He said that Consultants engaged for the preparation of vision document should discuss in detail any shortcomings pointed out by the SAC members and come out with necessary corrective measures.

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  • Preservation of Chinar tree a duty of every conscientious Kashmiri: Javaid Mustafa Mir

SRINAGAR: A valley-wide campaign to save Chinar trees was launched today with wide-scale plantation of Chinar saplings, a symbol of the famed heritage of Kashmir. At Srinagar, Minister for Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction and Floriculture, Javaid Mustafa Mir today kick-started the plantation drive by planting a Chinar sapling at Emporium Garden here. The Minister was the chief guest at a function organized by Department of Floriculture themed “Plant a Chinar, Plant a hope” which was attended by Director Floriculture, Kashmir, Mathura Masoom, Noted poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef and other concerned officials, besides farmers from various areas.


On the occasion, Mir was informed that the Department starts Chinar plantation drive every year on March 15 and distributes 10,000 free Chinar saplings among the people and various government departments. She said that this year Floriculture Department has set target more than previous years. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that there is a need to plant more trees in order to create the eco-friendly environment. He said that preservation of Chinar tree must be a duty of every conscientious Kashmiri and by planting more Chinar trees, “we are doing some good for the future generations.”


Later, the Minister also released the booklet on Chinar trees “The Majestic Chinar of Kashmir” which was published by Department of Floriculture, Kashmir. At Bandipora, District Development Commissioner Sajad Hussain kick-started the Drive by planting a Chinar sapling at the Mini Secretariat premises Bandipora. On the occasion, the DDC was informed that Floriculture Department is providing 250 Chinar saplings to schools and other Government institutions free of cost in the district.


It was said that the district has 1491 Chinars as per the census conducted by Floriculture Department during 2017-18. At Baramulla, the drive was initiated by Deputy Commissioner Dr Nasir Ahmad Naqash at Government Degree College for Boys.  The drive is being organized by Floriculture department under which chinars will be planted at several places across the district. Principal GDC for Boys Prof Fazlul-Rahim, District Floriculture Officer Shakeel Samoon, officers of various departments and other concerned were present on the occasion.


The DC said that the drive has been launched with the purpose to revive the Chinar plantation in the district. He urged the concerned to plant the tree at appropriate places, besides highlighting its positive impact on the environment. At Shopian, Floriculture Department carried out the plantation drive in the premises of District Administrative Complex Shopian. Speaking on the occasion, the District Development Commissioner, Mohammad Aijaz highlighted the importance of plantation and advised the masses to not only plant more and more saplings but also look after them for making the drive a success.


During the plantation drive, saplings of Chinar trees were planted by the DDC. All the participants also pledged to plant more and more saplings, besides protecting the environment for future generations. Among others, Assistant Floriculture Officer, officials of the department, besides a large number of locals participated in the drive. At Kupwara, the drive was organized by Department of Floriculture at Handwara in which Additional Deputy Commissioner Handwara was the chief guest. The ADC kick-started the drive at Government Degree College, Handwara by planting Chinar sapling in the premises of the College.


On the occasion, ADC highlighted the positive impact of Chinar trees on the environment. He was informed that the Floriculture Department shall plant 350 saplings at Handwara while as 1250 Chinar saplings are being planted across the district as a part of the drive. Meanwhile, similar functions and plantation drives highlighting the significance and importance of Chinar trees were held in all the districts of the Valley.