J&K is as peaceful as any other state of country: Mufti Mohammad SayeedGulmarg: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said the state was as peaceful as any other state of the country and the government would channelise the collective energies of all regions for
Gulmarg: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said the state was as peaceful as any other state of the country and the government would channelise the collective energies of all regions for building on peace dividends.
“Jammu and Kashmir is as peaceful state as others in the country. The atmosphere here is totally peaceful. The law and order here is better than in many states of the country,” Sayeed said here.
The Chief Minister was addressing a Tourism Enclave at the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir's Baramulla district.
Sayeed said the state was at the cusp of change and efforts would be made for building peace through development.
“Jammu and Kashmir is at the cusp of change and this new government will channelise the collective energies of the three regions - Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh - for building on peace dividends through a concerted development effort, particularly in the tourism sector,” he said.
The Chief Minister said peaceful atmosphere in the state was a pre-requisite for tourism.
“Tourism is our priority and a peaceful atmosphere is a pre-requisite for it. There will be a face change here in many ways. The first things that the tourists see after coming out of the airport are the stringent security measures. He gets the impression that there are guns and lathis everywhere. I will see to it that the atmosphere gets changed. Tourists will not be welcomed by lathis and guns,” he said.
Describing Jammu and Kashmir tourism as a perfect vehicle that only needs a good driver, he said his government would put the state firmly on the pedestal of global benchmarks.
“The prime objective is to improve the economy of the state and provide gainful employment to people, who are the principle stakeholders,” he said.
The Chief Minister expressed concern over the skyrocketing air fares in the peak tourist season and requested the Union Tourism Minister, who also holds the charge of Civil Aviation Ministry, to explore operating Srinagar-Jeddah flights for facilitating Umrah pilgrims.
“I urge the Union Minister to consider operating additional flights on Delhi-Srinagar, Delhi-Jammu and Delhi-Leh circuits to counter costly air fares. We are taking up with authorities concerned the issue of starting night landing facilities at both Srinagar and Jammu airports to increase footfall of tourists,” he said.
He said he has already announced a ‘Single Window' for speedy environmental and other statutory clearances to facilitate flow of private investment in high-end tourism sector projects.
“We are committed to reducing regulatory complexities and costs apart from easing bureaucratic barriers. Till the master plans are finalised, the government will explore increasing eco-friendly intake capacity by resorting to tented accommodation and eco-cottages. We will also request the courts to allow constructions at the famous places like
Gulmarg and Pahalgam which do not violate the master plan,” he said.
Sayeed criticised the media of creating a negative perception of floods in Kashmir outside the state.
“There was flood last year which caused destruction. Now, this time the government responded to the situation. It was water logging but the perception went out that there was flood. Media also played a part in creating that perception to some extent,” he said.
“If you (media) want that there should be good atmosphere in the state, then you will have to tell the people that there was no flood,” the CM said.
He said, “The tourism is the greatest healing touch. It instantly benefits the people. Be it a houseboat owner, ponywala, driver or a hotelier. It has a multiplier effect”.