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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today directed the tourism department and its allied agencies to focus on development of catchment areas while upgrading and building facilities at various tourist spots. This would enable the locals in becoming equal partners and stakeholders in promoting tourism across the state, she said. Chairing a meeting of Yousmarg, Wullar and Manasbal, Lolab, Bangus and Drangyari Tourism Development Authorities here, Mufti directed them to raise minimum concrete structures at tourist spots and develop each destination vis a vis its own speciality. She told them to ensure that the infrastructure being raised was in sync with the local culture and architectural pattern. State ministers Abdul Haq Khan, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura and Sajad Gani Lone, and legislators Usman Majeed, Rasheed, Raja Manzoor, Farooq Mirchal, Ishfaq Jabbar and Bashir Ahmad Dar were present in the meeting. The chief minister told the CEOs of these authorities to devise tourism packages particularly for school students, adventure lovers and youth from within and outside the state so that footfall at tourism spots increases steadily. She directed clearing encroachments at tourist spots and take tough measures to check pollution at these places. Mufti also directed promoting pilgrim tourism. Terming Bungus a world class tourist destination, the chief minister told the officials concerned to maintain its unadulterated aesthetic appeal. She directed preservation of the ancestral place of Hazrat Maulana Anwar Shah Kashmiri as a heritage house and submission of a conservation project of a spring at Trehgam for approval. Mufti also directed transfer of all assets developed at the tourist destination to Tourism Department for their better upkeep. At the meeting, she directed the tourism department to explore the tourism potential of Nilnag, near Yousmarg and create facilities there. To boost tourism in Budgam district, Charar i Sharief is being developed as a destination for pilgrims, Mufti said.
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