Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has accorded sanction to the engagement of more than 350 persons as Tourist Assistance Group (TAG) with the state authorities making it a joint venture of Police and Tourism department. 

Sources informed that the monthly wages of such persons who have been engaged on casual basis has been finalised as 6000 rupees per month with the fifty percent of their wages being given by the department of tourism and fifty percent by the police department.

Meanwhile, list of 344 persons, in possession of KNS, reads that the selected persons have been engaged as SPOs in the police department and a request to the DGP was made by IG Kashmir on June 18 this year that 50 more posts of SPOs for Tourist Assistance Group (TAG) may be sanctioned to Kashmir Zone.

The order enclosed with the list of 344 selected persons maintains that concerned district SSP will issue formal engagement orders in respect of these individuals against the available vacancy of additional quota provided vide ZPHQ order number 262 of 2015 dated 23-04-2015 after observing all required formalities.

The initial engagement has been made in district Srinagar, Anantnag, Ganderbal and Baramulla. There are 150 candidates hailing from Srinagar, 134 are from Anantnag, 30 from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and 30 from Baramulla.

When contacted the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani told KNS that the police department has engaged around 350 persons as Tourist Assistance Group (TAG) and their wages shall be provided by the police department itself. “ The group shall provide assistance to the tourists who visit Kashmir valley,” confirmed the IG.

When asked whether the group shall provide security to the tourists or shall act as tourist guides, Gilani said that the function of the group shall be to provide assistance to the tourists who visit various places of Kashmir valley.

When asked what criteria was adopted for the selection of such persons, IG said the concerned SP’s of the districts wherefrom the people have come, selected them. He added that as per the qualification, the selection has been made. “Also the selected candidate had to be a local of the area wherein he has to operate,” Gilani added.

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