TANGMARG: Minister for Education, Mr Naeem Akhtar, Friday said the vastly unexplored tourism sector can and must evolve as the biggest employer in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of “Zaiqa Guest House and Restaurant” at the scenic Tangmarg locality near Gulmarg. The restaurant, built by Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) at the cost of Rs 1.4 crore, has five wood-paneled rooms, a VIP lounge and a dining hall which can accommodate individuals as well as families.
The Minister, who was accompanied by Secretary Tourism, Mr Farooq Shah, who also holds the charge of Managing Director, JKTDC, said the tourism department must construct an outdoor facility like a barbecue and coffee house at the restaurant, which can become a regular attraction for tourists as well as locals of Tangmarg.
Regretting the lack of facilities at the tourist places across the state, Mr Akhtar said the State Government is evolving a plan for round-the-year tourism to Gulmarg by improving basic amenities like water supply, power and road network.
“A gifted place such as Gulmarg can drive the engine of economy. And I am sure that with the vision of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Gulmarg will become the Davos of East,” Mr Akhtar said, adding that the renovation of Maharaja Palace at Gulmarg is underway and it will be inaugurated on December 25.
Tourism sector must become an avenue for providing employment to educated youths of the state. If all goes well, the tourism sector will evolve as the biggest employer in the state,” the Minister said.
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