J&K for Golf Tourism

Jammu,November 18: Stressing on diversification of tourism related activities in the State, the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora has said that Jammu and Kashmir is blessed with natural lush green plains and meadows, making it an ideal destination for golf tourism.

Speaking, while inspecting the laying of the first phase of Sidhra Golf Course, here today, the Minister said, “Golf Tourism has taken a flight in our State due to its wonderful locations and we need to develop proper infrastructure to attract western as well as domestic tourists”.

The 18 hole golf course, spread over 1400 kanals of land, is being developed at an estimated cost of Rs. 44 crore. In the first phase, the 9 hole golf course will become operational in December this year.

The Minister said that Sidhra Golf Course, being developed as per the international standards, will have all the modern facilities. He said golf course will be easily accessible and provide an opportunity to our youth to take up the sport, in a big way. He said that being a high end sport, it will generate much needed foreign exchange for the State.

Mr. Jora said that it was his third visit to review the progress of work on the golf course, adding that the Government is exploring all possibilities to diversify tourism sector in the State by venturing into adventure tourism, golf tourism, eco-tourism etc.  He said that public-private partnerships are being invited to explore the adventure sport’s potential in the State.

Outlining Jammu’s tourism potential, the Minister made a specific reference to the pilgrim tourism gaining momentum in the region. “Jammu, the city of temples, attracts a number of pilgrims to pay obeisance at various holy shrines. We need to tap this enormous advantage and create facilities for extending their stay”, said the Minister. He stressed on taking measures for extending the stay of pilgrims by offering them attractive packages, golf being one of them.

While reviewing the work of Rs. 15 crore first phase of Sidhra Golf Course, Mr. Jora was informed that the work on the project began in September 2007 and so far Rs. 11 crore have been utilized. He was told that a recreation club would be also constructed as part of the golf course at a cost of Rs. 6.50 crore, which will have the facilities of restaurant, change hall, office and party hall besides other facilities.

Mr. Jora stressed on proper landscaping of the course by plantation of ornamental trees and flower beds in and around the course. He instructed the Tourism authorities to maintain close co-ordination with Floriculture and Forest departments, so as to give a picturesque look to the golf course. He directed the concerned authorities to expedite the upgradation of link road to the golf course and said that all necessary facilities like swimming pool, eco-park, theme and amusement parks and guest houses would be also developed in a phased manner outside the golf course for the facility of sports lovers.

From Etalaat

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