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In a move to bolster tourism, Mehbooba Mufti seeks direct flights from J&K to Asean countries

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Friday sought direct flight operation from the Srinagar airport to the ASEAN countries to boost tourism in the State.

In a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, she has said that in order to give fillip to the tourism industry in the State, the Centre should include the Srinagar Airport in the list of the airports in the country from where flights to ASEAN countries are to be operated.

She said that the move would give the “desired push” the tourism industry the State has been craving for. “The operation of flights from and to cities like Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore and other cities in the region would have a positive impact on the local tourism industry and bolster the State’s economy”, the letter said.

An official spokesman here said that several deputations from thetTourism industry had met the Chief Minister in last few months and requested for connectivity with ASEAN countries to tap the tourism market in the region.

In another communication to Union Agriculture Minister, Radha Mohan Singh, Mehbooba Mufti has sought continuation of Central assistance to the local poultry industry, extension of loan recovery period and waiving of interest in respect of unit holders to sustain their business which suffered heavily due to floods of 2014 besides the high cost of feed imported from neighbouring States.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Education and Toursim, Priya Sethi, said on Friday that the State government is working on developing religious places to tap pilgrim tourism potential. She said that the PDP-BJP coalition government is determined to promote historically significant religious places of worship “to tap every aspect of pilgrim tourism”.

She said, “The City of Temples Jammu has great potential in the field of tourism as edifices, monuments, religious and other scenic places, which reflect the culture and tradition”. She added that Jammu has set a great example of religious harmony and development of religious places for the promotion of pilgrim tourism in the region is the utmost priority of the government. She also said that the idea of pilgrim tourism is to showcase to the world State’s “rich and diverse spiritual and religious heritage”.

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