JAMMU, APRIL 16- Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment Choudhary Lal Singh Saturday said that steps are afoot to promote eco-tourism activities in and around Kathua district and develop it as a major tourist destination.
This was stated by the Minister while interacting with the locals during his visit to Hatli, Tridwan, Choi, Dukhat, Bidli, Talahar, Pukhat and other areas in Kathua today.
Divisional Officers of Forests, Social Forestry, Wild Life department and District Officer Soil Conservator were present on the occasion.
Choudhary Lal Singh said Kathua is bestowed with rich flora and fauna, besides destinations having cultural and heritage importance which can attract a large number of nature lovers adding that concerted efforts will be made to develop eco-tourism sites in the district to bring it on the tourism map of the country.
The Minister said eco-tourism project also envisages public participation in the conservation of pristine nature besides providing them better employment opportunities.
Stressing for maintaining better coordination between various departments, Choudhary Lal Singh underlined the need to ensure minimum disturbance to the ecosystem and said that the rich habitats, forests, water bodies and over all natural beauty are the invaluable assets which needs to be safeguarded.
Responding to the demands projected by the locals, the Minister asked the concerned to ensure that the people do not face any problem in getting the genuine scale of timber.He directed the concerned agencies to immediately take up the works of road from Hatli to Choi road and Dukhat to Bidli via Talahar road for the convenience of people.
Earlier, at Kathua, a deputation of Brick Kiln Association met the Minister and apprised him with their issue pertaining to issuance of online NOC from Pollution Control Board.
Choudhary Lal Singh directed the concerned to ensure putting in place on-line system to maintain transparency and avoid undue delays in issuing these permissions. He directed for regular inspection of industrial units to ensure strict implementation of pollution norms.
Later, Choudhary Lal Singh also conducted a public grievances redressal camp and took stock of the problems of the villagers of Dukhat, Badli, Pukhat, Hatli, Tridwan, Choi, Dukhat, Bidli, Talahar, Pukhat and its adjoining areas.
He gave necessary directions to the concerned officers to take requisite steps to redress the grievances of the people in timebound manner.