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MOEFCC calls for formulation of Tourism Master Plan for J&K

Mubashir Aalam Wani

Srinagar, May 23: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has called for the formulation of a tourism master plan for Jammu and Kashmir.

As per a fresh notification from the MoEFCC, the UT administration has been suggested to prepare a tourism master plan consultation with the Departments of Environment and Forests of the Union Territory.

“The Tourism Master Plan shall be prepared by the Department of Tourism, Union territory administration in consultation with the Departments of Environment and Forests of the Union Territory,” the notification reads, as per news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO).

It said the tourism master plan shall form a component of the Zonal Master Plan.

The MoEFCC has asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to come up with a Zonal Master Plan for eco-sensitive zone.

The notification said the tourism master plan shall be drawn based on carrying capacity study of the eco-sensitive zone.

The MoEFCC said a committee comprising of the Principal Secretary (Environment and Forests), Chairman, Pollution Control Committee, an expert each in ecology and environment and civil constructions from an institute of repute such as IIT, Jammu, and a representative from the Department of Environment and Forests, shall be constituted for suggesting the environmental safeguards or measures for new construction of hotels and resorts, which shall form a component of the Tourism Master Plan.

“The said committee shall put in place a risk assessment study on landslide, slope stability and seismicity and recommend environmental friendly and safe construction measures to be adopted,” it said.

It said establishment of new hotels and resorts shall be permitted only in pre-defined and designated areas for eco-tourism facilities as per tourism master plan.

“All new tourism activities or expansion of existing tourism activities within the eco-sensitive zone shall be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Government and the eco-tourism guidelines issued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (as amended from time to time) with emphasis on ecotourism, eco- education and eco-development,” the notification said.

It said until the zonal master plan is approved, development for tourism and expansion of existing tourism activities shall be permitted by the regulatory authorities concerned based on the actual site specific scrutiny and recommendation of the monitoring committee.

—(KNO)

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