Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice, Abdul Haq today inaugurated a water storage dam at Hapatnaar in Kakpora village of Lolab valley. The Minister said that the dam constructed by Irrigation and Flood Control Department at an estimated cost of Rs 5.33 crore having 5.18 crore gallon capacity will irrigate more than 7000 Kanal Agricultural land of 13 villages of the valley. He said that it was the long pending demand of the people of the area which has been fulfilled by the Government. He said it is a step towards empowerment of farmers, saying that they will get adequate water to irrigate their fields which were turning barren due to scarcity of water.The Minister was accompanied by Chief Engineer I&FC, Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara, SSP Kupwara, Exn, I&FC Kupwara and SDM Lolab during the tour.The Minister congratulated the people of the area for getting the source of irrigation for their land. He said the rain water will get stored in the dam and then channelized into the fields. He said three other similar dams are under execution in the area, which will be completed and dedicated to the people soon, saying that the construction of the dams will solve the problem of irrigation in valley.
The Minister said the area around the dam will be developed as park for tourist attraction. He asked the Floriculture department to develop a park around the dam so that people have a view of the Lolab valley.Abdul Haq said the Government is contemplating to open Bandipora-Lolab road and the work on the project will be started by this year. He said that the Government is also working on the proposal of construction of a tunnel to shorten the distances and made the valley easily assessable for the tourists, adding that the Government believes in taking long-term sustainable projects for the development of the area and doesn't believe in short term temporary projects.Abdul Haq said Government is keen to bring Lolab valley on tourist map and will take every possible step to develop tourism related infrastructure there. He said the valley will be connected with Bandipora and Gurez valley which will be gateway for the beautiful pastures of Gurez and a focus point for trekkers.