Minister for Forests and Ecology, Ch. Lal Singh today laid the foundation stone of ambitious Van Padao/Forest Destination, a hangout site in the forest area in Nagrota. He said that the destination will have all necessary facilities like fuel pump, eatery point, safe drinking water, washroom facilities.The Minister also laid foundation for similar facilities at Ban, Khanpur, Jagti and Dhammi.Chief General Manager IOCL, I/C Punjab, J&K and Himachal Pradesh accompanied the Minister during the visit. “This is one of the 23 Van Padao/destinations sanctioned for Jammu and Kashmir and the step will go a long way in providing much needed facilities to the people going on hangouts”, Ch Lal Singh said while addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone. This is a part of the scheme designed to provide way-side amenities to the commuters and holiday makers.Lal Singh said that at these destinations, there are eco-friendly facilities. Besides, measures have been taken to have rain water harvesting to meet the requirements of the visiting people. Apart from these, stalls would be set up for sale of nursery plants and other forest produce, which will ultimately give fillip to the ambitious programme of Aforestation and making the habitations green.He said the museum in the close periphery will be an added attraction for the visitors, which will generate awareness about the rich bio-diversity of the State. He said need for such facilities were being felt for a long, especially in a state like Jammu and Kashmir which has immense potential for tourism.The Minister exhorted upon the officers of the State Forest Corporation (SFC) to ensure completion of the Van Padaos in a stipulated time frame so that its benefit reach the targeted segments of society in timely manner.Lal Singh said that the government is committed to change the developmental landscape of the state, adding that several projects have been taken up.