Minister for Tourism Ghulam Ahmad Mir replying to a question by Dr. Shahnaz Ganai said that restoration of Poonch Fort was taken up in hand in the year 2006-07 under Central Financial Assistance at a cost of Rs. 40.55 lakh. The amount was utilized for conservation and re-use of Darbar Hall building of the Fort.The Minister said that during the year 2011-12, another project namely “Conservation and Restoration Plan for Poonch Fort” was sanctioned at a cost of Rs 379.14 lakh. The components mainly comprise dismantling works, repair/reconstruction works of the fort Rs 194.99 lakh, re-construction of damaged rampart wall Rs 64.23 lakh, providing plinth protection within and outside along the fort wall Rs 20.45 lakh and providing storm water drainage Rs 23.65 lakh.The shifting of Revenue record room from the basement of the Fort is under consideration for which land is being identified, he said.
Mr. Mir said that there are 10 encroachments around the Fort in Khasra No. 1553. The encroachments/constructions have been raised/made illegally prior to the issuance of preliminary notification SRO 17 dated 9.1.2012 under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 without seeking permission from any authority. The Minister said that the concerned executive agency (District Administration) shall take the necessary steps to remove the encroachment under Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1958 amended from time to time. Necessary police assistance and Magisterial services if required shall also be sought.Giving details of expenditure incurred by Rajouri Development Authorities, the Minister said that an amount of Rs. 40.13 lakh under Central Financial Assistance (CFA) and Rs. 147.50 lakh under State plan has been spent during 2012-13.Similarly, an amount of Rs. 140.22 lakh under CFA and Rs. 122.50 lakh have been utilized for developing tourism related infrastructure by the Poonch Development Authority, he said.Mr. Mir said that Union Ministry of Tourism, has sanctioned 10 projects worth Rs 36.93 crore for creation of tourism related infrastructure in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri of which 5 projects have been completed and work on the rest of the projects is going-on in full swing.
The Minister said that a project “Integrated Development of Tourists Circuit Darhal as Base camp and Shaker Marg as Gateway to the tourist destination on Peer Panjal Range” has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs. 598.68 lakh. He said an amount of Rs. 119 lakh have been released envisaging promotion of pilgrim tourism, leisure tourism and adventure tourism which is being implemented through Rajouri Development Authority.A project “Development of Mughal Road lake Circuit Infrastructure Development of Girgan, the Valley of Seven lakes, Poonch” has also been sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Tourism, at a cost of Rs. 419.09 lakh and Rs 83.82 lakh has been released envisaging construction of Base Camp trekking and viewing decks which is being executed through Poonch Development Authority.
Besides this areas of Mughal road have been identified to be developed under 12th FYP under the project “Wayside amenities with accommodation on Mughal Road” under Central Financial Assistance from union Ministry of Tourism to boost the tourism potential of these twin districts which would form the part of the circuit” integrated Development of Jammu Circuit” at a cost of Rs 25 crore.