Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel, today emphasized the need of collaborative efforts towards preservation and protection of historic Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex, Jammu during his extensive visit to the ancient site.Executive Director, Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society, Deepika K. Sharma and other senior officers accompanied the Union Minister. The Union Minister along with Executive Director, Mubarak Mandi Jammu Heritage Society and Consultant of the Society took a round of the Heritage Complex and was briefed about the Comprehensive Conservation and Adaptive Re-use Master Plan for Mubarak Mandi Palaces Complex, Jammu. The Minister visited the interior sections of the complex and the Dogra Art Museum as well where Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, V.S. Rawat, explained him about the ongoing conservation and preservation works being executed by the ASI in the Complex.The Minister stressed the need for preserving the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex as it is a world class heritage site which has been gifted to us by our forefathers.Members of Parliament, Jugal Kishore Sharma and Shamsher Singh Manhas, Deputy Mayor, Poornima Sharma, Former MLA, Jammu East, Rajesh Gupta, Former Minister, Priya Sethi, Director, Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Munir-ul-Islam, Director Tourism Kashmir, Nissar A. Wani, Managing Director, JKTDC, Asgar Hussain, Managing Director, Cable Car, Shamim Wani and Deputy Director, Archives, Archaeology and Museums, Tashi were present on the occasion.
Later, Union Minister paid obeisance at the ancient Shiv temple at Purmandal. He stressed for holistic development of Purmandal-Utterbehni as a major Pilgrimage Centre on Pilgrim Tourism map of India. In this regard, he asked for speedy preparation of Detailed Project Report for development of Purmandal and Utterbehni under PRASAD Scheme of Government of India. The Minister took a round of the famous spots in the area and stressed the need for developing a Spiritual Circuit for preserving the religious and cultural legacy of the region. Deputy Commissioner, Samba, Rohit Khajuria, SSP Samba, Shakti Pathak, CEO, Surinsar-Mansar Development Authority, Nagendra Singh Jamwal besides former Ministers Chander Prakesh Ganga and Dr. Devinder Manyal accompanied the Union Minister.Union Minister also visited ancient Buddhist Site at Ambaran managed by ASI besides visiting Jio Pota Ghat, Akhnoor Fort, Kameshwer temple and Pandav Gufa. Union Minister stressed for accelerating the pace of restoration and conservation works on Akhnoor Fort and advised for further development of Jio Pota Ghat and its surrounding areas to facilitate the tourists.Later, the Union Minister convened a meeting with Advisors to Lieutenant Governor, K. K. Sharma and Farooq Khan, Principal Secretary Tourism, Navin K. Choudhary and officers of Tourism and Culture Department at the Convention Centre, Canal Road, Jammu. He was briefed about the ongoing projects and the activities undertaken by the Tourism and Culture Department in J&K.The Union Minister assured full support to the department in its efforts towards development of tourism and culture in the UT of J&K.