The holy Town of Katra situated on the foothills of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine will see massive infrastructure development in near future as the modalities are being finalized for taking up the preliminary works on the projects proposed under flagship Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) at a cost of Rs 50 crores.Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Raghav Langer on Tuesday chaired a meeting of concerned officers and stakeholders to review the development projects proposed under the Scheme.The meeting was attended in person by Chief Engineer PWD (R&B), Director Urban Local Bodies, Chief Engineer, UEED, Deputy Director Planning while CEO SMVDSB, Deputy Commissioner Reasi, Chairman Municipal Committee Katra, SDM Katra, officers of Toursim, Project Consultants, Katra Development Authority and other concerned officers participated in the meeting through video conferencing.Pertinently, Union Ministry of Tourism under its flagship schemes of Swadesh Darshan and National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) is laying due emphasis on development of tourism infrastructure and facilities in renowned pilgrimages and tourism destinations.
Under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme, 15 themes have been identified for developing theme based circuits while under the PRASHAD Scheme, 41 religious cities/sites in 25 States have been identified for development and Katra town of Jammu and Kashmir is amongst one of these identified sites.During the meeting, the project consultant gave a detailed powerpoint presentation and apprised the Divisional Commissioner about the identified/ proposed infrastructural development projects for the Katra Town.Numerous works have been identified for providing better facilities to pilgrims, tourists and locals under pilgrim infrastructure development. The projects proposed are development of multilevel parking, Multipurpose Tourist Facilitation Centre, Development of Fountain chowk, Re development of roads, Amphitheater, water points, public convenience (public toilets) etc.It was informed in the meeting that a team of the union Tourism ministry had also visited Katra Town to take firsthand appraisal of the developmental requirements and to review the identified works.
It was informed that the team has suggested some additional works for overall development of Katra Township which include all utilities to be underground, face-lifting of façade of all shops up to darshni deodi, development of Gates, rotaries etc.The Div Com discussed in detail all the identified projects and stressed to maintain inter departmental coordination for effective implementation. He instructed the officers to ensure that there was no duplicity of projects as some of the works are already under execution taken up by different departments.It was informed that development of parking has also been proposed under JMRDA.The Div Com asked Director ULB to share the already prepared DPR for roads so that the works will not overlap and uniformity can be maintained.The Divisional Commissioner also stressed on exploring possibilities of developing a traffic management system in the town to resolve the emerging traffic congestion issues.The Div Com instructed the DC Reasi to coordinate with all the stakeholders and make a list of phase wise activities work and finalize the priority list of projects to be taken up under RS 50 Crore PRASHAD Scheme so that consultants can finalize DPR for the same at the earliest.