Divisional Commissioner, Dr Raghav Langer directed the Deputy Commissioners to formulate action plans in consultation with all the stakeholders for Promotion of Traditional and Cultural Festivals which are part of rich heritage and composite culture of Jammu and Kashmir.

He issued these directions while chairing a meeting of Deputy Commissioners and heads of concerned departments to discuss the implementation of this promotional scheme.

During the meeting, the functionaries of Tourism department gave a detailed powerpoint presentation on the already identified/existing festivals which are being organized in the districts of the division.

It was informed that as many as 80 traditional and cultural festivals have been identified in the districts of Jammu division which include 4 in district Jammu, 15 in Kishtwar, 9 in Samba, 2 in Kathua, 10 in Poonch, 8 in Rajouri, 7 in Reasi, 3 in Ramban, 6 in Doda and 16 in Udhampur.

The tourism officials informed that these traditional/ cultural festivals are being organized in different months of the year.

The Divisional Commissioner instructed the DCs to submit revised list of festivals/cultural events alongwith importance of each activity and photographs of the same.

The officials from department of Archives apprised the Div Com about the proposed activities at major shrines/ heritage sites including Bahu Fort, Mohargarh Fort Samba, Navratra festival at Chichi Mata, Akhnoor Fort, Budhist site at Akhnoor, Amar Mehal, Mubarakh Mandi Heritage Complex, Bhimgarh Fort, Poonch Fort, Krimichi Temple, RamNagar Fort, Ghoda Gali, and other protected monuments. The activities proposed are Dogri Dance, Folk items, Getru, Nukad Natak, Folk Music, Light shows etc.

The Div Com also reviewed progress on selection of tourism villages by the districts and identification of Ancient Temples/Mosques/Gurdwaras/Churches for restoration works to enhance heritage tourism potential in the region.

The Div Com said that the office of the Lieutenant Governor has already issued orders/ directions for preparation of Action Plans under “Scheme for Revival, Restoration, Preservation and Maintenance of Architecture and Heritage.

The DCs apprised the Div Com about the Ancient Temples/mosques/Gurdwaras/Churches alongwith historical monuments identified in their respective districts for conservation/preservation.

It was informed that the objectives of the scheme are to identify the sacred places and heritage sites requiring interventions to carry out their revival, restoration and renovation; to ensure protection and longevity of these places and to promote restoration wherever damage has occurred to these places.

The Government has also constituted Divisional as well as District level Committees for effective implementation of the scheme.

The Divisional Commissioner asked the DCs to revisit the list and submit a revised list of religious places, historical monuments which need restoration along with short descriptions of the place, importance and photographs of the place and flag priorities.

While reviewing the progress on identification of locations for tourism villages it was informed that the process is in progress. However, some districts like Udhampur has submitted locations and the district administration Udhampur has started work on fulfilling the basic requirements on ground.

The Div Com directed the DCs to finalize the process and submit final lists on priority.

The meeting was attended by Director Tourism, Chief Engineer, JPDCL, Additional Secretary, Academy of Art Culture and Languages; besides officers of Archive Department and other concerned while Deputy Commissioners of Jammu division alongwith other concerned officers participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

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