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JK Tourism bigwigs on 'junket tour' to Russia?
Cash strapped State cries
3/14/2014 11:36:46 PM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, Mar 14: State Tourism Ministry is planning for a tourism culture tour for Russia within a week's time.
As per the information gathered from sources, the tour, though based on a focus to showcase tourism potentialities of the state and get acquaintance with the tourism probabilities on the foreign soils, this state's effort is being seen as a dry exercise conducted by the Minister himself only along with his Commissioner Secretary and both directors of the region accompanying him.
The conspicuousness of such tour is that no cultural troupe , handicrafts expo, heritage showcasing or any allied state exhibits regarding the tourism prospective of the state are being taken along to display in Moscow, Russia which could have made a sense out of such tour being a worthy accomplishment of the state.
While the sources privy to Tourism Ministry inform that tour is likely to flag in anytime between Mar 18 to Mar 20, all attempts to reach the Tourism Minister G A Mir failed as his mobile sounded out of reach since past two days.
Repeated calls to Tourism Director Soujanya Sharma too could not be materialised as he either cut the call or remain ignorant despite the repeated calls.
While the cash strapped Jammu and Kashmir is already reeling under astronomical debt figures of above Rs 40,000 crores, a trip to Russia by the Tourism department comes as an astonishing call which apparently shows to be a pleasure sojourn in Moscow through state Tax Payers money.
"The tour is being organised through the tourism publicity fund, and only Minister and his coterie going to Russia does not suffices to the claim that they are the source players for exhibiting the tourism potential of the state in the absence of any tourism exhibit taken along pertaining to cultural nuance, handicrafts expo, cuisine delicacies or heritage showcasing of the state, said the source while talking to Early Times.
It claimed that since no formal procedure or a planned design is envisaged beforehand for conducting such exercise, the decision came abrupt to embark upon the tour which is scheduled within days.
"The irony of such arrangement is that no heads or resource groups or persons related to different aspects of highlighting the tourism needs and potentialities of the state have been taken into the loop," the sources informed.
It is pertinent to mention here that media had broken a story on MLAs going on fun tours in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka that had taken the country by storm.
Same being understood for this tourism tour cannot be a misnomer, however, as Jammu and Kashmir being already heavily debited with liabilities, affording such tour could be only on the tax payers' money only.
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