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news details
Pahalgam Golf Course generates no revenue
Tourism Department in slumber!
9/18/2018 10:52:53 PM
Saahil Suhail
Early Times Report
Pahalgam, Sept 18: Despite spending almost over Rs 60 crore in last two decades over maintenance Lidder Valley Pahalgam Golf Course, the Jammu and Kashmir Toursim Department has failed to realize any kind revenue from the golf course.
The department has also failed to promote 18-hole Pahalgam Golf Course globally which eventually could have attracted high-end tourism in Kashmir particularly in Pahalgam.
As per the details, Pahalgam Development Authority, which comes under the administrative control of Tourism department, maintains and operates Lidder Valley Pahalgam Golf Course. During last two decades Pahalgam Development Authority has spent over 60 Cr rupees on account of up-gradation and maintenance of Pahalgam Golf Course, a PDA official told Early Times.
He said that initially Pahalgam Golf Course was 9-hole Golf Course and then in 2004 Government allocated Rs 47 Cr for its expansion and up-gradation.
"After its up-gradation and expansion, PDA on an average annually spends 1.5 Cr over its maintenance," he said.
The officer said that PDA has deployed sixty employees mostly casuals at Pahalgam Golf Course.
"We used to tender out maintenance component but this year contractor failed to execute it hence the Golf Course is being maintained by the employees," he said, adding none among them evidently has enough knowledge related to it.
"Contractor was hiring a professional-Turf manger- but we don't have," he revealed.
The officer further revealed that they haven't charged the organizers of golf tournaments held at Pahalgam Golf Course neither is charging golfers who occasionally come to play.
Mushtaq Pahlagmi, local activist expressed aguish against the department said that the money meant for development of Pahalgam is being spent on Pahalgam Golf Course.
"Initially they (Department) told us that Pahalgam Golf Course will increase the foot fall on foreigners but nothing such happened in last decade. An elite class is using it which is injustice and will continue to raise uncomfortable questions," he said.
Chief Executive Officer Pahalgam Development Authority, Mushtaq Ahmad Simnani admitted that PDA has spent huge amount of Golf Course. He however said that they are trying to minimize spending but can't stop as they have to maintain the Golf Course.
"Golf Courses don't directly generate huge revenue for state but will definitely attract high-end tourism if promoted globally," he said.
He said that despite not having expertise staff, they have managed to maintain the golf as per norms.
"We will have no issue if the Government hands over Golf Course to Golf Development Authority," he added.
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