International Flights Would Operate Soon From Srinagar: Azad

4 June 2008
Etalaat News Service

Srinagar: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism, Culture and Transport headed by its Chairman Sitaram Yechury called on Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad here Tuesday evening. The Chief Minister, according to an official spokesman, apprised the members of the Committee about the highest priority accorded by his government to connectivity, saying within next four years all villages of the State would be connected by roads. He said dependable and improved road and air connectivity for a place like Jammu & Kashmir was imperative for its socio-economic development. The development of tourism sector, he said, was also a focused area for the government and about two dozen tourism development authorities had been set up to develop and upgrade facilities and amenities at various tourist resorts in the State. Describing enhanced air connectivity as imperative for promotion of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister told the visiting parliamentarians that with the completion of terminal building at Srinagar airport soon international flights would start operating from Srinagar. He said other airports in the State were also being upgraded. The Chief Minister stressed the need for operating 50-seater aircraft on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Srinagar route which, he said, would go a long way in boosting tourism in Ladakh region as also facilitating local population especially during winter when the Srinagar-Leh highway gets closed for a prolonged period. He said the highway had been declared as National Highway-1D and double-laning and improvement work had already taken off. He said the project also includes construction of a tunnel through Zojila to make it an all-weather road. The Parliamentary Standing Committee members, on a week-long visit to the State, apprised the Chief Minister about their visit to Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Royal Springs Golf Course, Hazratbal, Ali Masjid and Nageen Lake. The Committee members are also visiting Ladakh.