Srinagar, Dec 27 :
In a significant move, the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has given its go-ahead for three key proposals aimed at upgradation and redevelopment of tourism infrastructure in the Union Territory.
Documents accessed by news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reveal that these proposals for use of land of wildlife sanctuaries at Gulmarg, Jammu and Pahalgam was cleared by standing committee of NBWL during its meeting held on November 17, 2023 under the chairmanship of Union Minister for Forests, Environment and Climate Change.
As per minutes of the meeting, NBWL has given its green signal for use of 3.2 hectares of land from Gulmarg wildlife sanctuary for upgradation and re-development of hotel Ashok, whose construction work was left midway by the Indian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC).
The construction work on Hotel Ashok commenced in 1980s and was abandoned midway by ITDC after militancy broke out in the region.
Currently, a dilapidated and half-finished civil structure lies on the site. In its justification, the JKTDC has submitted that they intend to award a 60-year concession (via public-private partnership mode) for operating a 75-85 rooms luxury resort on the land.
The NBWL has also recommended the proposal for use of 3.1 hectares of land from Ramnagar wildlife sanctuary for upgradation and re-development of Hotel Ashoka at Jammu.
According to JKTDC, the Hotel Ashok at Jammu was built in early 1970s as per the then prevailing standards and benchmarks.
In its justification, the JKTDC has submitted that it intends to award a 60-year concession for operating eco luxury resorts with 60-70 rooms with upscale positioning on the same parcel of land.
The Board has also given its consent to the proposal for use of 1.1979 ha of land from Overa-Aru wildlife sanctuary for upgradation and re-development of Hotel Alpine at Aru, Pahalgam.
As per JKTDC, the property at Aru Pahalgam was built in early 1980s and is now in a dilapidated condition—(KNO)