Will develop Tosa Maidan as tourist destination: J&K CM

Srinagar, Oct 9 (IANS) The Tosa Maidan vacated by the army last year would be developed as a prime tourist destination, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said on Friday.

Located in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, the meadow spread over 3,000 acres of land was leased to the Indian army in 1964 for 50 years. After the lease expired, the state government did not renew it and instead asked the army to vacate the meadow that was being used as a firing range.

“We are committed to developing the Tosa Maidan as a tourist destination with all the required facilities, but without harming its environment”, Sayeed, who also holds the tourism portfolio, informed the state assembly.

He said his government had kept separate funds to develop new tourist destinations so that more and more tourists visited the state.

“A golf course will also be built there and we plan to provide financial help to the Gujjar community in the area to refurbish their dwellings as tourist huts and thus make them stake-holders in this venture,” the chief minister added.

Sayeed was replying to a question by former chief minister Omar Abdullah about the state government’s initiatives for the development of meadows as tourist destination.

The chief minister said the livelihood rights of people dependent on the Tosa Maidan would be safeguarded.

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