Fifty villages to be developed as tourism villages

 
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Jammu, Mar 16 (UNI) The Jammu and Kashmir Government has identified 50 villages under rural tourism scheme for tourism development, the Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig has said.

Of these, The Central Government has sanctioned five villages in the first instance during 2005-06 with a cost of Rs 50 lakh for each village, said Mr Baig, who is also in-charge of the Tourism Department in reply to a question by Ghulam Nabi Lone in the Legislative Council yesterday.

The 50 villages chosen for tourism development by the Centre include Drung, Gagangir, Pahalgam, Surinsar and Jhiri.

He said the areas falling under various tourism authorities set up recently were to be notified shortly. Various villages and areas were being developed as tourist destinations under projects including rural tourism scheme, circuit development scheme, newly created development authorities and destination development schemes, he added.

Some of the criteria for identification of tourists' villages were accessibility, physical features, topographical diversity, natural beauty, cultural and natural attractions, fairs and festivals, handicraft skills and suitability for lengthier visitor stays, Mr Baig further informed.

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