Post the announcement of Cease Fire Agreement along LOC by both the nations on 25 February, the signs of normalcy are finally visible in the normal populace. A keen observer will definitely take a note of the changing dynamics of the region and increased opportunity for development in the tourism sector in the border areas popularly known as Pahari areas.
Uri is the town located on the west bank of Jhelum and surrounded by the hills emerging out of the majestic Pir Pinjal has been in limelight due to the ongoing tussle between the Pakistan and our security forces, constant cease fire violations and the dominance of Line of Control. Post the announcement of Cease Fire Agreement along LOC by both the nations on 25 February, the signs of normalcy are finally visible in the normal populace. A keen observer will definitely take a note of the changing dynamics of the region and increased opportunity for development in the tourism sector in the border areas popularly known as Pahari areas.The town of Uri has a tremendous potential to be developed as a major tourist destination. It is a well known fact that any area’s development lies in tapping the potential of the region in tourism which gives the necessary boost to the development of that particular region. While interacting with the locals here, I realized they too have a vision for developing tourism in the region which would bring prosperity and revenue to the region. I too realize what they had in mind and started thinking in the same platform to understand their thought process to development.
With the communication network developing, the town of Uri is around four hours from Srinagar. Uri offers beautiful drive along Jhelum with mountain rising to great heights to the sky to a region where purity and simplicity is in abundance among the locals. The NHPC Hydro Power Project has tremendous potential to offer in imparting knowledge about the functional aspects of a hydro power project and conducting water sports activities. Some of the beautiful meadows like Bausain, Namla, etc which are ventured by locals during summers as pasturing areas can be tapped for trekking and hiking activities. A number of shrines and temples like Hazrat Pir Gaffor Shah Gazi in Kamalkote, Ziyarat of Hazarat Baba Farid in Gharkote, Dhata temple in Mohra, etc have the local sentiments and tremendous religious values. The region, owing to its location, is known for Sufi practice focuses on the renunciation of worldly things, purification of the soul and the mystical contemplation of God’s nature. It can be developed as one of the centers for promoting Sufi preaching.
The Armed forces have played a pivotal role in the security, providing employment and constant development of the region. Recently, the Indian Army renovated ‘Freedom Café’ in the bordering post of Kaman to attract the tourists. The post is a symbol of friendship and was a major trade point between India and Pakistan. It is one of the major attractions in the town and a large number of visitors come here regularly. The army also organizes motivational tours for children including getting some glimpses on life at the post under the flag-ship Programme ‘A day with Company Commander’. They also installed a 60 feet long National Flag which adds to the mystic and picturesque view of the area. The tourists can also take souvenirs from the café for their memoirs.
To ensure the Kashmir remains Heaven on Earth and facilitate the development of the region, the answer lies in seamless coordinated efforts of all agencies, with Awam as Centre of Gravity and Tourism as the backbone for the vision what we visualize. The Central government has many components working in the valley for maintaining peace and stability. Armed forces are one of the most dominant, permanent and effective component working from the top hierarchy till grass root level. Thus, coordinated efforts are required at all levels initiated by the political heads and executed by both civil administration and armed forces to develop Uri into a major tourist destination.
The calmness and stability in the valley at present due to efforts of armed forces is a sign of a new era of prosperity and development. It also gives us an opportunity to bring the focus to developing tourism in the region which would help the locals of Uri to fulfill the vision which they see of developing the area in the lines of other parts of Kashmir. It would go in the long way to bring the region and its people in a close knit relation with other parts of the nation.
One Comment Add yours