Srinagar: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta Wednesday reviewed the modalities for establishment of Mega Water Park by the Tourist Department in Jammu as was announced in the Budget of 2023-24 and was a commitment of Lieutenant Governor to the inhabitants of the city.
The meeting was attended by Secretary, Tourism; VC, Jammu Development Authority, Consultants and other concerned stakeholders.
Dr Mehta while taking note of various components of the Water Theme Park maintained that it would act as a major tourist attraction in Jammu Capital round the year offering entertainment and recreational activities to every age group. He observed that this theme park proposed to be established along the banks of River Tawi near Sidhra would make a circuit together with Bahu Fort, Maha Maya Temple, Artificial Lake, and Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex.
The Chief Secretary observed that Jammu is the route for millions of pilgrim tourists going to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine besides other local tourist destinations. He said that the tourism infrastructure coming up in the city and going to be dedicated to public in future is enough to attract many tourists to visit these places. He expressed hope that this will make Jammu a major tourist hub of the UT.
He further instructed the Department to explore other eco-tourism activities as it is in close proximity with the forest area. He said that the eco-friendly hutments and other amenities shall also be explored to add to the ambience of the park. He asked project proponents to explore making JDA the equity holder in this project so that possibility of revenue sharing is examined in project design.
While giving details about the proposed theme park, the Secretary Tourism, Syed Abid Rasheed Shah informed the meeting that around 92 kanals of land has been identified for building this water park attraction. He also gave out that the adjacent forest land could be leased additionally for the said proposal so as to make the project viable for adding new attractions and for creating gardens, jogging tracks, botanical garden , tree houses etc as permissible under master plan.
The meeting was informed that the park is planned to have attractions like provision for water rides, wave pool, artificial water landscape, kids pool, swimming area, water museum, central water body besides other amenities like jogging track, sky dining, water volleyball, sunbathing, lazy river, indoor water sports, cabana rentals, live entertainment, special/night event zones, landscape zone, hardscape and kiosks for public.
Moreover the meeting was apprised that there is also the proposal of a cable stretched foot bridge connecting either Peer Kho Ropeway Station to the proposed site or from the Panjthirthi Chowk having Multi Tier parking. As Peer Kho is a potential tourist destination, the foot bridge shall serve as an attractive connectivity to the said site for tourists.
The objective of this tourism project was described as to enhance tourism potential of Jammu, tap the potential of pilgrimage tourism and fulfil the desire of having a thrilling recreational / adventure destination here. This water theme park is going to attract tourists from neighbouring areas, increasing footfall, extending the tourist stay at Jammu leading to revenue and employment generation for the locals on one hand and water management, environmental sustainability and health benefits for people on the other hand.(GNS)