Ahead of maiden visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to J&K after being voted to power at the Centre, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded grant of tourist city status to Jammu city considering the fact that it is the only city in North India where more than 10 million pilgrims including tourists, come every year.
"Grant tourist city status to Jammu city and develop required infrastructure considering the fact that it is the only city in North India where more than 10 million pilgrims including tourists, come every year," State unit of BJP demanded from Central government in a handout released here today.
The party also demanded the Central government to launch special tourism packages for Sanasar, Patnitop, Kud, Mantalai and Mansar so that these salubrious and scenic places are brought on the world's tourist map.
The other demands raised by the BJP include sanctioning of a Macro-Agro project in Jammu city, setting up of a Railway Coach factory to generate ample employment opportunities and dissuade the youth from migrating outside the state, exploitation of saffron to the advantage of people and state and areas in Kashmir and parts of Jammu province, especially Kishtwar and areas where saffron production could be increased and special package for the refugees of all varieties and grant of citizenship rights to refugees from West Pakistan.
BJP also demanded border areas of RS Pura and the adjoining areas in Jammu province, which are famous for producing best quality of rice, should be declared Export zone status for it.
The party also called for setting up of Rail and Air link between Jammu and Poonch with rail link between Jammu and Akhnoor on priority basis as it involves less expenditure, it said adding that railway track be setup from Manwa to Billawar to Basohli in Jammu to Pathankot (Punjab).
They called for construction of roads in the areas where the road connectivity is very poor.
"From the defence point of view and even otherwise, the construction of roads between Paddar (Jammu) and Zanskar (Ladakh), Doda-Dessa (Jammu) and Kapran (Kashmir) is imperative", it said adding that the construction of four laning road between Jammu and Poonch is also the immediate need considering the traffic between these two cities.
BJP also batted strongly for construction of tunnel between Marmat in Doda and Sudhmahadev in Udhampur district.
This would not only reduce the distance between the two important towns but would also serve as an alternative route to Batote Kishtwar road which has been declared unsafe because of the construction of Baghilar Hydro project on river Chenab, it added.
The party also called for raising the status of Jammu Airport to the status of international airport considering the fact that lakhs of tourists from the country and outside visit the city of temples and from where they start their journey to holy places like Mata Vaishno Devi and shrine of Amarnath.
It also demanded creation of AIIMS-type facilities in the Jammu Medical College. It is the only major hospital that is dependent upon by the entire population of Jammu province.
It also batted option be given to Industry to follow 100% exemption route as prevalent in Himachal Pradesh or the refund mechanism, Income Tax holiday incentive to be restored, the package of incentive be extended to large scale units in the state, applicability of Northeastern type package and all present incentive as provided by Centre and State under VAT regime be extended.