Chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said application of scientific methodology in developing tourist resorts in line with ecological requirements is the need of the hour to sustain state's tourism potential for the next generation.
"Development of eco-villages along the picturesque scenery overlapping Mughal Road would attract nature lovers and tourists in this area, helping in generation of economic activities for people," said Omar while addressing a public gathering at Dubjan after laying foundation of eco-tourism village at Heerpora on the Mughal Road.
Stating that tourism embeds economic development and welfare of the state, Omar said people, especially youth, had to get involved at all levels in the government programmes aimed at protection and conservation of state's bio-diversity, forests and environment.
The chief minister asked people to participate in afforestation and be actively involved in safeguarding the forests. "Felling of a tree takes a minute while growing a tree takes years. We all have to contribute in protecting our forest wealth," said Abdullah.
The eco-tourism village at Heerpora is being developed at a cost of Rs 70 lakh of which Rs 50 lakhs would be spent on infrastructure and Rs 20 lakh on capacity building of youth of the area for taking to tourism as a means for earning livelihood.
The chief minister said that holistic and equitable development of all the regions and sub-regions of the area is benchmark of the governance of his government.
"Uplift of backward and remote areas receive additional attention in the planning and development process. Empowering the common man to make administration answerable and ask questions to the government for its every action and performance is our endeavour," Omar told the gathering.