Jammu: Modelled on the lines of Srinagar’s world famous Chashma Shahi tourist spot, Udhampur district’s Chiryai belt will now be developed into a major tourist destination.

With an aim to attract maximum pilgrims in the area who visit Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and Shiv Khori, Chirayi would be developed at par with the Chashma Shahi in Srinagar, said Union Tourism Secretary, Parvez Dewan.     Dewan yesterday laid foundation stone of ‘Project for Development of Chiryai (Muttal) as Tourist Spot’ at Udhampur.

The Government of India has sanctioned the project amounting to Rs 401.12 lakh which envisages restoration of water bodies and 16th century waterfalls, construction of viewpoints, and other tourist developmental infrastructure in the area.

Speaking on the occasion, Dewan congratulated the people of the area for getting a tourist development project and appreciated the efforts of State Tourism Department for preparing a “wonderful project for the development of the areas as a tourist destination.”

He said that the project would definitely help the locals to generate income and make themselves self-reliant.

Secretary tourism and Culture, Jammu and Kashmir Government, Zaffar Ahmad said that the facilities and incentives provided by the Centre to attract more and more tourism would boost the economy, develop local communities, and create job opportunities in the area.

The ancient water fall made by Rajasthani workers in the time of Maharaja Chaggar Singh would also be restored, said Soujanya Sharma, Director Tourism, Jammu region.

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