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CS reviews functioning of Culture Department

CS reviews functioning of Culture Department
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Chairs 2nd meeting of J&KWA

JAMMU: Chief Secretary Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta Wednesday chaired a meeting to review the functioning of the Culture Department and the progress under various initiatives.
Commissioner Secretary Culture Department along with senior officers from the Department attended the meeting.
It was informed that under the scheme for Preservation, Conservation, Restoration and Maintenance of Architectural Heritage of Jammu and Kashmir, the Department is developing and restoring 75 heritage sites. In the first leg of the scheme, the Department has taken up 35 sites for revival/restoration works in consultation with the district administrations.
The Chief Secretary asked the department to uniformly develop these sites by capturing their historical data and displaying the information for awareness of the visitors. The Department was further advised to systematically provide for proper approach road and public utilities- washrooms, parking spaces and eateries at these sites, besides ensuring fencing and cleanliness around the premises.
Dr. Mehta directed training of local youth as guides for promoting the history, folklore, and culture associated with the new heritage sites. He further asked the Department of Culture to organize various cultural programmes at these sites for bringing them on the tourism map of Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the scheme for Promotion of Traditional and Cultural Festivals of J&K, it was informed that 16 mega festivals have been organized so far in which more than 1600 artists have participated, both through online and offline engagements. The Department is firming up action plans for 75 festivals in coordination with divisional administration.
The department is planning to organise a 3-tier competition in three categories- music, essay writing and debate to engage students in various cultural activities.
It was further informed that the department will organise 10 cultural festivals for tourists and visitors at 10 tourist destinations, 05 each in Jammu and Kashmir divisions to promote the heritage and culture of Jammu and Kashmir among the visiting travelers.
Later, the J&K CS chaired the second meeting of the Wetland Authority for the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Chief Secretary approved the proposal of the Forest, Ecology & Environment Department to designate Wular Lake as Wetland in terms of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The Wular lake is spread over 13,000 ha of area with an additional 486.12 ha area as its zone of influence.
On completion of the procedure of declaring the water body as a protected wetland, various degradation-causing activities will be prohibited in the area.
These activities include encroachment of the wetland, setting up of industries, disposal of construction waste, discharge of untreated waste, release of invasive species and feeding of migratory birds.
Further, various activities will be regulated within the wetland as well as in its zone of influence which include withdrawal of water, harvesting of resources, construction of pontoon bridges, aquaculture, agriculture, horticulture and eco-tourism.
The J&K Wetland Authority also approved the Integrated Management Plan for Conservation of Wular Lake to promote an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach for conservation and management of the water body.
The Chief Secretary advised the Forest Department to engage scientific methods for dredging, de-silting and de-weeding for restoration and rejuvenation of Wular lake.


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