Shiv Khori, Peer-Kho Melas from Feb 23

Shadow Correspondent   JAMMU, FEB 13:  Minister of State for Tourism and Culture Priya Sethi today reviewed the arrangements for forthcoming Maha Shivratri festivals to be observed at Shiv Khori and Peer Kho shrines in a meeting held here today. Divisional Commissioner Jammu Dr Pawan Kotwal, Deputy Commissioner Reasi Ravinder Kumar, I G Jammu Danesh Rana, Director Tourism Jammu Sushma Chauhan, Commissioner JMC Manmohan Singh, SSP Traffic and ADC Jammu attended the meeting. While reviewing the arrangements put in place for ensuring smooth festivities in the region, the Minister said that our target for this festival is to ensure a smooth stay and hassle-free pilgrimage for all visitors on this pious occasion. She said that our prime concerns should be on safety and security of people from both manmade and natural disturbances. “These festivals represents the deep connect that people of Jammu have with their culture, traditions and mythologies and we have to ensure that this tradition survives the onslaught of modernization”, Priya Sethi added. The Minister directed the management of both Shiv Khori and Peer Kho festivals to ensure close coordination with the respective district administrations for timely completion of all arrangements. She urged them to explore as many avenues for participation of locals in the event like traditional foods stalls, arts & crafts, besides arranging for recreational activities including funfair rides, dangals, departmental stalls, cultural items like dance, plays depicting local history, tradition in coordination with Cultural Academy. The Minister laid special focus on ensuring regular transport on hourly basis to ferry passengers between the designated parking areas to the shrines for a hassle free experience for the visitors. With regards to the 4 day Peer Kho festival, the Minister appointed ADC Jammu as nodal officer for the event and asked him to ensure proper execution of directions for successful celebrations. She directed JMC to renovate view points, besides other infrastructure. Instructions were also passed to JMC to divert Tawi river water towards the Peer Kho Ghat so that people can complete their spiritual rituals. For the 3 day Shiv Khori festival, the Minister directed the district administration to put in place a mechanism for landslide prevention and safety measures besides exploring additional avenues for increasing local involvement in the festival. The Minister directed the department of Tourism to launch a mega publicity plan for the festival ensuring legibility and visibility so that the message is communicated to the maximum populace. She also directed IG Jammu to mobilize all necessary resources at the earmarked areas that experience high tourist footfall and ensure continued peace and communal harmony in these areas during festival days. Threadbare discussion were held on security, traffic management, sanitation, medicare, besides ensuring uninterrupted water and electricity supply, improved road connectivity and proper illumination at the shrines. The meeting was also attended by officers of District Administrations from both Jammu and Udhampur and allied departments.

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