Bhim Garh Fort in Reasi district fails attracting tourists even after spending crores on its renovation

Published on : Saturday, January 9, 2021

Concerning an indifferent approach towards promotion of tourism in Jammu region, historic Bhim Garh Fort in Reasi district has failed to attract tourists even after spending crores of rupees on its renovation mainly due to lack of proper planning from the Government.

The renovation of the historic fort built by General Zorawar Singh, the famous Dogra General on the bank of River Anji at a hillock, started several years back on the instructions of the then Governor of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir N N Vohra.

The estimated cost of the two-phased renovation and conservation project of the Bhimgarh Fort was over Rs. 5.67 crore, of which 40 per cent had been released to the Tourism Department by Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board as per the instructions of the then Governor.

Besides the restoration work, internal area of the fort was illuminated and a cafeteria, sit-out plaza and public conveniences were created by the Tourism Department with the money given by Shrine Board and granted by the Union Government under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

A year back, the revamped historic fort was handed over to Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums by the Tourism Department as instructed by the Government.

However, even after expenditure of crores of rupees, the historic fort has failed to attract tourists because no proper planning was done for utilizing the infrastructure created for the convenience of the visitors.

“Moreover, the Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums doesn’t have sufficient staff for watch and ward of the fort and this can be gauged from the fact that only one Chowkidar has been deployed there” said the sources, adding that “due to lack of proper planning the infrastructure particularly electric fittings have also started suffering damages.”

An officer of the Reasi district administration said, “How the tourists would visit the fort when there are no basic facilities there”, wondered, adding that “whosoever visits the fort doesn’t encourage others for the same as even water bottle is to be carried from outside for want of operational cafeteria”.

The officer said that this department doesn’t have sufficient funds for making sure that there is proper preservation of such a huge structure.

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