Friday, February 24, 2012

UN team to visit Fazilka to explore potential of rural tourism

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, February 23
The newly-constituted Fazilka district is going to figure on global tourism map as two representatives of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) are likely to visit the district to explore the potential of rural tourism.

As per sources, Sudhir Sahi, consultant for rural tourism with UNWTO and Brig TPS Chaudhury, advisor, UNWTO/Punjab Heritage and Tourism Development Board, shall visit the rural areas of Fazilka and Abohar on February 28 and 29.

The team shall visit the historic rural areas of different villages, Asafwala War Memorial and the joint check-post at Sadiqi.

The team members and local administration officer shall visit village Mohar Jamsher, the rare example of mistake committed by the officials while erecting the barbed wire fencing as a result of which the village was surrounded on three sides by the barbed wire fencing and on the fourth side by the Sutlej river.

Village Mauzam where residents are involved in making rural furniture like Vaan Murah (a type of settee made out of jute), quite popular in border villages, is also on the itinerary. The team shall also meet the members of famous Punjabi folk jhumar dance invented by Baba Pokhar Singh of Fazilka.

The team is also proposed to visit Peer Burziwala in village Gulaba Bhaini. The shrine of Peer Burziwala here falls exactly on Radcliff line. Half of the shrine is in India and half in Pakistan territory. Every year, people from both the countries jointly celebrate a fair in the presence of BSF and Pak Rangers and spread the message of love and peace.

Rampura where the Village Industries Commission has proposed setting up a desi Punjabi jutti cluster, village Katehra where one of the biggest 125 acres organic farm is being managed by a progressive farmer Vinod Jyani, is also on the visitors' list.

The last point of the tour would be the blackbuck wildlife sanctuary in Abohar which is considered Asia's biggest. It is spread over 6514 acres and has more than 4300 blackbuck.

"We assure the team of our cooperation. We had prepared and presented the report on rural tourism three years back as part of our feasibility study," said Navdeep Asija, general secretary, GWAF.

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