The Jammu and Kashmir administration is planning to set up India’s best mythological theme park near the famous Vaishno Devi shrine in Reasi district. The administration has sought investors for the project, officials said on Friday. The state-of-the-art park is aimed at increasing economic activity and generating direct and indirect local employment, besides improving the overall experience of tourists and citizens in the union territory, they said.
Around one crore devotees from across the country and abroad visit the Vaishno Devi shrine at the Trikuta hills annually, with Katra town, 43 km from Jammu, serving as the base camp for the pilgrimage. Based on a vision to encourage adventure, mythology, education and entertainment, the officials of the administration and the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board have identified three possible locations for the project – two near the shrine and another 10 km from the Katra bus stop.
The park will come up on the way to the shrine and will have full connectivity, the officials said, adding that it would provide recreational activities for the pilgrims after darshan. The Jammu and Kashmir government would also provide other benefits like outdoor and indoor entertainment, shops, sports, eateries and hotels, the officials said. Investors would be eligible for central sector scheme benefits and various other concessions from the Jammu and Kashmir government, including a contract valid for 25 years with a provision of extension.
Central sector scheme benefits include capital investment incentive of 30 per cent on investment of up to Rs 5 crore, working capital interest incentive of five per cent per annum for existing units for five years, Goods and Service Tax-linked incentives and capital interest subvention of six per cent per annum for a maximum of seven years on a loan amount up to Rs 500 crore, the officials said.
The government would ensure all Union Territory-level clearances within 30 days of filing the application and would also provide support on other clearances and approvals besides additional incentives on stamp duty and green industrialisation. The officials said investors should have the experience of running a theme-based or an amusement park with an annual footfall of five lakh and should also adhere to international safety standards throughout the project.
Once an agreement is signed, business operations with specified minimum requirements will have to commence within three years, they said, adding that the final theme needs to be passed through the Department of Industries and Commerce, Jammu and Kashmir, and also generate direct and indirect employment opportunities.
Highlighting the advantages of investing in Jammu and Kashmir, the officials said the Union Territory has progressive, competitive and investor-friendly policies of doing business, a conducive work environment and skilled labour. It also has 57 industrial estates across 20 districts, availability of industrial and sector-specific land bank, pristine and pollution-free environment, large captive market and easy access to consumers of neighbouring states, the officials added.