Early Times Report
SRINAGAR, Apr 20: Tourists visiting Kashmir valley continue to face 'difficulty' in the wake of attacks by stone pelting mob at many places in Srinagar city with the administration seemingly 'numb' to take concrete safety measures.
If sources are to be believed tourists en-route to famous ski-resort Gulmarg have been facing constant threat by stone pelting mob at Narbal area on the outskirts of Srinagar city while same treatment is meted out to them at Fore-Shore Road which has put an adverse impact on the tourism industry.
Sources said that the authorities despite being well aware of the situation have miserably failed to provide a safe passage to tourists visiting Gulmarg at Narbal area.
"Whenever any vehicle carrying tourists pass through Narbal they are being attacked by youth, same treatment is meted out to them en-route to Sonmarg at Fore-Shore Road, this is unfortunate that tourists are not safe now," sources told 'Early Times'.
They claimed that various delegations of people associated with industry apprised concerned authorities about the situation however no measures ensuring safety of tourists were taken so far. This is a serious issue which needs to dealt with seriously else no tourist will visit Kashmir in future," sources added.
Sources said that even tourist guides are not spared sometime
who have now opted for other routes to reach Gulmarg and Sonmarg to avoid attacks on tourists.
Tourism is the backbone of the state's economy, either government should ensure safety for tourists else they should issue an advisory advising tourists not to visit valley. Why an innocent visitor should suffer, what message they convey on return.
"Tourism is the backbone of the state's economy, either government should ensure safety for tourists else they should issue an advisory advising tourists not to visit valley. Why an innocent visitor should suffer, what message they convey on return," they said.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar, Dr Farooq Lone, could not be contacted for official quote; however Director Tourism Mehmood Shah while admitting the facts expressed discontent saying if these incidents continue to happen then there is no other option than to take alternate routes.
"I have been personally taking this matter with concerned SP's, DC and other higher-ups, but no safety measures were taken in this regard. Ensuring safety for tourists is the obligation of police department, they should immediately look into the issue," Director Tourism told 'Early Times'.
He said that he will again call a meeting and take up the issue and in case the matter remains unresolved then routes where these incidents happen will be dodge.
"Narbal and Fore-Shore Road routes will be avoided and some alternative routes will be taken in case tourists continue to face difficulties as such incidents not only hamper smooth inflow of tourists but also put negative impact on tourists," added Mehmood Shah.