|S Tahir-ul Haq|
Early Times Report
BUDGAM, June 26: Even as the government takes pains to attract tourists to Kashmir, heaps of horse dung scattered here and there greet the tourists at Yusmarg.
According to sources , a huge amount is being spent on advertisements to attract tourists from Indian and abroad to visit the scenic places in Kashmir valley so that it could generate huge revenue and can send a message of hospitality in Kashmir.
There is no doubt about the fact the people of Jammu and Kashmir are very hospitable and they are known everywhere for their hospitality and soft approaches towards the tourists who so ever visits here, sources told early times.
Sources said, there are number of places that are being visited by the tourists during different seasons round the year, be it a winter or summer, but is it not also the fact that, the department has completely failed to maintain the parks, gardens, roads, cafeterias, huts and all whatever comes under their domain.
Recently a group of national tourists visited Yousmarag almost 13 kilometers away from Chrar-e Shareef that falls in Budgam district of central Kashmir, but to their disappointment the tourists got first impression of roads that are in shambles, and then after they saw horse dung everywhere.
We somehow stopped them to stay there for a day, but they refused to stay there for a night, as they were not satisfied by the maintenance and cleanliness of roads in Yousmarag area.
Even though, we took tourists to some famous places like Nilnag Lake, Dudh Ganga, Tosa Maidan, and while returning back to Srinagar tourists en-route to Pakharpora and at the reward shrine of Sheikh Noor-Ud Din Wali RA.
Few years back Yousmarag was very attractive, as it was giving an opportunity to tourists to enjoy panoramic views of peaks, and grassy meadows, and they used to involve themselves in various activities like trekking, skiing, and pony riding.
It is hard to understand that why department concerned has failed in maintaining of the parks and roads, even though the common people believe that such a tourist place is losing its glory due to official apathy, adding same is the case with other places like of Gulmarag, and Pahalgam.
The foreign tourists have been telling us about their places, how clean are the roads, parks there, but they get disappointed after seeing dust and garbage everywhere on roads, and especially horse dung.
The heaps of garbage emitting foul smell are lying everywhere on green pastures, on roads, where as there is no big market where at Yousmarag.
People have also complained that they are fed up with cellular network, as hardly BSNL works there but not as it should be and most of the cell numbers often remain not-reachable for hours, sources added.