KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT
Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) has asked the government to either declare Kashmir a ‘no go zone’ for tourists during the Yatra period or stop harassment and problems being faced by the tourists in view of the security arrangements for the ongoing Amarnath Yatra.
In a statement issued by Waseem Gosani – Secretary General TASK said that not everyone coming from outside Kashmir is a yatri. There are tourists who visit Kashmir to enjoy its scenic beauty and they face immense problems, much chagrin to the travel agents.
Muhammad Akram Siah, president TASK said that tourists who visit Kashmir give vent to their frustration and blame local travel agents. “These tourists feel they are not in Kashmir but in a fortified forest. This is not a positive sign for the ledger tourism.”
“Not only have such restrictions put the general tourists in a lot of inconveniences but the travel agents outside Jammu Kashmir have stopped promoting Kashmir till mid-August bringing down the tourist influx abruptly.”
“Tourists visiting Sonamarg have been directed to leave the destination before 2 pm. The same is the case with Pahalgam. How can it be satisfactory for a tourist visiting Sonmarg or Pahalgam or Gulmarg if he is not allowed to stay there as per his wish.”
TASK said that if Sonmarg and Pahalgam are the routes for the Amarnath Yatra then why there are restrictions in Gulmarg? Gulmarg has nothing to do with Yatra and still tourists and those associated with the tourism industry including cab drivers are not allowed to stay at the destination after 3 pm.
“We wholeheartedly welcome Yatris but at the same time, we don’t want the tourism industry to suffer. We appeal to Home Minister Amit Shah and LG Manoj Sinha to review their decision and ensure hassle-free movement of tourists and locals in Kashmir during the yatra period. [KNT]