Airport closure will hit emergency services: Hoteliers
Srinagar, Aug 29: The impending closure of Srinagar ‘International’ Airport has raised heckles among the hoteliers’ community here who termed the decision as “a severe blow to the already suffering masses in the Valley.”
“Though there is no trade and tourism right now in the Valley, but the suspension of air traffic would severely affect the emergency services to the Valley,” the hoteliers said.
“In the present circumstances the air service could doubly be needed. Suspending the air service for 12 days would leave the Valley cut from rest of the world,” said Siraj Ahmad president, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association.
“We have hundreds of critically injured persons and other patients in different hospitals in the Valley. Anytime a situation could arise where we need to shift a patient outside to save his/her life. Therefore closure of air traffic can lead to their death,” he added.
Pertinently the Defence Minister has decided to close down the Srinagar ‘International’ Airport for all airlines for twelve days from September 1 to September 12 to carry out runway repairs.
To mention, Srinagar ‘International’ Airport is manned by the Indian Air Force while all other airports across India are manned by Airports Authority of India.
Siraj said the state government should look to it that the air traffic to and from Valley did not come to a grinding halt.
A representative of a traders’ organization said “Eid is approaching fast and many Kashmiris working across different parts of India and abroad this time come home to celebrate the festival with their families. If the services go out of air, they also will face difficulties,” he said.
He said even if the authorities felt the repair work was inevitable “they should still look for the other alternatives to ensure that the air traffic runs smoothly.”
“We are not against carrying out the upgradation work, but what we want is that the air traffic should not come to a grinding halt,” said Siraj.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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