SONAMARG TRADERS SEEK SNOW CLEARANCE ON INNER ROADS, PARKING SLOTS

Non-Availibility Of Power, Water Irks Tourists

Sonamarg, Apr 15: The traders’ at Sonamarg have complained that the district administration has failed to remove snow from the inner roads of the tourist destination due to which the visitors were facing tremendous hardships. 
 Although the Srinagar-Sonamarg road was thrown open for tourists and general public three weeks ago, but the non-availability of water and electricity is irking the tourists.
 “The authorities have failed to clear the snow from Thajwas-Sonamarg road due to which the tourists are returning without visiting the Thajwas glacier,” Abdul Majeed who owns a shop in Sonamarg told Greater Kashmir adding that this was sending a wrong message to the tourists intending to visit the area and explore its beauty.
 He said the parking slots in the Sonamarg are still closed due to the accumuation of snow. “The drivers ferrying local and domestic tourists park their vehicles on the roadsides, which causes frequent traffic jams, troubling the tourists,” he said, adding the administration should removed the snow from these slots at an earliest.
 According to the local businessmen, many shop owners are unable to open their business establishment due to the accumulation of large amount of snow. “Some of the hotels in the area aren’t functioning as the administration has failed to remove the snow accumulated in front of them,” the traders said adding the tourists were facing immense hardships as they were not able to get the rooms to stay for the night.  
 The hotel owners and shopkeepers repeatedly urged the administration to remove the snow, but the officials have failed to take measures in this regard, the traders added.
 The traders have also complained about the non-availability of water and electricity.
 “The tourists are suffering immensely due to non-availability of electricity and water in the hotels and are returning to Srinagar immediately,” the hoteliers said adding that this was adversely affecting their business as longer stay of tourists was beneficial to the hotel industry in the area.
 Beopar Mandal Sonamarg General Secretary said, “We welcome the government’s proposal to construct 6.5 kilometers long tunnel between Gagangeer and Sonamarg to make Sonamarg motorable throughout the year. However, this time, lack of amenities and the failure of administration to remove the snow, was causing hardships to the tourists and affecting the business.”  
 Confirming lack of facilities, Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Development Corporation (JKTDC) Sonamarg, incharge tourist officer, Ghulam Muhammad Magrey told Greater Kashmir that due to lack of essential services in Sonamarg tourists and local businessmen are facing problems.
 “We are not allowing tourists to stay for night in tourist huts. We have furnished the huts, but non-availability of electricity and water was creating problems,” he said, adding that the non-availability of communication facilities and other important facilities are creating hurdles in our functioning.
 Despite repeated attempts, Sonamarg Development Authority Chief Executive Officer, Muhammad Yousuf could not be contacted.
 Meanwhile, the residents of Sonamarg have demanded compensation against damages caused to their houses due to avalanches in February this year. 
 “At least 20 houses were damaged in our village after avalanches hit it, but till date no assessment has been made on them,” Me’raj-ud-Din a local resident told Greater Kashmir. 
 “We demand a full compensation for the losses” Mehraj-ud-Din added.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 15 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST




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