‘Promote Kokernag, Daksum, Sinthan Top as tourist destinations’
Kokernag/ Sinthan Top, Aug 3: The Government’s utter failure to promote Kokernag, Daksum, Achabal and Sinthan Top as tourist destinations has drawn flak from the people residing in the adjoining areas of these places.
These scenic resorts located at different places in the South Kashmir have a huge tourism potential and can generate employment for the youth, the locals at these places told Greater Kashmir.
While accusing the government of ignoring these beautiful places and failing to put them on the tourism map, the locals said the authorities were only concentrating on Gulmarg and Pahalgam, which according to them, have now been developed to a large extent.
Prior to the 90’s, Kokernag, the heart of Brengi river valley and famous for fresh water springs used to attract a large number of tourists and students picnics every year, but due to the off late callous approach of the government, these places have been almost forgotten by the people, particularly the tourists.
“The water of these springs is the purest you can get and is highly digestive and good for health. There was a proposal to export the water of this spring in bottles to other parts of the country,” the locals told Greater Kashmir.
Though, the locals here are against construction of concrete structures, but they feel the need to develop this place as an eco friendly tourism destination to regain its glory as it has chain of tourist spots from Achabal to Daksum to Sinthan Top.
Besides, Kokernag is also connected to Verinag, another scenic resort known also for the springs and origin of Jhelum river.
“We don’t want this place to be turned into a concrete jungle like Pahalgam. But what we want is that in order to woo the tourists, the basic infrastructure should be provided,” said the locals.
They said that government should construct some huts and restaurants in the area and also encourage the locals to turn their houses into small guest houses with a traditional look to provide accommodation to the tourists.
“We don’t want the ecology of this region consisting of lush green forests, meadows, streams and fresh water springs to be disturbed at the cost of the development. So, the government instead of inviting the hoteliers to construct huge hotels in this area, should focus on beautification of adjacent villages like Vailoo, Gohan, Bidihaad, Bidar, Hillar, Wangam, Larinoo and Dandipora and provide accommodation to the tourists there in the form of huts and small guest houses,” locals said.
They said that Daksum wildlife sanctuary and fish farm in Kokernag which are the source of attraction should be properly maintained.
“Situated en-route Kishtwar the small hill resort of Daksum located at 2,438 meters along the Brengi river valley can be an attraction for tourists as it has a wildlife sanctuary, sheep farm and dense forest, but sans any proper infrastructure. The condition of the Rest house and Tourist Bungalow is pathetic,” the locals said.
The place is known for camping spots and from Daksum the trail rises fairly steeply to the Sinthan Pass located at the height of 3,748 meters.
“The work on the projects undertaken by the Kokernag Development Authority (KDA), which includes the development of a Public Park at Dandipora, Club Park and Hill View Park, is going on at snail’s pace,” the locals said adding that these projects had been started to facilitate the tourists.
The locals also complain that the delay in the execution of up-gradation project of Kokernag- Sinthan-Kishtwar route was preventing the people on both sides from reaping the economic benefits. “If the road project is executed, it besides developing tourism on either side, would also promote trade activities directly, benefiting people living in villages along these roads,” said locals while asking the government to immediately take up the Singhpora-Vailoo tunnel construction to minimize the distance.
People also complain that the Matigawran- Warwan road project taken up by the then government headed by the then Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad was left midway and though light vehicles ply on this route during summer, but it is fraught with dangers.
“If this stretch is fully macadamized and made functional, it besides alleviating the sufferings of the people of far off places of Kishtwar including Inshan, Warwan, Marwah and Dachan would also boost the tourism of these areas,” said Muhammad Akbar’
He said that the Matigawran-Inshan-Warwan road is a very difficult one and remains open in summers only, so government should work on its up-gradation to make it more accessible.
He further said that the Mati Gawran on Kokernag side could emerge as a trade mandi for cross- Pir- Panchal commercial activities.
“Efforts should be made to attract tourists visiting Kashmir to take the return route via Kokernag for a visit to Warwan and Marwah, the beautiful valleys in Kishtwar besides some other scenic spots like Inshan Top, Margan Top, Dachan, Aalwi Maidan and Fambran Nallah ( known for trout fish),” the residents said.
They said that tourists should be encouraged to explore these beautiful places.
The government should develop tourism villages located near forests and springs in Kokernag and Kishtwar side,” added locals.
Reports Compiled by
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 3 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 4 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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