Hoteliers pitch for removal of forces from tourist spots
Demand new tourism policy for JK
Srinagar, May 31: Pitching for their removal from tourist destinations, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association today said that security forces’ presence at tourist attractions sends negative signal outside.
“It is a matter of concern. Presence of security forces in and around tourist destinations brings about negative impact on the tourism industry,” President KHARA, Showkat Chowdhary said.
Addressing a press conference at a local hotel today, Chowdhary said: “Tourism is the only surviving industry in Kashmir. We want that government should frame a Tourism Policy which will provide industrial benefits for this sector.”
Chowdhary stressed the need for developing tourist places in Kashmir. “Places like Dudpathri, Yousmarg, Sonamarg and other resorts should be developed to cater to the huge inflow of tourists and there is also a need to develop infrastructure,” Chowdhary said, adding that a comprehensive tourism policy will encourage and attract entrepreneurs to invest in hospitality sector.
He said there is a dire need for upgradating infrastructure in the hospitality sector. “We need to construct hotels and guesthouses with all modern facilities,” he said.
“We appeal to state government to introduce single window system for getting NOCs for the construction or repair of hotels and guesthouses,” Chowdhary said.
President KHARA demanded that state government should take back possession of Centaur hotel.
He said: “Civil Aviation ministry should take over the control of airport from air force, as the air force has air base at Awantipora.”
“Srinagar International Airport should operate like other international airports in the country and all international airlines should be invited for their operations. Besides, night flights should also be allowed and encouraged from across the world, particularly from Middle East, Europe, Australia and South Asian Countries,” he said.
Chowdhary said: “Most of our domestic tourists travel by railways and during tourism season rush of such tourists almost doubles.”
“We appeal the centre government to allocate extra trains on Jammu route from different places during the months of April to September to facilitate travel of tourists to Kashmir,” he said.
On water tariff hike, Chowdhary said it is quite unfortunate that government has increased the water tariffs by more than 20 times.
“Earlier the ‘C’ category hotels would pay water tax of Rs 1000, but now they are being asked to pay Rs 24000 which is steep hike and will affect hospitality sector.”
Chowdhary however praised the Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora for reviving and also promoting tourism sector of valley.
Meanwhile, former president KHARA, Khazir Muhammad Dar while speaking on the occasion said: “There are some flaws in the master plan that need to be rectified. The plan does not identify even a single place for construction of hotels and guesthouses,” he said.
He said the government needs to earmark places where construction of hotels and guesthouses is made permissible.
Vice-President KHARA, Haji Dr Abdul Majid and Joint Secretary General , Abdul Majeed were also present on the occasion.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 31 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 1 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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