Gagangeer without facilities, tourists aghast
Gagangeer (Sonamarg), Mar 8: The people visiting the Gagangeer tourist spot here have complained about lack of facilities and infrastructure.
“With the improvement in weather conditions, scores of tourists are visiting the area. But they are utterly disappointed due to lack of facilities at the spot,” the vendors in the area told Greater Kashmir.
Gagangeer is a village eight kilometers ahead of the famous summer resort of Sonamarg on Srinagar-Leh highway.
The village is abuzz with heavy rush of tourists these days as the road leading to Sonamarg has been closed for all types of vehicular traffic by authorities in December last year due to the heavy snowfall and chances of land slides enroute.
Hundreds of tourists who come to visit Sonamarg have to return from Gagangeer due to the road closure. But according to the tourists, they are enjoying the beautiful locales of Gagangeer.
“The availability of snow sledges and horses makes the visit more enjoyable,” the tourists said.
Hundreds of local people associated with the tourism sector are earning handsomely by offering sledge and horse rides.
However, majority of the tourists complain about the lack of infrastructure including absence of accommodation, refreshment spots and lavatories.
“It is my third visit to this area. We came to visit Sonamarg, but as the road has been closed so we have to return without visiting to our favourite destination. However, we enjoyed a lot at Gagangeer. But lack of facilities have disappointed us,” Manoj Ahuja a tourist told Greater Kashmir.
The locals are dependent on the tourism sector and have urged the government to develop the area and tap its potential.
“We are totally dependent on the tourism season in Sonamarg during summers and remain idle during winters. But form last couple of months thousands of tourists visited here which gave us a sigh of relief as we offer them sledge and horse riding and earned handsome amount to sustain our family. However, lack of facilities is disappointing the visitors,” Bashir Ahmad, a local has a sledge said.
When contacted, Director Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah said immediate steps would be taken to upgrade the basic infrastructure at Gagangeer. “We have developed a good infrastructure at the main tourist spot of Sonamarg. I will ask the CEO Sonamarg to take immediate steps to improve the tourism infrastructure at Gagangeer so that the visitors may not face any inconvenience” he said.
Sonmarg Development Authority Chief Executive Officer, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat said a restaurant and a hut constructed by the Authority at Gagangeer would be made functional from next month. He said more development works would be undertaken at Gagangeer this year.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 8 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 9 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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