Kupwara: The Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kupwara, Dr Doifode Sagar Dattatray has asked to residents of Sub Division Karnah to come forward with homestay and paying guest facilities to cater to the growing footfall of tourists to Tangdhar and Teetwal.
The DC was addressing a mega grievances redressal camp at Tangdhar.
Maintaining that tourism has grown manifold in Kupwara district in 2022-23 compared to 2021-22, the DC said that in 2020-21, 40,000 tourists visited Kupwara district. In 2022-23, 3,75000 tourists visited Kupwara district and during the current financial year 2023-24, 2,50000 tourists have visited Kupwara district which is a record, out of them 30,0000 tourists visited Teetwal alone.
“This year 600000 to 700000 tourists are expected to visit Kupwara district. To cater to the growing tourist rush we have to ensure their smooth stay, proper sanitation, cleanliness and good food for them, he added.
We have to make efforts to bring Srinagar-bound tourists to Kupwara and Kupwara-bound tourists to Tangdhar and Teetwal as border areas like Tangdhar, Teetwal, Kern and Machil has tremendous tourism potential especially border tourism, site seeing and adventure tourism, said Dr Sagar.
There is an urgent need to make available rooms for the increasing demand for accommodation through the homestay initiative.
More homestays, paying guest accommodation and construction of small hotels in Tangdhar, Teetwal and other places are need of the hour so that visitors can get comfortable accommodation, he elaborated.
The DC said that unemployed youth of the district should avail the maximum benefit of the Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) and open new vistas of self-employment for them and good accommodation for visitors.
He said the soft loans are being given to the unemployed youth for starting their own ventures including the upgradation and renovation of good homestays, small hotels and paying guest facilities.
Loans to the tune of Rs 10 lakh are being given with a subsidy of 35 to 40 percent subsidy.
The DC said that one homestay room could fetch Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per night.
He said locals and PRIs are equal partners in the promotion of tourism. It is their duty to motivate people for homestay, and the construction of small hotel accommodations.
This idea of expanding homestay will aid in the upliftment of the rural population by providing alternative rural livelihoods. This will also lead to higher income generation among the rural people.
The concept of homestay and paying guest houses will promote local culture, cuisine, and handicrafts and enhance employment opportunities for local residents.
The DC said that the district administration is committed to promoting tourism in border areas.
“For the promotion of border tourism 4 road projects with a project cost of Rs 20 crores have been approved under NABARD in Karnah Sub division alone, said Dr Sagar.
He further said that the district administration is contemplating constructing Karnah House near Chowkibal or at any other suitable place where Karnah-based passengers can be accommodated during harsh weather conditions in winter. A good DPR is being prepared and will be approved under any scheme.
The DC said that DPR for the construction of a shelter close to TP or Chowkibal is being prepared on the patterns of NC Pass shelter which can accommodate women and children passengers who get stuck during the frequent closure of Sadna Pass during winter.