Tourism deptt cracks whip on 'fraudsters' overcharging visitors, selling fake handicrafts

To stop malpractices like overcharging and selling of fake items to tourists, Tourism Department has cracked whip on ‘fraudsters’ found duping visitors visiting Kashmir.

The department has collected Rs 1.84 lakh from offenders during the first three months of the current year.

An official of the department said amount of fine collected from the offenders gives an understanding to what extent violators are finding it easy in the state to dupe visitors despite stringent laws in place.

The department has fined offenders found selling fake handicraft items and overcharging against fixed charges of cabs and other services.

“Overcharging, deceiving by way of selling fake products. Anyone found overcharging or selling fake products was fined. Besides cases were also lodged against many people found duping visitors at various places,” Director Tourism Nisar Ahmad Wani told Greater Kashmir. 

He said the department has launched proactive action to check malpractices.

Last year, the department in a similar action to tighten noose against offenders found overcharging for their services or selling fake handicraft items under brand name Kashmir had collected fine of Rs 10.11 lakh. While, figures suggest 11 FIRs were also lodged against the offenders.

Besides, the official figures suggest amount of Rs 7.57 lakh was refunded back to the visitors who were duped of their money in 2018 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Within three months of this year, Rs 1.05 has been refunded back to the visitors who were duped of their money by the department.

In order to avoid negative publicity and bad name to state’s tourism industry, the department has kept its separate wing, Tourist Police in the state.