Re-open religious places, tourism sector to revive J&K economy: JKAP

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) on Tuesday appealed the Lt Governor, GC Murmu for his personal intervention to re-open tourism sector and religious places across J&K to revive shattered economy associated with these sectors.

In a joint statement, the party leaders Aijaz Ahmed Khan, Manjit Singh and Vikram Malhotra appealed the government to open the religious places so that the business associated with these places can be revived to support the businessmen and their families which are facing financial crises with the closing of the sector.

They said Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra, historic Raghunath Temple in Jammu’s old city, Bawe Wali Mata Temple at historic fort near Bagh-e-Bahu, Satwari Zayarat, Shahdara Sharief Zayarat in Rajouri district, Shiv Khori in Reasi, Peer Kho cave, shrine of Shah Asrar popularly known as Darbar-e Asrariya and Astan-e-Payeen in Kishtwar, Machail Mata, Buddha Amarnath Ji in Poonch, Chauntra Mata temple in the hills of Ramnagar in Udhampur and other such religiously important places should be re-opened for the visitors and devotees.

“Jammu and Kashmir has always being an attractive place for religious pilgrimage and tourism sector. However, during lockdown due to COVID19, the business establishments associated with these sectors and religious places have been shattered completely,” said the leaders while asking the government to review their decision and grant permission to re-open these places.

Similarly, the tourism places like Surinsar, Mansar, Patnitop, Sanasar, Bhaderwah’s Jhai Valley and other places should be thrown open for the visitors so that the tourism sector can be revived, they said.

“There is a need to revive the economy linked with these sectors especially in view of suffering faced by the small traders, taxi operators, shopkeepers, Ponywala, Palki walas, Reheri walas and Phari walas,” the JKAP leader said, demanding a financial package for the ponywalas, pithu walas and palki walas of Amarnath Yyatra and Shri Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra.

They said from the past one year, J&K’s tourism and religious sectors have been shattered.