Revive tourism, transport sectors: Hakeem Yaseen urges Parliamentary Standing Committee

Saying that the recent visit of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to Kashmir was a welcome step, Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) Chairman Hakeem Yaseen urged New Delhi to implement all recommendations of the committee in letter and spirit with regard to revival of tourism, trade and transport sectors which had been hit hard due to the prevailing political uncertainty in J&K.

A statement of PDF issued here quoted Yaseen as saying that the emerging situation post August 5, 2019 followed by the disastrous coronavirus pandemic had broken the neck of economy, particularly in Kashmir.

He said that the stakeholders of tourism, trade and transport need a massive economic package to help them revive their businesses.

The statement quoted Yaseen as welcoming the visit of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to Kashmir and exuded confidence that the committee would understand the magnitude of the plethora of problems confronting Kashmiris and prevail upon New Delhi to implement its recommendation with a sense of urgency to revive tourism and trade in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said financial conditions of the people associated with tourism, trade and transport in particular had been devastated to such an alarming extent that they were in the grip of total bankruptcy.

The statement said Yaseen urged the Government of India to rise to the occasion and come to the rescue of the traders, businessmen and tourism players, especially the hoteliers, Shikarawalas and poor artisans by providing them a big economic stimulus so that they are able to restart their business activities.

The PDF Chairman said that he hoped, unlike the past, the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for revival of tourism and trade in Kashmir would be implemented on the ground.

Yaseen urged New Delhi that the dilapidated condition of the Srinagar-Jammu highway and skyrocketing airfares were the two basic reasons that always played a spoilsport with the tourism and transport sectors and cause distress and socio-economic burden on the general people in Kashmir, particularly the stakeholders adding.

“The Government of India should complete the four-laning of NH-44 on an emergency basis besides rationalising airfare structure to make it affordable even for the poor and middleclass tourists and passengers,” he said in the statement.

It quoted Yaseen as saying that the frequent suspension of both the road and air connectivity, particularly during the winter, caused enormous hardships to the people and inflicted heavy losses to the tourism sector.

He also pleaded for ensuring uninterrupted power supply and financial packages for artisans, employment package for the unemployment youth and promotion of cultural and adventure sports, and medical tourism, preservation of cultural heritage, revival and restoration of lakes and other water bodies and better road connectivity across all tourist destinations including the construction of Tosamaidan-Doodpathri-Yusmarg tourism circuit.