Tourists rue absence of mobile network at scenic Athwatoo

The picturesque tourist spot of Athwatoo in Bandipora district thronged by many during summers does not have mobile network connectivity, holding up its real potential.

Located at the foothills of Harmukh mountains Athwatoo is surrounded by serene and thick forests and streams of crystalline water gush down the slopes.

However, visitors and locals are aghast over lack of mobile connectivity in the area.

Many visitors and families who visited Athwatoo on Sunday said that they were disappointed because of lack of mobile connectivity and felt anxious there.

“We had come to spend quality time here as we have been hearing a lot about this place, and it is really a beautiful place to visit with family and friends. However, lack of mobile connectivity here is a cause of concern. In today’s world no one would want to be disconnected from outside world,” said Muhammad Amir, who had come to Athwatoo for a night stay with his friends from Sopore.

Amir said that they were not reachable to friends and folks back home, leading to worries.

“We were out of network coverage during our night stay at Athwatoo. It’s such a beautiful place and I would urge everyone to visit here but lack of mobile connectivity is an issue and authorities should do something about it,” said Amir’s friend, Mohammad Ehsan.

A few tourists visiting from outside the state also rued the missing mobile connectivity at the beautiful area.

“I visited the place for the first time as I have been seeing posts on social media about this place and it really is a beautiful place but mobile connectivity is an issue here and the government must provide the connectivity as soon as possible, ” said Riya Singh, who had come all the way from Chandigarh.

Locals say they had to come down at least a kilometer to get mobile network coverage even as the nearest village is just 30 minutes from the district headquarters.

They appealed the Governor to look into the matter to help boost tourist flow to Athwatoo. Deputy Commissioner for Bandipora, Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, could not be contacted for his response.