Kashmir Indepth

As tourists rue poor road infrastructure, J&K Governor directs for setting up recreational facilities for guests

Ishtiyaq Ahmed

Prepare for the greatest experience after eating a nutritious breakfast. You will travel over some of the highest passes in the world on your adventure, and you will be greeted by ever-changing vistas of the desolate landscape. Stop at the café on Khardung-La Pass, the highest all-season motorable road in the world, and take in the scenery; you'll feel as though you're on top of the world. Upon leaving Khardung-la, the terrain changes to a white sand desert as you approach the Nubra Valley, which is home to the Nubra Sand Dunes. Visit the Diskit Monastery, the oldest and biggest monastery in Ladakh, which also contains a sizable Buddha statue, if time permits.

Srinagar, Jul 16 : Governor Satya Pal Malik has asked the officers to ensure immediate repair of roads leading to the tourist spots across Kashmir and Srinagar and also to set up sources of entertainment for the visitors both foreign and domestic so that they enjoy their evening stays in Srinagar along the Boulevard.

“Special directions have been passed to many departments while as hospitality and protocol department in collaboration with the tourism department have been asked to ensure musical evenings along the Boulevard stretch,” a senior officer in the tourism department told.

The development comes days after the tourists complained that poor infrastructure especially poor road connectivity and lack of entertainment avenues, especially in the evening, was leaving them disappointed.

With all the tourist place that include Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Mughal gardens in Srinagar, and house boats in the world famous Dal Lake in the heart of city abuzz with the tourists of every kind these days, many tourists have demanded that there should have been better roads in Srinagar and other areas that connect city with the tourist spots so that tourist feel the real joy of the travel they do in Kashmir.

“We are from Mahrashtra and there is a heat wave at present. The temperatures there is almost 45 degrees and it is very hot there. Kashmir is cool. Here, temperature is just less than 30 degrees. It is really a paradise on the earth,” said Anupama, who has come with her parents to spend 15-days vacation period here. While praising the hospitality of people of Kashmir, she said that there is no night life in Srinagar or elsewhere in Kashmir.

“We travelled to all famous tourist spots but found that there is a big problem of road connectivity. Majority of roads are in shambles and there are potholes after every two kilomteres. The only road link which we found worth travel was a new bypasses that connects Srinagar with the South Kashmir.”

Mahesh Kumar, a software engineer, from Madhya Pradesh, who has booked house boat in the middle of Dal Lake said that there is no place in the world better than Kashmir. “But roads have irked us a lot. There is traffic mess everywhere and less development. There is no source of entertainment during evening hours and no kiosks despite being the world famous tourist destination,” he told.

These days tourists have occupied most of the hotels, houseboats, guest houses, lodges in Kashmir given the ongoing Amarnath Yatra and the tourist season. A tour operator at the Boulevard said that because of the heat wave across the country, tourist influx has increased to Kashmir of late. “We hope a bumper tourist season this year,” he said. (KNS)

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