With the worst ever torrential rains and floods causing death and destruction all around in Jammu and Kashmir, its tourism industry, considered as Kashmir’s backbone, seems to be worst hit with experts maintaining that it will take years for this sector to attract tourists again to the lofty landscapes.
According to the KNS correspondent, almost all the hotels and restaurants at the tourist hub Lal Chowk were under flood waters from that last 7 days. As the water receded, it left the dreadful marks of the heavy damage it caused to these places. “It will be all together a different tale now. You cannot expect Kashmir’s tourism to work normally. As the water would start receding, more destruction would come to fore,” said a local hotel owner.
He added that as the government would provide relief to the flood hit victims, it would be a difficult task to take the tourism industry back on gear. Several others while seconding his thoughts maintained that people from the outer world would from now one feel insecure to visit valley. “This place is no longer a paradise. How could you assure a tourist that such mayhem will not be witnessed again. We understand the minds of tourists. They will surely feel reluctant in visiting valley again,” said Abdul Hameed, a travel agent.
“Earlier, it used to be the militancy. But now it is the environmental catastrophe that has damaged Kashmir’s tourism. How is this possible that after watching death and destruction on television channels, a tourist along with his family would prefer Kashmir,” asked another Shikara owner.
Kashmir witnessed its worst ever floods on September 7 with a water flowing into the homes at various areas causing death and destruction all around. Worst hit areas in Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital were Raj Bagh and Jawahar Nagar.
Houses got collapsed with cars and other public property marooned, making it difficult for rescue workers to enter the area for relief purposes.
Many parts of the city have begun ‘stinking’ with pungent smell coming from all directions.