In a bid to woo tourists to Kashmir valley, government has decided to get a liquor shop opened at Srinagar International Airport in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, reports said on Wednesday.

The Airports Authority of India had invited e-tenders – seeking bids from the potential players to run a duty-paid liquor shop at the Sheikhul Aalam international airport – with the lowest bid of Rs 200,000 per month. October 16 was the deadline for the bidding.

Reports quoting official sources said around 50 firms have shown interest to run the venture at the airport that caters to some 20 flights or 3500 passengers a day. The outlet is scheduled to start operations from January 1, 2018. Director Srinagar airport Sharad Kumar, while confirming the development told Asia Times: “All the famous and good quality liquor brands will be available for sales.”

Referring to the prevalent “rise in violence” in the trouble-torn region, Kumar said that the last two years remained “bad for tourism sector” in the valley. “We hope that by providing this facility we can attract more and more tourists. Otherwise there are only a few liquor shops in Kashmir. But here it’ll be available in safe and secure environment and will give a boost to tourism,” Kumar added.

He, however, clarified that no boozing would be allowed at the airport. “They can only buy it and carry it along but you cannot drink at the airport as it won’t be like a bar.”



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