Looks like more a Medical Camp rather than a Gurez Festival: Nazir Gurezi
Bandipora, August 01: In an embarrassing moment for J&K Tourism Department, two days festival organised by the Department to promote tourism of Gurez valley turned a ‘flop show’.The first festival organised and managed by Governor’s adminstration witness meager participation as it failed to attract the people amid lack of arrangements. The ninth Gurez Festival 2019 was inaugurated by Principal Secretary Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Dr Asghar Samoon on 30th July in presence of DC Bandipora Director Tourism other officials of the district. The first Gurez Festival was organised in the year 2009.
The two days Gurez festival which incorporates series of cultural and sports events concludes on wednsday. The yearly festival is organised to promote tourism in the Gurez valley but 2019 Festival proved a failure as the Tourism department failed to provide facilities not only to guests but failed the participants too.
The Festival marred with mismanagement turned a damp squib as the performers including school children were forced to wait in scorching in absence of proper seating arrangements. The organisers failed to attract people because they failed to manage the event by” most of participants said. Tall claims of the tourism department were punctured when most of participants arriving were leaving the event feeling mismanagement band lack of arrangements. why to waste time in an event which is not more than a mere gathering, this festival used to be an informative and attractive event but Government has proved it’s failure’ said Muhmmad Subhan who elgt event immediately after arrival with many participants.
Due to this inordinate infrastructure the audience and the performers including school children were forced to wait in sweltering sun and that too on the ground. This is not only caused inconvenience to participants but the invited performers were made to wait under the oppressive sun light. Locals blamed that participants were made to perform on the dusty.
A group of participants told FK that the sitting arrangements for audience was not made properly and even the ground was not cleaned, the area chooses for the event was dusty. The mismanagement not only affected participants and performers but officials representing several departments were forced to stand up in absence of sweating arrangement. People were seen standing under Open Sky in the sunny day. There was no refreshment even not for participants.
Festival 2019 is a flop show and State’s tourism department so to be balmed, locals said demanding probe of funds utlised for management of the event. Most of the participants in meager gathering expressed unawareness as the department has failed to reach out public about the festival. We have reached here of our own there was no announcement no advertsio about the festival which used to a routine earlier”said Ghulam Hassan.
Lack of arrangements and wide publication speaks volumes about the inefficiency and lazyness of tourism department. Gurez festival which is being celebrated since 2009 by the tourism department inorder to promote Tourism has brought no cheer among the dwellers of hamlets as the Festival witnessed lack of coordination and mismanagement this time.
People prefer to stay away from the Festival, as the event was not managed properly” said an officer on conditions of anonymity, adding “it is just exercise of minoring money miniting. Though tourism department claimed of making hard efforts for the promotion of tourism, but the situation on ground reflected grim situation. The claims of the department falls flat when locals when locals openly spoke against the failure of the event.
Locals said that Photo sessions by tourism department have failed to make an impact on the ground. They alleged that when they raised the issue with them, the officials of tourism department rebuked them. officers in tourism department are miniting money in the name of Gurez Festival. Millions of funds are being drawn for this festival every year”they said. Locals demanded enquiry into the amount being drawn, which may be misused by the concerned officials of the department.
Speaking to FK Shahid lone, a local Activist of Gurez said that, Gurez tourism festival hasn’t proved beneficial either to gurez valley or to j&k tourism because tourism department has failed to meet the requirements of this annual festival everytime they organised it. Lack of solid waste management, lack of basic immenities, Facilties and lack active participation of various departments of state is a cause of concern. He said that Participation of tourism department is just confined to conduction of music and recreation programmes and distribution of trophies. They have failed to high light the indigenous culture of Gurez i.e, Dard culture and have also failed to high light two famous things of Gurez’s economy, one handloom and sheep rearing, he said. Shahid said that they have altogether forgotten gurez area and have failed to protect our culture and heritage buildings. Shahid Further added that, Youth have been completely neglected as there isn’t any facility for participation of youth in adventure training programmes like tracking, mountaineering, skiing, winter sports etc.
Javid ahmad another local said that, Gurez Festival is a way to mint and withdrawn lacs of rupee. He said that no proper arrangements was done to make it successful from promotion of festival to promotion of cultural heritage. He said that they should have promoted it through FM’s, social media, pamplets, hoardings, so that people would have prepared for it, but they failed to do so. Errecting two tents for such a huge gathering and audience speaks efficiency of tourism department, he said.
Former MLA Gurez, Nazir Gurez said that, Gurez festival is being organised to attract tourists and this time so many tourists visited gurez, with the passage of time, gurez is exploring day by day throught out country. He said this is quite unfortunate and haunting, the way they are celebrating it. Lack of audience, mismangement is a matter of concern, Governor Adminstration should take an action that why they failed. They should have involve local population to make it successful, he said. Gurezi further added that they should have promoted it through FM’s and other platforms of social media for its wide Publicity. It Looks like more a Medical Camp rather than a Gurez Festival.
However Director tourism Nisar Ahmad denied, nullifying the reports said there was excellent response added that it would not be right to say that it was a flop show. we are achieving targets of this festival he said.