Srinagar, July 13: Anguish has been driven among the locals of Kashmir valley after government authorities on Sunday asked local visitors to vacate the tourist places and issued a notice regarding opening of tourist places with effect from 14th of July 2020 for non local tourists in a phased manner.
Amid spike in Covid-19 positive cases as well as hike in number of deaths taking in clutches the people of small age groups as well, authorities reimposed the lockdown in various areas including Srinagar district, Kupwara, Kulgam on Sunday and asked local visitors to evacuate the tourist places with an immediate effect.
However, in an order the government of Jammu and Kashmir is mulling up to reopen the tourist places for non local visitors in a phased manner with effect from 14-07-2020 where there will be a partial opening of the tourism sector for external visitors from outside J&K.
The order read as, ” Whereas, the government of Jammu and Kashmir have decided to open the tourism sector in a phased manner w.e.f 14-07-2020. In view of Covid-19, it is felt imperative to put in place a protocol to be followed by the tourists as well as the authorities engaged in the hospitality sector. In this phase there will be a partial opening of the tourism sector for external visitors from outside J&K, limited to tourists arriving by air only. All incoming tourists must have confirmed hotel bookings for the duration of their stay. All incoming tourists must have confirmed a return air ticket to any place outside J&K.”
Soon after the order was issued the locals of Kashmir valley posed a huge question on the decision of evacuating the locals from tourist places citing the spike in Covid-19 case as the reason while allowing the external tourists to visit the Kashmir valley.
“I was in Pahalgam with my friends yesterday as government had opened the tourist places for all a week ago, but we soon had to vacate the place after an announcement was made for the evacuation of tourist place, ” Nayeem Nabi, al resident of Srinagar told news agency Kashmir News Bureau.
He further said, “I fail to understand how come the Administration has issued an order to reopen the tourist places for external visitors. Does this indicate that the virus only stick to the local Kashmiris and not for the external tourists.”
Another resident said, ” As the government has issued an order of reopening the tourist places for non local visitors, the authorities should similarly act for the local tourists as well who are in depression from the past one year. Instead of acting in a similar way they have reimposed a strict lockdown in various districts and barred off the local visitors to visit tourist places.”
Pertinently, Strict lockdown restrictions were reimposed in most parts of Kashmir, including in the Srinagar city, on Monday after a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in the valley over the past one week was witnessed. The authorities have sealed most of the roads and market places, including the business hub of Lal Chowk.