SRINAGAR, July 6: Expressing concern that people were not following COVID guidelines, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole Monday said he has directed tourism development authorities not to allow any person to visit tourist places.
Authorities have closed tourist places in Kashmir to contain the spread of coronvirus. Surprisingly, the authorities are allowing people to visit tourist places like Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Kokernag, and Drung, thus posing a serious threat of spread of deadly virus.
Divisional Commissioner Kashmir P K Pole also expressed concern that people were visiting tourist places. “We are looking into how to stop people from visiting tourist places. I have also directed tourism development authorities not to allow anyone to visit tourist places,” Pole told news agency Kashmir Indepth News Service (KINS).
He said tourist places have not been opened yet as there is a rise in the coronavirus cases.
A spokesperson of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), in a statement on Monday said people had started thronging public parks and picnic spots which was a matter of grave concern and alarm. “The situation gets worse on weekends and holidays,” the spokesperson said.
The business leaders, elders of civil society and families are requested to play their role in controlling the serious ramifications of this invisible pandemic, it said.
Scores of people are thronging daily to the picturesque Pahalgam, Sonamarg even without wearing masks or maintaining social distancing.
“Hundreds of people visit here daily. Although the government says tourist places are closed for visitors, people are allowed to visit Pahalgam,” an official told KINS.
The official said the orders of the government are not implemented on the ground. “We fail to understand if tourist places are closed then how come these people reach here,” he said.
People are being allowed to go to Pahalgam despite SDM Pahalagm on June 23 issued an order, which reads, “It has been observed that during the past few days the local tourists have started to come to Pahalgam. They have tried to pitch tents and stay on the banks of the river. In view of the COVID-19, the flow needs to be stopped. It is therefore ordered that all checkpoints be strengthened and all tourist activity be stopped till further orders. Tehsildar and SHO concerned will ensure the implementation of the restrictions in the area. Besides I/C tourist police will render all the assistance to SHO Pahalgam for implementation of the order.”(KINS)