Marking the first anniversary of freeing of Tosamaidan from 50 year-lease, three-day festival of Jashan-e-Tosamaidan commenced here on Saturday with people thronging the meadows in large numbers.
On the first two days of the festival, thousands of people went to the meadows of Tosamaidan and enjoyed the serene ambience after decades of isolation of the places from local population.
Once labelled as the ‘death meadow’, Tosamaidan now is becoming ray of hope for dozens of villages, worst hit during its 50-year lease to Artillery wing of Indian Army.
Tosamaidan Bachav Front (TBF) in association with locals from villages like Sutharan, Drang, Shunglipora and Khag have been celebrating Jashan-e-Tosamaidan since August 2014 with thousands from all over Kashmir attending the festival.
People from different routes were seen marching towards the virgin meadows of Tosamaidan since early morning today.
Ponies were available from various locations including Sutharan and Drang. However, seeing the deteriorating condition of Sutharan-Tosamaidan road, visitors preferred tippers to reach the meadow to attend the festival.
Several people has installed their stalls selling items from Kashmir art to food stuff.
Visiting the meadow first time, Manzoor Ahmad Paul from Souibug Budgam said, “Seeing the virgin beauty of Tosamaidan, I am stunned. This place needs to be developed cautiously.”
“I came to know about Tosamaidan through media and was very anxious to feel the breathless beauty of the meadow myself ever since,” he added.
Talking to us, vice president TBF, Muhammad Akram Sheikh said that the festival has been a great success.
He added that government should come out with lease de-notification as soon.
According to official sources, 64 people had lost their lives and hundreds were physically impaired during the 50-year lease of Tosamaidan.
With people waiting for the de-notification order, locals demanded independent tourist status to Tosamaidan.