‘Open Up Kashmir for Yatris’: Business Chamber Urges Wider Tourism Exposure

'Open Up Kashmir for Yatris': Business Chamber Urges Wider Tourism Exposure

Kashmir Beyond the Yatra: KCCI Pushes for Tourist Experiences for Pilgrims

Srinagar: In a significant meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday, Javed Tenga, President, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI), presented a comprehensive set of suggestions aimed at ensuring a smooth Amarnath Yatra and improving the overall tourism sector in Kashmir.

The meeting, which brought together key stakeholders, focused on addressing various aspects of the upcoming pilgrimage and its impact on local tourism.

Tenga, representing the trade sector, emphasised Kashmir’s long-standing tradition of hospitality towards Amarnath pilgrims. He proposed allowing pilgrims free movement in non-Yatra areas, enabling them to experience the renowned Kashmiri hospitality firsthand. This move, he suggested, would not only enhance the pilgrims’ experience but also promote cultural exchange.

In a bid to balance the needs of the Yatra with those of regular tourism, Tenga advocated for minimal travel restrictions on tourists and locals during the pilgrimage period. He highlighted the importance of maintaining a vibrant tourism ecosystem throughout the Yatra season.

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Addressing infrastructural concerns, the KCCI President called for improved traffic management, recognizing it as a crucial factor in ensuring a positive experience for both pilgrims and tourists. He stressed the need for efficient traffic flow to prevent inconvenience to visitors and locals alike.

According to the statement, Tenga also brought attention to the upcoming month of Muharram, requesting uninterrupted power supply during this period. Furthermore, he advocated for allowing traditional Muharram processions, emphasizing the importance of respecting local religious practices.

“LG Sinha responded to each point, emphasizing Kashmir’s multicultural heritage and the duty of the majority to protect minorities. He announced the establishment of two year-round hospitals at Chandanwari and Sonamarg for pilgrims and locals. The LG directed the Divisional Commissioner to consider allowing pilgrims’ movement in non-Yatra areas, security permitting, and assured minimal restrictions on tourist and local travel, barring convoy movements.

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Addressing traffic concerns, Sinha issued immediate orders for improved management, particularly on the Dalgate-Nishat route, with a high-level meeting convened immediately after. He committed to avoiding power outages during Muharram and confirmed that traditional Muharram processions would be allowed, as in the previous year.”

The LG also agreed to convene another meeting with stakeholders to further discuss these matters, as suggested by KCCI President Tenga, the statement adds.

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