Naveed Ul Haq
Budgam, Apr 26: Tosamaidan meadow which was used as a firing range by the army in Budgam district is all set to witness the arrival of tourists with the government planning to promote the destination in a big way.
As per details available, explosions of shells killed above 60 people while more than 250 were disabled. It was used as a firing range by the army till 2014.
After the area was cleared of explosives, the meadow was opened to visitors on 30 May 2016 and since then the government is organising programmes and festivals to promote Tosamaidan as a tourist destination.
CEO Tosamaidan Nargis Suraya said that the department is working on forefront to develop it and provide infrastructure so that people would have easy access to reach the destination and they could enjoy the beauty here.
“As of now we have made a base camp at Sitharan Khag where we have constructed parks, buildings, hut etc. In December 2021, Tosamaidan festival was held at Sitharan to attract the people towards the destination and a good response was witnessed after that but during winter months fewer people were seen going towards the spot,” she added.
Suraya said they will hold a festival at Tosamaidan to attract people to the place.
“We are confident that our efforts to promote this place as a tourism destination and the involvement of local stakeholders will play a key role in the turnaround,” she added.
She said the land at Tosamaidan is still with the forest department so no infrastructure has been built by the tourism department at the main tourist destination.
Founder of Tosamaidan Bachav Front Dr Sheikh Gulam Rasool said that they want the destination as a natural tourist destination not a picnic destination where people will come and make the place dirty with plastic and garbage.
He said that people want Tosamaidan as a community based nature tourism destination as its ecological will be preserved and locally livelihood could be generated.
“We want people to trek here and no construction should be done at the main destination and those who visit this place should refrain from making any harm to nature,” he added.