Raja Syed Rather
Ganderbal, Nov 9: With the government planning to open Sonamarg for tourists in winter for the first time, Chairman J&K Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya on Wednesday appealed to Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to ensure hassle-free services for the smooth movement of visitors to famous tourist destination.
Speaking at a press conference here in Sonamarg, Chaya said while the government is preparing to keep the health resort open during the winter, all the required facilities should be made available for tourists. “There must be proper heating arrangements in hotels, water, electricity, and also proper plan for promoting Sonamarg as a winter tourist destination at all levels so that the visitors can have the best experience,” he said.
Chaya added, “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and we will ensure that Sonamarg is successfully promoted as a winter tourist destination. As such, the government must provide uninterrupted electricity here and ensure better road connectivity. I also request the LG administration to give us authorisation to renovate our hotels.”
J&K Hoteliers Club Sonamarg on the occasion said they have requested the Tourism Department to hold a grand New Year event here so that more tourists and locals are attracted to the place.
Meanwhile, a meeting of hoteliers and shopkeepers in Sonamarg was held here which was presided over by a local trade body president Shabir Ahmad Lone and Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya.
In the meeting, a detailed discussion was held by the services providers of Sonamarg regarding the facilities to be provided to them in view of keeping the businesses open during winter.
As per a statement, the meeting urged the administration to provide better medical facilities at Sonamarg, 24×7 water and electricity supply, and fire & emergency services during winters when the temperature plummets to minus 10 to 12 degrees Celsius.
Every year during winter, Sonamarg remains closed for traffic movement for three to four months due to heavy snow and avalanches at several places along the road, from Gagangeer up to Sonamarg, particularly at Hung. However, now with progress on the construction of the Z-Morh tunnel near Gagangeer, the tourist destination in Kashmir could remain open this winter.