Naveed Ul Haq
Budgam, May 15: Nilnag Lake, located at a high altitude near the famous Yousmarg in this central Kashmir’s Budgam district, has been hailed as a perfect tourist destination by adventure lovers and the locals have demanded the place be developed to attract more visitors.
The lake is known for its blue water and is surrounded by pine trees and snow-capped mountains, presenting a picturesque view.
Rayees Ahmad, a local of Nilnag village, said that the lake is under the management of the Yousmarg Development Authority and has the potential to become a significant tourism destination for locals as well as tourists,
“There is no doubt that the tourists from all over the country and abroad would love to come here if the government pays attention to this place and develop it like other tourist destinations,” Rayees said.
He said the authorities should make parks, install benches and start water activities besides fencing the lake. “But for that, the government should do more programmes and events for its promotion,” he said.
Another local, Iqbal Ahmad, said the government had to construct a clear route connecting the lake and the well-known tourist destination Yousmarg.
They should first build a road so that people can easily access Nilnag after visiting Yousmarg, he said, adding, “The people can start trekking from Yousmarg and will reach Nilnag in an hour. Right now, people are unable to reach here during rainy days or if there is erratic weather.”
If the government will promote this location and develop it like other tourist spots, it will create livelihood opportunities for the locals of Nilnag, Iqbal added.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yousmarg Development Authority Bilal Khurshid told KNO that the benches, dustbins and washrooms are already there, and a path around the lake is being built to enhance its beauty.
“Two huts have been built and one is under construction,” Bilal said, adding, “Once the work is complete, all these facilities will be formally dedicated to the public so that people can enjoy spending the night near the lake. Things are moving slowly, and both these destinations (Nilnag Lake and Yousmarg) will attract more tourists.”
When asked about the road connecting Yousmarg and Nilnag, the CEO said they have taken up the issue with the district administration and hope the road will be provided soon, he said.
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