Anantnag, Aug 23: The picturesque Sheikhpura area in Sallar hamlet of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district is attracting a huge number of tourists but awaits development.
The locals of the area said, “Sheikhpura has a great tourism potential and needs to be developed so that the visitors do not face any kind of inconvenience.”
They call it ‘Chota Gulmarg’ as the place has big green pastures and tall alpines all around.
The spot is just around a few hundred metres from Bijbehara-Pahalgam road in Sallar and gives breathtaking views with tall alpine trees along the road for miles.
Hundreds of people visit here but due to the unavailability of any facilities, they face issues and do not stay for long, the locals said, adding that several schools are visiting the area for picnics and complain of lack of facilities like washrooms, etc.
The visitors have to return to Sallar to purchase eatables and other items, they said.
This picnic spot receives a huge rush of people, especially youth, who come here to get relief from sizzling temperatures, they said.
The locals said no government has fulfilled the promise of developing this breathtaking site.
“If promoted like other tourist spots, thousands of people will visit here,” they said, adding that this will create livelihood opportunities for youth,” said Shabir Ahmad, a local.
Shabir said the locals of the area have several times appealed to the concerned authorities to bring the area on the tourism map.
“We were assured by the administration that the area will be brought under the tourism map but no steps have been taken on the ground,” he said.
The Sheikhpura residents have appealed to DC Anantnag and Director Tourism to once again take a visit to the area and “see how beautiful this place is”.