Tourism Ruined By Hartals And Protests In Kashmir: Omar

2 July 2009
The Hindu

Srinagar: With the Kashmir valley hit by repeated strikes, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has come down heavily on shutdowns, saying tourism has been ruined by hartals and protests incited by vested elements. 'Everybody regrets that tourism in J&K, particularly Kashmir, once the only hub of tourists, today, in spite of government efforts being made to attract tourists, is being ruined by day-to-day hartals and stray protests created by vested elements, which make tourists to flee from this paradise', Mr. Omar said at a function here last evening. Mr. Omar said the time has come for the people connected with tourism sector to ponder over the fact that 'negative tendency of hartal politics' has given nothing to them and it is only the common man who is suffering and deprived of his bread and butter. He said the tourism industry in the state has incurred heavy losses in the last several years and expressed his government's determination to bring people out of the ongoing confusion which is being deliberately created to shatter the economy and their livelihood. Expressing his happiness on taking over of Nigeen Club by the state government after 20 years of occupation by security forces, the chief minister said his government will soon get all hotels and huts vacated by the security forces.