A recent meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu issued directions to reopen Jammu & Kashmir‘s tourism, a vital element of the state’s economy. By Kumar Shree
Jammu & Kashmir’s tourism has been shut since August last year. The Coronavirus pandemic set in shortly after the Central Government scrapped the state’s special status and revoked Article 370. Both events brought tourism in the region to a complete halt. However, after a meeting was held on Monday, authorities have come to the conclusion to reopen Jammu & Kashmir’s tourism.
J&K’s spokesperson and principal secretary, Rohit Kansal also tweeted about the same, “J&K to reopen for tourism soon. Govt to issue detailed guidelines and SoP shortly. LG issues directions in a high-level meeting in Srinagar today,” he wrote.
As soon as the nationwide lockdown was announced, Jammu & Kashmir closed its parks, gardens, and other prominent tourist spots like Mughal Gardens and the Srinagar Tulip Garden. The latter is one of the largest tulip gardens in Asia and houses over 1.3 million flowers. All the hotels, restaurants, and community kitchens were also ordered to close their doors; there was even a ban issued on home food delivery.
All these measures took a significant toll on tourism in the region, and the situation continues to be grim. Tourist footfall continues to be at an all-time low, and the new decision was brought to the forefront to improve the situation by attracting more tourists to the region.
After the new decision, all public parks and gardens have been reopened for tourists. The visitors are advised to follow all sorts of safety measures such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and using sanitisers at all times.
The region has reported a total of 9,261 confirmed COVID-19 cases as on July 10, 2020.