Monday, June 27, 2011

Tourism sector neglected in Jammu

The vehicular traffic on ever busy Jammu-Srinagar National Highway remain disrupted for at-least an hour after members of Patnitop Development Association (PDA), hoteliers and some traders blocked the highway and staged protest against the state government for neglecting tourism sector in Jammu region.

Hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on both sides of highway and even after restoration of traffic there were reports of traffic jams due to double-laning of vehicles from both sides. Patnitop Development Association (PDA) and hoteliers observed complete shutdown in Patnitop also.

Earlier the members of PDA and Hoteliers and Restaurant Association, Patnitop, this morning observed complete bandh and blocked the national highway demanding fulfillment of their long-pending demands.

Alleging discrimination in development of tourist spots of Jammu region, especially the Patnitop, at-least 90 kilometers from here, which is one of the most visited tourist destinations in this hilly terrain, the members of PDA amid anti-government slogans, disrupted traffic on the highway.

“Jammu has always been discriminated and ignored by the state government in terms of development,” Kushal Magotra, president PDA and Hotel and Restaurant Association (HRA), Patnitop said, adding that the government had a plan of introducing Gandola project on the pattern of Gulmarg tourist destination but till date, the process is lingering on.

“Projects like Gandola, Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), construction of Karnah Gorikund Road, Shopping Complex, setting up of full-fledged Fire and Emergency Services office, parking areas, were in the pipeline but they were dumped by the government,” he said.

He, however, alleged that out of the total funds released by the central government for the promotion of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, more than 90 per cent was being spent in Kashmir and Jammu was being ignored.
A senior police officer said due to the protest traffic was affected for a brief period but later the vehicles were plying normally.

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