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Government Withdraws Advisory Restricting Tourists in Kashmir

Tourism sector in Kashmir has never been hit so badly, things are worse than what they were during the agitation following the killing

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Government, Advisory, Tourists
It is really good if tourists start returning to Kashmir. Pixabay

A government advisory on August 2, ahead of the abrogation of Article 370, asking tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to leave Kashmir due to ‘prevailing security concerns ended on Thursday. A fresh advisory has now been issued which says the previous advisory is withdrawn.

“The tourists desirous of undertaking visit to the state shall be provided all necessary assistance and logistical support,” it added.

People associated with tourism have welcomed the move.

“It is really good if tourists start returning to Kashmir. Tourism sector in Kashmir has never been hit so badly, things are worse than what they were during the agitation following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016,” said Shakeel Rashid, who runs a shikara in the Dal Lake.

Government, Advisory, Tourists
The tourists desirous of undertaking visit to the state shall be provided all necessary assistance and logistical support. Pixabay

In Kashmir tourists were never barred from going to the valley even in the peak of militancy during the 1990s.

Tourism is the backbone of Kashmir’s economy and a source of livelihood for lakhs of people. A mass exodus of tourists hit the tourism industry in a big way.

Prior to that advisory more than 5,21,000 tourists and 3,40,000 pilgrims visited Kashmir. July witnessed the maximum arrivals with 1,70,000 tourists.

Hotels in Kashmir shut down their operations and retrenched the staff following the massive drop in tourists.

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“Our hotel is shut since August, we have retrenched the staff,” said Mohammad Subhan, a hotel owner in Srinagar. “Lifting of the advisory may help us to revive our business finally.”

However, while government has lifted the tourism advisory a communication blockade, including suspension of mobile phone service and Internet in Kashmir may well restrict tourists from heading back to the valley.

“How are the tourists going to deal with a situation of a communication blackout, the government must lift restrictions on communication as well,” said Abdul Rahim, a transporter.

Government, Advisory, Tourists
People associated with tourism have welcomed the move. Pixabay

“The shutdown of shops during the day hours in Kashmir may as well not help the cause. This is not a perfect sight for the tourists. For tourism to flourish the return of normalcy is important.”

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Reacting to the move the National Conference has said the decision to lift tourist advisory is a “half-hearted initiative”. (IANS)

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Devendra Fadnavis Sworn-in as Maharashtra Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar as Deputy Chief Minister

BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra & Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister

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Chief Minister of Maharashtra taking oath
Hon Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari administered the oath of Chief Minister of Maharashtra to Shri Devendra Fadnavis and Deputy CM to Shri Ajit Pawar.

In a stunning political development, Maharashtra Governor B.S. Koshyari on Saturday morning administered the oath of office to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis as the new Chief Minister of Maharashtra and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ajit Pawar as the new Deputy Chief Minister.

The two were sworn-in at a function in the Raj Bhavan held around 8 a.m. in the presence of a few BJP and NCP leaders, and other government officials.

Soon afterwards, Fadnavis said that the Governor would give them a letter instructing when to prove the new government’s majority on the floor of the Assembly.

He added that the cabinet would be expanded at a later date.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his best wishes to Fadnavis for taking over as the CM for a second consecutive term, and to Pawar on his appointment as Dy.CM.

A letter was issued from Union Home Ministry simultaneously that said that President’s Rule was lifted from Maharashtra.

Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Devendra Fadnavis taking oath.

Speaking to the media, Fadnavis said that after the elections, the Shiv Sena which had secured a clear majority in alliance with BJP rejected the public mandate and was engaged in forming the government with some other parties necessitating President’s Rule in Maharashtra.

Since it did not appear possible for those three parties to form a ‘khichdi’ (hotch-potch’) government and in order to provide a stable government to the state the decision was taken.

“Along with Ajit Pawar and support of others, we submitted a list to the Governor who discussed the issue with the centre to conclude that a viable government could be formed,” Fadnavis said.

Accordingly, after discussing with the Centre, the Governor invited Fadnavis and Pawar to form the government which was sworn-in.

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On his part, Ajit Pawar said that giving the state a stable government was the need of the hour which did not appear to be happening.

“I was tired of the continuous negotiations going on and so decided to go with Fadnavis and give a stable government to the state,” Pawar said. (IANS)