14 May, 2021

Footfalls Of Integration

In Kashmir, even tourism is political—an uptick is touted as evidence of the benefits of abrogation of Article 370

The tulip garden is spread over 30 hectares in the foothills of the Zabarwan mountains
Footfalls Of Integration
outlookindia.com
2021-04-30T17:32:21+05:30

Not a day passes when the government and BJP leaders don’t talk about the large number of tourists visiting Kashmir as evidence that people in the Valley have started accepting the new political reality created by the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019. For almost six months, all hotels, especially in Gulmarg and Pahalgam, had been closed due to the military siege and communication blockade that accompanied the abrogation. In 2020, after the government lifted ­restrictions on travel to the Valley despite the Covid lockdown, 41,267 tourists, including 3,897 foreigners, visited Kashmir—the lowest number since 1990. Since December 2020, however, the number of tourists has gone up drastically—19,102 visited in January alone, 26,180 in February and 47,593 in March.

“Our aim is to bring the golden era back to Kashmir,” says Lt Governor Manoj Sinha. “We are exploring new destinations. Efforts are afoot to put in place a better infrastructure for ­tourists.” In March, the government organised around a dozen shows to...

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