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Amid Coronavirus pandemic, Gulmarg remains open for tourists

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Tangmarg, Mar 18: Defying all government advisories in the face of COVID-19 threat, Gulmarg continues to witness large number of tourists on daily-basis as Gulmarg Development Authority has not bothered to close the resort for visitors, thereby risking lives of people there and elsewhere.

A shopkeeper Ghulam Mustafa at Tangmarg said that hundreds of tourists come here every day in cabs from Srinagar; they take winter clothes from the shops and move towards Gulmarg. There is no screening of these tourists which can prove disastrous as all parks and other public places have been closed to avoid gatherings.

“We fail to understand why tourists are allowed here. All pilgrimages have been stopped and travel in public transport has been restrained elsewhere; so how come tourists from other states are allowed to visit Gulmarg,” said another trader Reyaz Ahmad of Traders Association Tangmarg.

People from a cross-section of society condemned the district administration and GAD for allowing the tourists from outside Jammu and Kashmir.

“Banning visit of only foreign tourists won’t help when government is imposing section 144 to prevent spread of pandemic cornavirus,” said a social worker Zahoor Ahmad.

When contacted, Executive Officer Gulmarg Development Authority, Inam-ul Haq Sidiqui told ‘Kashmir Images’ that District Magistrate has already ordered closure of tourist destination for foreign tourists, but he confirmed that local tourists continue to visit the resort.

“For local tourists, we have kept two screening points. Yes, they continue to visit as there is no issue,” he added.

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