As tourist footfall decreases in Dal, Nigeen lakes, traders blame it on power outages
Srinagar: The frequent and unscheduled power cuts which Kashmir has been witnessing for over a month, have led to the loss of business for the houseboat industry in Dal and Nigeen lakes in Srinagar. This is what the houseboat owners claim.
The affected houseboat owners say that visitor’s arrival at the Dal and Nigeen lakes has severely been affected by the power cuts.
“Tourists from mainland India are not used to freezing temperatures, and they are unable to withstand Kashmir’s bitter cold in the face of escalating power outages,” Manzoor Pakhtoon, president Houseboat Owners Association, told ‘Kashmir Images’
Tourists, Pakhtoon said, have begun to postpone their planned visits to Kashmir since news of the worsening power outages in Kashmir has spread throughout India.
He said the bad power situation in the valley has caused houseboat owners huge losses for the last more than a month.
“The government should seriously ponder over the upcoming festivals — Christmas and New Year – which is when we have lots of tourists here, and make concerted efforts to improve the power situation in the valley,” he added.
When tourists get to Kashmir, he said, they encounter a different situation because the travel agents assure them of arrangements like heating and constant internet connection during their stay in houseboats.
Tourists, Pakhtoon said, have a bad time in the valley since they have to cut-short their stay due to the failing power supply.
“I on behalf of my fraternity appeal to the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to look into the power crises in the valley to ensure tourism and the houseboat sector continue to thrive,” added Pakhtoon.
Lamenting the worsening electricity situation in Kashmir, president, Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK), Farooq Ahmad Kathoo also said the visitors are forced to cut-short their vacations here due to the lack of electricity in freezing temperatures.
“If there had been enough electricity available in the valley during winters, the situation would have been different,” Kathoo told ‘Kashmir Images’, adding that if the government really wants to boost tourism here during the winter months, it will have to make arrangements for proper electricity supply.