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Jammu and Kashmir: Sonamarg to be thrown open on Feb 24

NITN | @notintownlive | 18 Feb 2021, 12:17 pm

Jammu and Kashmir: Sonamarg to be thrown open on Feb 24 Sonamarg

Srinagar: The famous health resort Sonamarg in this district will be reopened for visitors on February 24 even as the district administration in collaboration with the tourism department and the SDA will organise a snow festival on the occasion.

The road to the resort was closed in December last after heavy snowfall. Deputy Commissioner, Ganderbal, Shafqat Iqbal along with Director, Tourism Department, Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo and CEO, Sonamarg Development Authority, Mushtaq Ahmed today visited the spot to review and assess restoration of essential services.

The duo chaired a meeting which among others was attended by SDM Kangan, Executive Engineers of Jal Shakhti and KPDCL, senior police officials and representatives of hoteliers’ association, Beopar Mandal.

The DC and the Director Tourism took briefs from the departments concerned regarding the status of restoration of essential services like water, electricity, health, snow clearance on link roads and parking areas, restoration of public conveniences, mobile connectivity, etc.

The concerned informed the meeting that men and machinery are already on job and most of the essential services have been restored including water supply, electricity, hospital, police station, mobile connectivity (BSNL) and other allied facilities.

Both the DC and the Director exhorted upon the officers to take stock of the ground situation so that restoration of affected works and allied facilities is ensured before its opening for tourists.

“It was decided that the destination shall be thrown open for tourists from 24 February and on this occasion, an impressive daylong event would be held,” director Tourism Kashmir Dr. Itoo said, adding that cultural programmes, snow biking, skiing, and other activities shall be presented to attract tourists.

He also sought suggestions from the stakeholders to package Sonamarg as winter destination on the lines of Gulmarg.

“The government is committed to sustain tourism throughout the year,” he said, adding that the department shall provide all required support in this regard.

The DC Ganderbal hailed different departments for ensuring “early restoration of the utilities and services at the spot.”

He asked the hoteliers to ensure all arrangements are put in place for the convenience and comfort of the tourists.

The health department was asked to make arrangements for conducting rapid covid19 testing of the visitors to Sonamarg. Besides, all the stakeholders were directed to ensure complete adherence to COVID protocol.