GANDERBAL, FEB,17: Deputy Commissioner (DC) Ganderbal, Shafqat Iqbal and Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr. G.N Itoo today visited Sonamarg to review and assess onspot restoration of disrupted essential services due to snowfall which remains closed for few months during winters due to closure of Srinagar Sonamarg road due to heavy snowfall.
During the visit they chaired a meeting which was attended by SDM Kangan, Hakeem Tanveer, CEO, Sonamarg Development Authority, Executive Engineers of Jal Shakhti and KPDCL, ARO Ganderbal, Dy. SP HQ, Dy. SP traffic, Tehsildar Kangan besides representatives of Hotelier’s Association Sonamarg, Beopar Mandal Sonamarg and Pony Wallas and sludge union.
The DC and Director Tourism took brief from the concerned departments 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 maximum essential services are restored including water supply, electricity, hospital, police station, mobile connectivity (BSNL) and other allied facilities.
Both the DC and Director exhorted upon the officers to take stock of ground situation so that restoration of affected works and allied facilities is ensured before its opening for tourists.
After taking brief from the departments and Keeping in view the weather conditions and tourist footfall in the valley, it was decided that Sonamarg destination shall be thrown open for tourist from 24th February, 2021 and it was also revealed that on opening ceremony, an impressive and colourful one-day event would be held during which several programs like cultural items, snow biking, skiing, etc. to welcome the tourists which will be first of its kind, in the golden meadow.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Itoo urged all stake holders to give their constructive suggestion regarding presenting Sonamarg as winter destination like Gulmarg and Pehalgam adding that Govt. is committed to sustain tourism throughout the year and assured that department shall provide all required support in this regard. He also stressed upon the cleanliness and transparent services to the tourists.
Meanwhile, the DC complemented the efforts of different departments for early restoration of the utilities and services and also stressed the Hoteliers operating in Sonamarg to ensure all arrangements are put in place prior to opening of Sonamarg so that once the tourists arrive they get all the required facilities for a comfortable stay. He also called for providing services with dedication and professionalism.
To give confidence to the tourists visiting there with regard to safety of COVID, the health department was directed to make arrangements for Rapid Testing of all who visit Sonamarg. Besides, all the stake holders were directed to ensure cent percent adherence to Covid protocol.
The DC reiterated to the Govt. departments and the hoteliers to upgrade their services and infrastructure to commensurate the weather conditions of Sonamarg as the tourist destination is likely to remain open from this winter with the commencing of escape tunnel of Z-Morh.
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