The government has ordered to lift on Thursday the two months old restrictions on travel to Kashmir and allow tourists to visit Kashmir but no decision has yet been taken on restoring the mobile phone and internet services.
The decision was taken on Monday evening in a security review meeting presided by Governor Satyapal Malik in Srinagar. He ordered that the Home Department’s advisory asking tourists to leave the valley be lifted immediately. This will be done with effect from 10 October.
These restrictions were ordered before abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August. Those connected with tourism trade were however apprehensive that the government’s decision might not solve any purpose because of the communication lockdown.
Captain Anil Gour (Retired), former chairman of the Indian Tour Operators Association said that lifting the advisory for tourists does not have any meaning without restoring the communication system.
The tourism industry has suffered losses during the Puja holidays as no booking was made and the bookings done in advance were cancelled because of uncertainty in Kashmir.
The summer tourism was badly hit as tourists were abruptly asked to leave the Kashmir valley before abrogation of the special status of the state in August.
Tourism in the Jammu division, where several new destinations have opened up, has also been hit. Arrival of tourists in the Bhaderwah circuit has been reduced to a trickle although the situation in Jammu was not bad.
Transportation of apple from Kashmir has also been hit and 850 tonnes of fruit worth Rs 3.25 crore has been procured so far.