Gulmarg ponywalas, sledge pullers hold protests

Gulmarg ponywalas, sledge pullers hold protests

BARAMULLA: Pony and sledge pullers from Gulmarg on Saturday held demonstrations outside the office of the District Development Commissioners here to protest against the ‘rampant’ use of snow scooters at Gulmarg tourist destination depriving them of their livelihood.
The protesters who blocked the main entrance of the DDC office said that snow scooters are being operated without any proper permission from the authorities and tourist now use them instead of the labour driven sledges to make a trip of the Gulmarg bowl.
Ghulam Rasool Sheikh president of Ponywala Association, while talking to media persons, said hundreds of sledge and pony labourers are unable to find work now as more than 15 snow scooters now carry the tourist in this eco fragile zone.
“This all is being carried out despite our protest with the Gulmarg Development Authority and tourism department, who are taking money kickbacks to allow the operation of snow scooters,” Sheikh said.
When the protesters gained momentum outside the DDC’s office and blocked the main road, the police came into action with SHO, Baramulla, Masrat Ahmad in lead and pacified the protesters.
Later a delegation representing the protesters presented their demands in shape of a memorandum to Ahmad Lone, who assured them that matter will be resolved.