100,000 people visit Pahalgam on Sunday

SHABIR AHMAD
PAHALGAM: Tens of thousands of people made a beeline for this tourist spot, leading to chaos in the town and its peripheries. The messy traffic jam on both the main road and interior roads of the tourist spot put the visitors at severe inconvenience. Taking advantage of the situation, the hoteliers and restaurants overcharged people.
On Betab Valley road, Aru road, Circuit road and other interior road links, thousands of vehicles remained stuck in traffic jam throughout the day. The jam was so messy that the tourists abandoned their vehicles on roads and walked on foot to reach their hotels. Even the Inspector General of police, Kashmir range, Abdul Gani Mir, had to walk on foot to reach Pahalgam town.
“We had left early morning for Aru and were planning to move back home only today. On way back from Aru we got stuck in traffic jam here. It is now evening time. We cannot even get a room now. Our children are shivering with cold. I fail to understand what the traffic police is doing to clear this messy jam,” a tourist from Punjab told Kashmir Reader.
“It is a hell. We are here for last four hours. There is not even slow movement of vehicles. I even talked to concerned Deputy Commissioner over phone informing him about this mess but he told me to be patient,” said a tourist from Delhi, Ganesh.
People also alleged over charging by the hoteliers and restaurant owners.
“I am come yesterday. I could not find space in any restaurant for dinner last evening. Then I decided to get a packed chicken for which I was charged 730 rupees,” said Mudasir Ahmad, from Srinagar.
“Taking advantage of the messy situation the restaurant owners are charging at their will and ignore the rates mentioned on their menus. I was provided a plate of rice and two pieces of meat for 400 rupees. There is no check on the overcharging by Tourism authorities,” said another local visitor, Mohammad Amin.
Chief Executive Officer, PDA, Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, said a record number of one lakh people have reached Pahalgam. “The huge rush of tourists particularly locals resulted into chaos. Both police and traffic police are on the job to clear the jam but they cannot do anything. We are hopeful of clearance of the jam by late evening,” CEO said.