Flood fears drown business prospects in Spring season

Flood fears drown business prospects in Spring season

Junaid Nabi Bazaz

SRINAGAR: The tourism and trade sectors in Kashmir valley have been rattled with recent flood with stake holders suffering massive losses.
At a time when tourist sector was set to receive tourists for the spring season the recent flood threat has resulted in massive cancelations.
President Travel Agents Society of Kashmir, Showkat Pakhtoon, told Kashmir Reader that fifty percent of tourists who were supposed to visit Kashmir till April 15 have cancelled their bookings.
“With the onset of spring season every year, both domestic as well international tourists arrival picks up in the valley,” he said and this year we were more eager on getting the things moving after the last year’s floods caused huge loss to the sector, but the recent flood fear erased hopes of an excellent season.
Adding that cancelations has shaken the whole sector terribly,” said Showkat, who heads more than 150 travel agent organizations in the Kashmir region.
Chowdhary Showkat, president Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association shared the same view.
He however said that government has gone into damage control and even the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and others ministers are persuading tourists to visit the valley as the threat has receded.
“In 2014 the valley received 11 lakh tourists and this year the business community expected more, but cancellation will certainly pull down the number for the time being,” he said.
Traders too are saying that they are incurring losses of more than 100 crore every day. This because most of the shops in main commercial areas as precautionary measures moving goods to safer places, that also resulted in closing down of the shops also.
“Due to this temporary shifting of goods from shops and other business establishment that later led to closure kept their has resulted in business loss of 100 crore daily,” President Kashmir Traders Association, Muhammad Yaseen Khan told Kashmir Reader.
Khan added that even after the situation has become normal, they trader is in a fix as the government is still not in position to give a clear picture on flood treat and its remedy.
Khan blamed the inefficiency of the state government.
“First they said there is no flood threat and then suddenly on the middle of night they announce flood alert. This shows their inefficient,” Yaseen said.
Adding that in September 2014 the business fraternity here suffered loss of 34000 crores with the state government is yet to release any compensation for this amount.
President Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce And Industry, Sheikh Ashiq told Kashmir Reader this flood scare has given another blow to the business community who are yet to recover from the September loss met by them.