Non-availability of water, power irks tourists and traders
Sonamarg: Traders and hoteliers at Sonamarg have complained that the district administration has failed to remove snow from the inner roads of the tourist destination due to which the visitors were facing tremendous hardships.
Although the Srinagar-Sonamarg road was thrown open for tourists and general public two weeks back but the non-availability of water and electricity is irking the tourists.
“The authorities have failed to clear the snow from Thajwas-Sonamarg road due to which the tourists are returning without visiting the Thajwas glacier,” Mushtaq Ahmad a local sumo diver said.
He said the parking slots in the Sonamarg are still closed due to the accumulation of snow.
“The drivers ferrying local and domestic tourists park their vehicles on the roadsides, which causes frequent traffic jams, troubling the tourists,” he said, adding the administration should remove the snow from these slots at an earliest.
According to the local businessmen, many shop owners are unable to open their business establishment due to the accumulation of large amount of snow. “Some of the hotels in the area aren’t functioning as the administration has failed to remove the snow accumulated in front of them,” the traders said adding the tourists were facing immense hardships as they were not able to get the rooms to stay for the night.
The hotel owners and shopkeepers repeatedly urged the administration to remove the snow, but the officials have failed to take measures in this regard, the traders added.
The traders have also complained about the non-availability of water and electricity. The tourists are suffering immensely due to non-availability of electricity and water in the hotels and are returning to Srinagar immediately, the hoteliers said adding that this was adversely affecting their business.
Gul Mohd War chairman Beopar Mandal Sonamrag said that the construction work on 6.5 kms Gagangeer – Sonamarag tunnel is going on at snails pace and needs to be gear up on fast track bases.
“In the absence of round the year road communication it seems we are living in prehistoric times,” War said.
He added that centuries old tradition of keeping the world famous tourist spot without basic amenities for six months of the year is itself an indication of ignoring this world famous Golden meadow.
However senior officials of Sonamarg Development Authority said that snow clearance was going on at the market place, parking slots, hospital road and Masjid Sharif road.
“It will take a week to clear the snow from the necessary places at Sonamarg ,”CEO SDA said.
Zahoor Ahmad SDM Kangan said that the heavy snowfall and avalanches have caused damage to supply lines of PDD , PHE and other structures in the area due to which it will take some time to restore the essential services in the area.
“If weather remains favourable, all will be restored as early as possible,” Ahmad said.