Jammu & Kashmir

‘Local tourists thronging Sonmarg’: Day picnickers disallowed from visiting for two weekends

Photo: Wikimedia/Madhumita Das

‘Only those possessing valid proof of hotel bookings to be allowed’

Ganderbal: The district administration in Ganderbal on Wednesday ordered that no day picnickers will be allowed to visit Sonamarg tourist resort on the next two Saturdays and Sundays in view of COVID pandemic.

As per an order, the district administration said that it has been observed that a large number of local tourists are thronging Sonamarg tourist destination especially on the weekend, and a heavy influx of tourists poses the danger of a resurgence of COVID pandemic in view of a possible violation of COVID appropriate behavior.

It said that sub-divisional magistrate, Kangan has also reported that unrestricted and unabated influx of tourists and day picnickers to Sonamarg may seriously undermine COVID mitigation efforts put in place by the administration.

“In order to prevent the spread of COVID infection at a tourist destination, it is necessary to take some immediate measures. Now, therefore, it is ordered that on 17th-18th and 24th-25th July (Saturday-Sunday) only such persons/ tourists shall be allowed to proceed towards Sonamarg who possess proof of confirmed booking in the hotels of Sonamarg, no day picnickers shall be allowed to visit Sonamarg on the above-mentioned dates, CEO, Sonamarg Development Authority shall conduct awareness programme for all hoteliers, so that they are sensitized to adopt COVID appropriate behaviour,” it adds.

The order states that SDPO Kangan and DySP Traffic Ganderbal shall establish nakas at Kangan, Gund and Gagengeer so as to allow only Kargil traffic and bonafide people with proof of advance hotel booking to move towards Sonamarg.

“Any violation of the directions will, therefore, lead to prosecution under section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Senior Superintendent of Police, Ganderbal, SDM Kangan and SDPO Kangan shall ensure implementation of this order in letter and spirit,” it reads further.


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