Pahalgam- Pahalgam is witnessing a record tourist footfall this year, triggering acute shortage of accommodation.
According to hoteliers due to brisk tourist flow to Pahalgam, local visitors return home in the evenings as they find it difficult to get accommodation for the night stay.
Javaid Ahmad, a hotelier said that for the last one month even tourists can be seen sleeping in vehicles and sometimes in parks and lawns of hotels when they fail to get rooms here.
The problem especially aggravates on weekends when locals rush towards the tourist destination in south Kashmir.
“We went to Pahalgam with a plan to spend at least three nights but we had to return home on the very first day as no room was available there,” said Waqar Ahmad, a resident of Shopian.
He advised people not to visit Pahalgam without booking rooms in advance.
Officials say that Pahalgam has room capacity of around 11000 and it is mostly occupied by domestic and international tourists.
They said that every night we have at least 11000 visitors and there are no rooms available for locals.
On asking about people sleeping on banks of Nallah Lidder, they said that Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) has banned the erection of tents on Lidder banks within the jurisdiction of the authority to prevent pollution of Lidder river and damage to fragile environs
Meanwhile a report from Sonmarg said the Golden Meadow in central Kashmir is witnessing an overwhelming rush with 4,44,008 tourists visiting the resort in the last five month.
The number of tourists increased from March to May with a total 4,44,008 tourists visiting the place. Of them, 4,14,685 were domestic and 28,834 local tourists, and 382 foreigners,Tourist Officer Sonamarg Basharat Hussain said.
The flow of tourists is much better than what it was earlier in 2012-13, said Shahzad Rasool, a local hotelier.
Another hotelier Showkat Wani said that this time all hotels are packed and the season is going on very well after several years. (KNO)
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