oppn parties Without Internet And Mobile Telephony, Tourists Are Unlikely To Visit Kashmir

News Snippets

  • Flipkart assures employees that there will be no job or salary cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
  • Centre asks states to allow licensed street vendors to sell essential items
  • 8000 samples were tested across India on April 2, but the government said that testing will be need-based and will not be used as a confidence-boosting measure
  • Air India operating special flights to fly passengers stuck in India since the lockdown
  • For the first time in history, Darjeeling loses first flush tea due to suspension of garden work for Covid-19 outbreak
  • Supreme Court asks journalists to be responsible and publish only the official version of news after it was brought to its notice that migrant exodus started after the 'fake' news that the lockdown will be extended to three months
Total count stands ar 3082 as India records 16 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in a single day
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Without Internet And Mobile Telephony, Tourists Are Unlikely To Visit Kashmir

By A Special Correspondent

The administration in Jammu & Kashmir has lifted the ban on tourists entering the state. But does it seriously think that anyone who thinks about the safety of family and self would consider visiting the valley now? With heavy security and barricading, absence of mobile telephony and internet, restrictions on movement within the valley, doubts over finding local transport and self-imposed shutdown of commercial establishments, even the brave hearts who do go will certainly not find themselves in ‘paradise’.

In any case, since things are not clear now, no amount of goading by the government can make people from the rest of India make Kashmir their next tourist destination in a hurry. Although the presence of so many security men can give feeling of safety, tourists will always be wary of the situation going out of hand at any time. Although some might be tempted by the rock bottom rates for both flight tickets and hotel rooms, safety concerns will put a dampener on the plans.

The government, on the other hand, is playing two cards. On the one hand it is trying to show the international community that things are slowly returning to normal in the valley. If tourists start visiting the state and if they do not face problems, there will be positive media reporting leading to an environment of trust and harmony.

On the other hand, the government is trying to provide the local population with a means to resume earning their livelihood. There is no doubt that tourism provides the livelihood for a large number of Kashmiris, directly or indirectly. Hence, if tourists start coming and raise the demand for goods and services, the self-imposed shutdown of most commercial establishments will be lifted. It is absolutely essential for normalcy to keep the local people occupied and provide them a means to earn money. Opening the state for tourists is the best way to do that.

But if the government wants tourists to come in large numbers it is absolutely essential that mobile telephony and internet services are restored in the valley. In this digital age, connectivity is a huge issue and no one likes to be out of touch with his near ones or his business contacts even for an hour. Hence, no one will think of going to Kashmir for a week if he or she knows that he or she will become incommunicado for that length of time. The government must find another way to prevent the misuse of social media since a blanket ban on internet and mobile telephony will prove a deterrent for tourism.