Srinagar, J&K —

After the Jammu and Kashmir administration enforced a lockdown in the Union Territory to combat the spread of novel Coronavirus, the tourism sector is now likely to be relieved from lockdown restrictions.

As per local media reports, the Lieutenant Governor-led administration has been holding discussions with various stakeholders for opening the tourist places in the State.

The consensus to re-open tourist spots among all stakeholders including the concerned government officials has emerged. Yesterday, J&K Government’s official spokesman, Rohit Kansal tweeted that the UT will reopen for tourism soon. He added that the detailed guidelines will be announced soon.

A Tourism department official, wishing anonymity, said that since the sector has borne the brunt of the situation in Kashmir and needs an immediate push, re-opening of tourism spots in Kashmir will help revive the industry.

He added, “There have been detailed deliberations with all the tourism stakeholders including Shikarawalas, houseboat owners, hotel and restaurant owners etc.”

“SoPs are in the final stage. Re-opening of picnic spots and gardens in Kashmir will take place in the days ahead for sure,” he revealed.

Meanwhile, sources said that the administration is going to announce the re-opening of public parks and gardens and an official order in this regard will be made public soon.

When contacted, the Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan confirmed the re-opening of parks and gardens. He, however, said, “Wearing of mask, social distancing and hand hygiene is must and people should strictly abide by the government advisories.”

Pertinently, the valley has been under shutdown since August last year, when the BJP-led central government scrapped Article 370, bifurcating J&K into two Union territories. A total communication clampdown followed thereafter. This has hit the tourism sector badly for almost a year now.

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