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Sonamarg ready for winter? Hoteliers urge govt to ensure facilities for tourists

Post by Umar Raina on Thursday, November 10, 2022

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Ganderbal, Nov 09: Chairman J&K Hoteliers Club, Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya on Wednesday welcomed the government's decision to keep Sonamarg open during the winter, but said the preparations should be completed before time.
Chaya flanked by various stakeholders of the hotel industry and transport bodies told media persons here that the government must ensure the required services and facilities for the smooth stay of tourists in Sonamarg.
“We are very happy that the government has decided to keep the famous tourist destination Sonamarg open for winter. It is a welcome step. However, due to heavy snowfall, electricity, water and other needs should be completed before time so that the tourists who will stay in hotels here do not face any problems,” he said.
The said Sonamarg is a hill station where 6 to 7 feet of snow is recorded due to which electricity and water supply remain affected here. “We also want Sonamarg as a 12-month tourist destination so that the unemployed youth can get jobs, but the administration should first complete the preparations. Only a few hotels here have central heating systems and warm water, while most are still deprived of these facilities,” he said.
“There are apprehensions and hoteliers are in fact concerned,” Chaya said, adding that hotel owners have also announced discounts for tourists who will visit Sonamarg this winter. “Now, the ball is in the government’s court and it is the administration that has to ensure this tourist resort remains open.”
Every year during winter, Sonamarg remains closed for traffic movement due to heavy accumulation of snow and avalanches at several places along the road from Gagangeer up to Sonamarg, particularly at Hung. The road leading to the famous health resort remains closed for nearly three to four months during winter. However, now with progress on the construction of the Z-Morh tunnel near Gagangeer, Sonamarg could remain open this winter.

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