Srinagar, Apr 1: Tourism players in Kashmir are peeved over the "fear psychosis" created by private TV news channels about flood situation in the Valley, alleging that overplaying the incident has caused mass cancellation of bookings ahead of the start of the tourism season.
"The water has already gone but these TV channels still show that Kashmir is in flood. Wish they understand how important the coming season is for the Valley," Umar Malik, a travel agent, said.
Incessant rains on Saturday and Sunday resulted in sudden surge in water level of river Jhelum and other water bodies in the Valley, giving rise to fear about a possible repeat of devastating floods that hit Kashmir last year.
However, with the weather holding up for past two days, the water level has receded significantly in river Jhelum and its tributaries.
"These channels are still showing visuals which indicate that entire Kashmir is flooded. They should show the actual situation," Masroor Hussain, a general manager at a hotel here, said.
He said that constant focus by the media on flood situation in Kashmir has resulted in upto 50 per cent cancellation of bookings by intending visitors. [More rains in Kashmir,Jhelum recedes but fear of flood lurking]
"April to June is the peak tourism season in Kashmir ... we were hoping to make good some of the losses suffered during last year's flood but this negative publicity is hurting us badly," Hussain said.
Basharat Ahmad, another travel agent, said he had worked very hard selling tour packages during winter months at various travel marts across the country but now everything seems to be going down the drain.
"The unnecessary and constant focus on flood situation in Kashmir has brought prospects of my business for this year down from good to worse than last year," he added.