Kashmir wants tourists not terrorists; starts beautification drive
Srinagar, April 20: The Valley is experiencing unprecedented conflict in recent times as security forces and civilians confronted with each other. Protests and shutdowns continue in Kashmir with no sign of end of disturbance in the Valley.
Amid all these, Kashmir started a beautification drive to revamp its famous gardens and parks to attract tourists. According to authorities, during the winters many of Kahsmir's gardens and parks, popular among tourists, got little damaged. Snow and rains left these gardens and parks defaced, and thus restoration work started in full swing across Kashmir.
"Kashmir is called the valley of gardens. We have variety of gardens like heritage gardens and then there are parks as well. There are at least 200 of them here with 116 in Srinagar itself. In order to keep the gardens blooming with various species of flowers, we start the work beforehand," director of floriculture Mohammad Hussain Mir told ANI.
"As we all know gardens of Kashmir are very well-known across the world. Most of the work is done in April itself as in the coming months it will get hot. We want to give our best so that Kashmir tourism keeps on flourishing," gardener Mushtaq Ahmad said.
Recently, addressing a rally at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir after inaugurating Asia's longest tunnel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Some misguided youngsters are pelting stones but see here, youth of Kashmir are using the same stones to build infrastructure." "Youth of Kashmir have a choice to make from two paths tourism and terrorism," PM Modi added.
Earlier, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti at a function in Mumbai invited people to visit Kashmir during the summers. The Valley also hosted the Tulip festival recently. The 15-day-long festival organised at the famous Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, overlooking the scenic Dal Lake, ended on April 15.
However, the first-of-its-kind festival did not attract many tourists as the Valley was in the throes of turmoil. The Srinagar Lok Sabha by-poll witnessed large-scale violence and a very poor voter turnout. Because of the violence, the Election Commission postponed the Anantnag bypoll.