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Setback to tourism: SMVD pilgrimage after August this year witnesses slump
12/14/2019 11:30:09 PM
Early Times Report
KATRA, Dec 14: Scrapping of Article 370 and ban on mobile internet had its after effects on tourism of the state as Shri Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrimage has taken a severe beating as the footfalls to the world famous cave shrine has come down drastically this year.
Giving a major setback to tourism as well as economy of the Jammu and Kashmir, the number of Yatries who had darshan of the Holy cave of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi at Katra during the period from August to November this year after scrapping of Article 370 is showing a downhill trend as the number of yatries who had darshan after scrapping of Article 370 is around 141896 short as compared to last year.
The experts attributed the trend of reduced tourists due to prevailing situations in the Union territory like unclarirty, repeated cases of cease fire volation and unprovoked firing by followed by the internet ban which also added fuel to the fire.
According the Statistics provided by Shri Mata Shrine Board Katra, the number of Yatries who had darshan this month is showing a downhill trend and is around 45,104 short as the number of yatries who had darshan in the month of March 2014 was 690846 which is quite more than the number of yatries had darshan in the month of March this year which is 6,17785., while the number of yatries who had Darshan in the Month of September, October and November last year is 680373, 799596, 603180 which is quite more than the number of yatries had darshan this year in the same months as the total number of yatries who had darshan this year is 602088, 656167,796087 and 577757 respectively making it around 2632099 yatries which clearly states that 141896 less yatries had darshan this year.
A local said that even after the bad phase, the number of tourists visiting the holy shrine in Jammu and Kashmir was recovering at normal stage and the economic condition of the J&K was expected to get its heights but the scrapping of Article 370 has given a set to the tourism as most of the epople living in the country are avoiding their visits to J&K owing to the situations prevailing here in Jammu and Kashmir.
A number of Hotliers when contacted by Early Times said, "many of the tourists have cancelled their advance bookings made for their hotel stay at Katra , Shiv-Khori and Patnitop , as well as Srinagar, which they have booked in advance." They further added that the fear psychosis is prevailing in the minds of people throughout the whole of India as internet ban leads to no connectivity with their family, which is the main reason of the decrease in pilgrimage.
A resturant owner running his business near Railway Station Katra told Early times that even after several long-distance trains to Katra from various parts of the country ran without any disruption during the restrictions imposed ahead of the revocation of Article 370, which granted a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the number of Yatries travelling is not upto the mark.
When contacted an official of Railways shared that the train services are running smoothly and a total of 18 trains run on daily and weekly basis to and fro Katra from major cities of the country. "There are five express and 13 mail passenger trains that run to and from Katra and even Vandematram expresses has been started running now", he added.
While officials of Shrine Board claimed that the number of Yatries coming to Katra is increasing.
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