Gurez residents demand eco-tourism activities

Srinagar: The residents of Gurez valley, located near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir, have made a strong plea for opening up the area to eco-tourism activities and construction of a tunnel to ensure connectivity with the rest of the country during winter months.

The demand was made by a delegation led by local MLA Nazir Ahmad Gurezi yesterday, during a meeting with the Committee on Environment of Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly at the Tourist Reception Centre in Gurez, an official spokesman said here today.

"We demand promotion of Gurez as an eco-tourism destination due to its huge scope for adventure tourism," the residents said.

Expressing grave concern over the condition of the road connecting Gurez with other parts of the state through Bandipora district headquarters, the delegation sought its improvement and strongly pleaded for construction of a tunnel from Dawar to Gurez, the spokesman said.

Gurez usually remains cut off from rest of the valley during the winter months owing to heavy snowfall.

The delegation also expressed its displeasure over the malfunctioning communication system in the area.

While appreciating the Army`s role in countering difficulties that arise from these challenges, the delegation stressed the need for minimising frisking by them to ensure free flow of tourists.

It also demanded jobs in dam projects, particularly the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Project, the spokesman said.

The three-member Committee, headed by CPI(M) Legislator M Y Tarigami, sought detailed information from them about the number of locals, both skilled and unskilled, employed in the project.

The Committee said the tourism potential of Gurez can be exploited, which would boost the economic condition of the people of the sub-division.

"The tourism promotion be managed and operated through public participation which will directly benefit the local community," the committee observed.