Amarnath Yatris normally stay in Nunwan camp just outside of Pahalgam, and they have to hike all the way up to Pahalgam to just visit the beautiful Place (which is enroute to Amarnath yatra anyways). Because they don’t stay in Pahalgam proper, its a loss for the locals as well so they cannot reap much economic benefits. And of course its Yatris’ loss as they so close to Pahalgam, yet not in Pahalgam. The situation might change this year…..IT SHOULD.
Read what came out in News today: merinews.com – TRADERS IN Pahalgam, the traditional base for the annual Amranath Yatra, have decided to offer huge discounts to pilgrims making the yatra this year through the traditional route. They also sought the support of Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) in carving out a bigger role for the local business community.
In a meeting with the chief executive officer, SASB, Dr Arun Kumar, the Pahalgam Hotel Association said that it was ready to slash down tariff drastically, bringing it at par with the rates of tent accommodation. It also appealed that no one should be stopped from staying in their hotels during the yatra period.
The chairman of the association, Javed Burzza said that the hoteliers have all along extended hospitality to the pilgrims as this pilgrimage has been the only silver lining during the peak of militancy when tourist influx to the valley was almost zero. “It will not be an exaggeration to say that our sustenance during that period was due to Amarnathji pilgrimage,” he added.
The association said that it was not averse to having Nunwan as base camp but it should not be at the cost of hoteliers, whose business has suffered immensely during the past few years. They complained that the security exercise had created various obstacles in carrying out their vocation and called for its streamlining.
On his part, Kumar reiterated that the board wants massive local participation in the yatra and it will continue to remove obstacles in its way. He said that the law and order and security did not come under the ambit of the shrine board. However, it said that it will take up issues projected by the association at appropriate levels to enable maximum utilisation of the already available hotel accommodation in Pahalgam during the yatra period.
He appreciated the gesture of various trading association that have been meeting him for the past few days and gave an overview of measures being taken to elicit the local participation in yatra management like house keeping, distribution of prasad made of local ingredients, watch and ward, road and track maintenance and provision of various utility services.
Kumar suggested setting up of a tourist reception centre in Nunwan base camp with representatives of hoteliers and other associations for taking care of their interests during the yatra.