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Amarnath chopper service: Kashmir’s tourism bodies urge LG Sinha to facilitate chopper tickets

Ziraat Times News Network

Srinagar, June 22: Tourism Trade Bodies of Kashmir today urged the Leitenant Governor of J&K and Chairman – SASB to facilitate with
chopper tickets to tourism trade bodies of Kashmir.

In a joint statement issued by Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association (HBOA), Travel
Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), J&K Tourism Alliance (JKTA) and J&K Pilgrim & Leisure Tour Operators Forum (PILTOF) has expressed unhappiness about the Shri Amarnath
Shrine Board’s decision excluding the share of local stakeholders in helicopter tickets for the pilgrimage to the holy cave this year, since SASB have been facilitating the Tourism stakeholders and this precedence continued for past 10 years.

A spokesperson of these organisations, in a statement to Ziraat Times said that the travel and tour
operators from Kashmir have been providing services to the Yatris for ages and “should be the first beneficiaries of the economic benefits of this annual Holy pilgrimage.”

“It was through a lot of deliberations and efforts of the local facilitators that SASB provided helicopter tickets quota under very strict guidelines and vigilance. The local Tour Operators
& Houseboat Owners, who are the real ground work force for the smooth conduct of the pilgrimage have this year been ignored of this economic benefit”, said the spokesperson.

“Many pilgrims and outside travel agents are taking the services of Kashmir based travel agents for organizing pilgrimage of the devotees. However, we are not able to provide the services to the pilgrims or travel agents from outside J&K due to non-availability of helicopter quota”, the Spokesperson further said adding that Associations had couple of times tried to meet the CEO of SASB for release of annual quota to local travel agents & Houseboat Owners but SASB did not heed to the request.

“Now we appeal the LG, Shri Manoj Sinha to intervene into the matter and release the quota of helicopter tickets for local travel agents & Houseboat owners so that economic benefits of
this pilgrimage reach the local stakeholders. We, on our part, assure the SASB management and the government it’s full support in smooth functioning. We sincerely hope that SASB Authorities will not miss out to continue hand holding of the local stake Holders as is always claimed by LG that the present Administration works in the interest of the local general & tourism trade stakeholders.

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