J&K Expects Five Lakh Tourists This Year
26 March 2004
New Delhi: Gulam Hasan Mir is cabinet minister for tourism, housing and the urban Sector, J&K. Has the ceasefire helped promote tourism? The ceasefire has helped people regain their confidence in the security system. How are you coping with the threat of terrorism? All prominent routes are inspected by Paramilitary forces. We have a separate Tourism Police. What steps are being initiated to help package tourism? The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation coordinates with tour operators. They are educated about latest developments and happenings in the state. Has the Dal lake been restored to its original glory? We are working hard to maintain the required water level. We have retrieved a one sq km patch of the lake. Has this friendship wave helped tourism? It has reduced tension. In 2002, only 23,000 tourists visited the Valley. This year we are expecting at least five lakh. How do you expect your party (the PDP) to perform in the general elections? We stand a good chance as we have brought about certain significant changes in the valley. Militancy has gone down and peace has been restored. It is now up to the voters to decide. Will the proposed Women's Bill have any impact? I don't think so. Even the Congress, which is seen as a major opponent, has accepted it in the Legislative Assembly.