Jammu, 22 July: The unrest in valley that has extended to two weeks now has had a staggering impact on the economy of the state with a business loss of Rs 10,000 crore to the state in just 12 days.
The curfew, bandh and the clashes coupled with Internet and phone restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir have managed to severely dent the peak tourism and pilgrimage season of the state.
The stakeholders of tourism in the state expected over five lakh pilgrims in the state and the numbers were promising in the initial weeks of the Yatra but the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir has forced thousands of tourists as well as pilgrims to cancel their trips and a direct impact has been observed on the economy of the state as well.
Rakesh Gupta, president, Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Jammu, answering a question by mediapersons said, “The actual loss cannot be assessed with certainty but approximately business worth Rs 10,000 crore has been lost in the last 12 days in Jammu and Kashmir. The impact would be borne by the traders in the coming days.”
He added further, “There was a general expectation of five lakh pilgrims in the ongoing Amarnath yatra, which saw a great start. However, the numbers have not risen above two lakh owing to the unrest in Kashmir. The Yatra has been suspended twice in the last 13 days and many Pilgrims have returned from Jammu itself. The administration has done a commendable job in providing fool-proof security and escorting them to and fro the valley.”
Many airlines slashed their ticket fares to help pilgrims leave the valley when in the beginning of the season, the flights were packed.
Hoteliers in both valley and Jammu have confirmed cancellations of bookings done weeks before the season began.