Implement intensive measures to curb malpractices & facilitations of tourists: Div Com to officers

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Over Rs 14 lac realized from erring transporters, service providers since January

SRINAGAR: In an intensive effort to further leverage the blooming Tourism Industry of Kashmir and eliminate malpractice of overcharging tourists, the Divisional Commissioner (Div Com) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri today convened a meeting of Officers to address the issue through proactive enforcement and regulations.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Baramulla; Director Tourism; SSP, Tourism Enforcement; RTO Kashmir; ADC Anantnag; SP Traffic Srinagar; CEOs of Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonmarg Development Authorities.

Addressing the meeting, Div Com directed officers and enforcement agencies to put more efforts in action to curb the overcharging of tourists, and enforce the rates fixed by Tourism and Transport departments. He directed concerned to keep strong vigil on the service providers particularly on Maxi-cab transporters, Houseboaters, Shikara wallas and Poniwallas to curb malpractice of overcharging.

Div Com also directed concerned Officers to display fixed rates on hoardings at tourist places and at shikara ghats.
He further directed for creation of dedicated Whatsapp number for registration of complaints round the clock. On the occasion, the SSP Tourism Enforcement informed the meeting that an amount of Rs 143480 was realized till date during the current year from erring transporters on account of cheating and overcharging while FIR has been lodged in five cases. Besides, he informed that 170 complaints were received by the department of which 105 were disposed off.

Moreover, to give impetus to transport facility ferrying tourists to Shankar Achariya Temple and Pari Mahal, Div Com directed RTO Kashmir to start the shuttle service on both routes immediately to reduce the crowding at tourist places along boulevard road.

He also emphasized on initiating the prepaid counters and QR service for transporters and Poniwallas as a measure to curb exploitation of visitors. The meeting also deliberated on an issue of oil-pilferage in Dal Lake from motorized Shikaras and decided that action should be taken in accordance with the law. It was given that Shikaras are not allowed to use motors. Div Com also instructed CCTV installation at all tourist resorts to ensure security of tourists and service providers.

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