Absence of full-time director hits Kashmir’s tourism promotion

Government on November 1 removed Tassaduq Jeelani as director tourism for “bad conduct” in a public function at Gulmarg held during 3-day FAM tour.

SAQIB MALIK
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 21 2018 2:04AM | Updated Date: Nov 21 2018 2:04AM
Absence of full-time director hits Kashmir’s tourism promotionRepresentational pic

Absence of a full time director tourism for Kashmir division is not only proving a hurdle for the smooth functioning of the department but has also hit the promotional campaigns aimed at attracting visitors to the valley. 

Government on November 1 removed Tassaduq Jeelani as director tourism for “bad conduct” in a public function at Gulmarg held during 3-day FAM tour. 

In addition, an inquiry was ordered, which was to be submitted by the divisional commissioner Kashmir in 10 days beginning November 1. But despite passing 20 days, that inquiry has not seen light of the day so far.

As per the government order, divisional commissioner Baseer Khan was asked to hold tourism director’s charge till further orders and inquire into the incidents that occurred during the events organised by the department under the “Kashmir Familiarization Tour” held from October 25-27. 

Tourism business operators here say that almost 20 days have passed since the director was removed but government is yet to bring in his replacement. 

“It’s ironic that department of tourism continues to remain headless since last 20 days and the inquiry called by the government into the FAM is pending as well. We ask for immediate appointment of a full time director so that the work at the department does not suffer any further,” said president Travel Agents Association of Kashmir, Ashfaq Siddiq Dug.   

Stakeholders say they bought absence of a full-time director to the notice of concerned many a times offlate but it “every time it falls to deaf ears”. “ Not only has it brought a real bad name to destination but if this situation continues unchecked the time isn’t far we might see a total boycott time is near these destinations will see less influx of tourists if not mended now,” said a tour operator.

An official in the department of tourism said day-to-day functioning has taken a hit due to absence of the director. 

Tourism players said that tourism being one of the important economic sectors, it needs special attention of the government as a top priority particularly at a time when it is passing through a bad phase in Kashmir.

When contacted, divisional commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan said the inquiry report will be out in next 2-3 days. “We have ascertained all the facts and will be putting out the report in next couple of days. As far the appointment of a full time director is concerned, it lies with the government,” Khan said.

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