Govt out to clear ‘misconceptions’ about old Srinagar
Srinagar, Jan 17: To counter old Srinagar’s “negativity image”, the government plans to focus on “bringing back its old glory” by organising programmes and revamping the historical sites.
Given the previous year’s Islamic events held by the Tourism Department at downtown, the authorities have decided to hold more such programme to bring the area on the tourism map.
“Last year we held some of the programmes like Islamic convention and then calligraphy at Jamia Masjid, evoking a good response. Basically, downtown has been wrongly projected as a stone pelting area. The misconception regarding it needs to be cleared,” Director Tourism, Mahmood A Shah, told The Kashmir Monitor.
He said they would primarily focus on reviving the heritage tourism in the area by acquiring some old buildings.
“We have written to the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar in this regard. Some of the buildings have been identified in this regard, and they will be renovated to attract heritage lovers,” he said.
Shah said the department was getting in touch with the owners to fully take over these building.
“The problem we face right now is that these building have multiple legal heirs. But then, we hope that this step building will attract tourists towards downtown,” he said.
Shah informed that the department was also taking up the matter of reviving water transport in the city, particularly in old Srinagar, with the government.
“We actually want to show the visitors actual flavour of downtown. Many heritage buildings including residential houses, shrines and temples are located on the Jhelum banks, so it can attract heritage lovers,” he said.
Director Tourism also said the government would improve sanitation in old Srinagar.
“Improving hygiene in downtown is most required. The area otherwise looks mostly unclean. Besides, the department would equally concentrate on promoting the cuisines famous in these city areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government sources said they have already planned revamping the historical sites under the Smart City Mission.
“Nearly half a dozen buildings have been identified in this regard particularly in the old Srinagar, which will be taken care of by the government under its Smart City mission. Buildings, which are old and dilapidated but of historical importance, will attract people,” a source said.