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The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry termed the order of the Government imposing restrictions around the Dal Lake for two days as unwarranted interference in the normal activities of the population.

A spokesperson of the KCC&I said that the order practically seals the Dal Lake and peripheral areas for a two day period and shall cause tremendous inconvenience to tourists and persons associated with the tourism business. Although tourist vehicles have been exempted from the restriction, but tourists have been advised to “restrict their movement to bare minimum requirement on boulevard”.

The order has chosen to ignore the sensitive nature of the Tourism business with the bizarre advise to tourists to restrict their movement to bare minimum. The restrictions prevents local customers from visiting hotels and Mughal Gardens situated in the sealed off zone. The local population of the area residing in the area and passing through are also impacted.

The restrictions are a telling indicator of the situation prevailing in the Valley. It was only a few years ago in the year 2013 when the then Union Home Minister had visited the city centre and interacted with people and shopped there. The Hon’ble Home Minister was in a private car driven by the then Chief Minister and had proceeded to purchase Kashmiri Suits, Fruits and even had ice-cream. Reference of that city-tour is given to demonstrate the minimal disturbance caused to the public although the status of the visiting dignitary was the same as today.

The Governor’s administration is urged to review the restrictions in view of the disruptions it would cause to the tourists as well as the local population.

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