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Confusion as parts of Srinagar locked down, Valley open for tourists

On Sunday afternoon, the Srinagar administration announced restrictions on public movement in 88 areas. And on Sunday evening, the administration issued orders to allow tourists into Jammu and Kashmir in a phased manner, starting Tuesday.

Written by Adil Akhzer | Srinagar | Published: July 14, 2020 2:29:19 am
Barricades in Srinagar’s Lalchowk area to stop the movement of people after the J&K authorities imposed a lockdown in parts of the city following a surge in Covid-19 cases. (Express photo by Shuaib Masoodi)

The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s announcement of lockdown in several parts of Srinagar and its simultaneous move to open up the Valley to tourists has left people confused.

On Sunday afternoon, the Srinagar administration announced restrictions on public movement in 88 areas. And on Sunday evening, the administration issued orders to allow tourists into Jammu and Kashmir in a phased manner, starting Tuesday.

A government order stated that in phase-1, “there will be a partial opening of the tourism sector for external visitors, limited to tourists arriving from outside the UT by air only”.

Residents and members of the business community said the orders have created confusion.

When contacted, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole told The Indian Express, “At the airport, we have a foolproof system in place and testing of every incoming traveller is being done.” The decision to open up parks was taken so that there are “lesser people on the roads”, he said.

Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Sheikh Aashiq said, “People are not able to understand what is open and what is closed. The government must come out and convey the correct picture to the public.”

The PDP and the NC said the administration had failed to control the pandemic and was now issuing confusing orders.

The BJP’s national vice-president (youth wing) Er Aijaz Hussain tweeted, “LockDown in #Kashmir is no way a solution when rest of parts of the country are opening in phases manner. This will create chaos in public…”

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