The inspection reports, conducted by the Government of India, which is in possession reveal that despite an increase of 75 percent of the tourist arrival in the year 2011-2012, the occupancy level, surprisingly, in the JKTDC facilities increased merely 16 percent, portraying a clear picture how much serious were the previous governments in the state to promote tourism and making necessary facilities available for the tourists.

tour

|| SHIEKH AAZAD     

      Jammu and Kashmir’s much hyped and the most vital sector, tourism witnessed severe crises on ground due to the non- serious approach by the previous helmsmen with figures making startling revelations. The exotic huts and hotels of the JKTDC which were meant for the tourists were given to the government employees, resulting in the serious dearth of rooms on ground. Such a situation was witnessed at the time when the state witnessed high tourist rush with government unable to provide them the due space. How much losses the tourism sector of the state witnessed due to such an approach by the helmsmen was put under the carpet.

     The inspection reports, conducted by the Government of India, which is in possession reveal that despite an increase of 75 percent of the tourist arrival in the year 2011-2012, the occupancy level, surprisingly, in the JKTDC facilities increased merely 16 percent, portraying a clear picture how much serious were the previous governments in the state to promote tourism and making necessary facilities available for the tourists. The report takes dig at the tourism department, mentioning that the JKTDC was not able to cope up with the rush of the tourists, hence failing to provide required service.

     “It shows that the company could not keep pace of its development of the facilities with tourist arrivals,” reads the report. Reports informed that against 7.67 lakh rooms rented out by the company during the period 2008-13, a total of 3.71 lakh which is 48 percent, were rented out to the government employees through state estates department. Further, out of total room rent of 93.82 crore rupees earned during the period 2008-2013 on the rented out rooms, the company earned rent of 37.70 crore which is 40 percent of the total amount from the estates department. Sources meanwhile informed that the JKTDC strived to mitigate the losses later by increasing the tariff rates. What would be more shocking is that fact that the JKTDC which was established to facilitate the tourists in the state was used by the government as a mere renting firm for its employees.

      Reports informed that there was not even the data compiled over the attendance of both the local as well as the foreign tourists who had used the JKTDC facilities during their stay in the state. Why the hotels meant for the tourists were given to the government employees of the state is the question which till date hasn’t been answered by the concerned authorities. A senior official said that the issue to providing accommodation to the government employees in the JKTDC huts and hotels has been raised before the concerned ministry in the recent past but its resolution continues to remain in limbo with no final word coming from the government. “It is true that the department hasn’t earned as much as was the target for the same. The tourist season in the past was on its peak but most of the rooms were allotted to the government employees due to which accommodation to the tourists could be provided via the JKTDC,” he divulged.

Against 7.67 lakh rooms rented out by the company during the period 2008-13, a total of 3.71 lakh which is 48 percent, were rented out to the government employees through state estates department.