Jahangeer Ganaie

Three years on, Ski lift in Pahalgam lying defunct

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Anantnag: Even after a lapse of three years, a ski lift in Pahalgam aimed at promoting winter tourism in the area has been lying defunct.
The lift which is located around circuit road in Pahalgam town was constructed around seven years back and was inaugurated in 2016.
Sources said that crores of rupees were spent on the lift, however, it remained functional for a year during 2016 and 2017 and since then it is lying defunct.
They said that the lift was taking tourists to the spot where they would Ski down towards the valley.
Tourist players in the famed resort say that the sole purpose of the scheme was to attract tourists towards Pahalgam in winters but the lift was left unattended even though it could have turned into a game changer.
“The ski lift could have helped Pahalgam to achieve a winter destination tourist spot nametag as well, but since the lift did not work the move did not go as planned,” a hotelier said.
Hesaid that in year 2016 and 2017, there was increase in the number of tourists reaching Pahalgam during winters, however, since then tourists and winter sport enthusiasts got dejected by the sorry state of affairs.
He said that Pahalgam has a potential to be developed as winter tourist spot like Gulmarg but no attention is being provided towards that.
Mushtaq Ahmad, President Hoteliers Association Pahalgam said that government must develop infrastructure here like we have in Gulmarg to promote winter tourism in Pahalgam.
“Generally tourists visit here only in summer and very few people visit this place during the winter as this destination lacks infrastructure for winter tourism,” he said, adding that Baisaran hills can become best spot for skiing provided it is connected through a ropeway.
He said people here in winter generally sit idle as very little tourists visit Pahalgam in winter and government must provide infrastructure so that locals here can earn livelihood in winter too.
On contacting Mushtaq Simnani, the chief executive officer of Pahalgam Development Authority he said that he has written to the higher ups to restart the lift for skiing activities.
He said that snow was enough this year for skiing activities and hopefully the defunct lift will be made functional soon, besides that efforts are to develop Pahalgam as winter tourist destination, he added.


Jahangeer Ganaie

Jahangeer Ganaie is a reporter and covers regional news and can be contacted ganaie@kashmirvision.in

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