Srinagar Oct 6 : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said here that the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Delhi were a missed opportunity for the tourism sector of the state due to unrest in the Valley. "Commonwealth games are going on in Delhi and Kashmir would have been flooded with tourists had the situation been peaceful here," Omar said in the state Assembly. He said if the situation had been normal, it would have been difficult to find a single room in the hotels of Pahalgam, Gulmarg and other tourist resorts of the state.
"However, there is an eerie silence in Pahalgam and Gulmarg with no tourists. It is loss of the tourism sector and those associated with the trade," he said. The Chief Minister said it was unfortunate that separatists were disturbing normalcy in the Valley. "Kashmir issue will not be resolved in a week or couple of months. Will we continue to stop people from earning their livelihood till then?" he asked. Omar said the ongoing unrest has resulted in loss of 30,000 jobs in the Valley, mostly in hotels, banks and IT companies in the private sector.
He said the turmoil in the Valley has hit the common man most as even train services are not allowed to operate. "By paying Rs 15, one could travel from Qazigund in South Kashmir to Srinagar and even Baramulla in North Kashmir. It was much cheaper than the other modes of transport," he said, adding, the travel time between various places had been cut down significantly after the introduction of the train services. PTI