Bollywood gets easy access to Kashmir to fight flood-induced fears

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: May 04, 2015 16:42 IST

The J-K government is providing a single-window clearance for all the shooting of Hindi movies across Valley to fight flood-induced fears among prospective travelers

"There will be a single-window clearance for shootings now. Whenever a Bollywood crew shoots at a location, the place will get promoted. Besides, people will feel safer to travel the valley," said tourism deputy director Zahoor Peerzada, while speaking at the tour and travel award function organised by Taj Vivanta in Srinagar.

In the past, the Bollywood would have to go through layers of officials to seek permission for shooting for the valley's locations.

Kashmir remains muse of the Bollywood with many blockbusters shot here in the past. However, the ongoing militancy kept them away the Bollywood for a long time.

After militancy, the government is now grappling with the post-flood reluctance of domestic tourists to travel here.

However, the tour and travel operators are reaching out to visitors to make them understand geography of the place.

"We tell people that we are ready to serve them. The fact remains that floods may have then impacted parts of the valley but no tourist hotspots were affected by the floods like Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, all located at the higher altitudes," said Ibrahim Siah, a well-know tour and travel operator of the valley.

Seven months since the floods, Srinagar-based tour operators continue to receive queries about the flood situation.

"Even slightest inundation is now being perceived as flood threat...but the month of May has provided a ray of hope. We are picking up," said Taj Vivanta general manager Shekhar Walavalkar.

Tourism department deputy director Peerzada said the government plans to hold shows across the country to fight any false or incorrect perceptions being build around Kashmir valley.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed already has been on a weeklong marathon visit to meet Bollywood stars in Mumbai and tour operators in Gujarat to convince them to travel to the valley.

The government, which aims at hosting around 20 lakh tourists this year, also intends to attract elite marriage ceremonies to be conducted here. Majestic Hari Niwas is being promoted as an elite wedding destination in the summer capital.

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