Tourist inflow to Amritsar has been hit hard due to ongoing agitations and blockades across the state over the incidents of sacrilege of the holy book.
Prior to protests over desecration, agitating farmers had thrown the rail traffic out of gear for nearly a week by blocking tracks across the state.
With key road links being blocked, tourists are finding it hard to reach the Golden Temple and other destinations in and around Amritsar.
Traffic remains disrupted on the Amritsar-New Delhi national highway and Amritsar- Tarn Taran stretch. Blockades have been reported at Daburji, Kot Mit Singh and other areas.
The ongoing blockade on Harike bridge for the past six days has badly hit the movement of vehicles from Rajasthan and Malwa region.
SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi said: “There has been a drastic fall in the number of pilgrims visiting the Golden Temple. While foreign tourists, who travel by air, have been coming to the shrine, domestic tourists, who come via road or trains, are staying away in view of the unrest in the state.”
Administration making efforts
Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said, “We have clarified through various media platforms that there is no curfew-like situation in Amritsar. Law and order would be maintained at all cost. We are persuading protesters to lift blockades so that commuters are not inconvenienced.”
“When blockades would end, we would be planning confidence building measures and spread the message through various social websites and other platforms that tourists can have a comfortable stay in the holy,” he added.
Director, Punjab Heritage & Tourism Promotion Board, Navjot Singh Randhawa, said the current unrest has hit the inflow of tourists across the state. “The exact percentage of the fall in number of tourists visiting the state will be available after compilation of the entire data by November 15,” he said.
“We are keeping tabs on air and rail ticket cancellations that will give us a clear picture,” he added.