Cross border firing along IB triggers decline in Border Tourism

Ever since cross border firing has engulfed border villages along the International border in Jammu the average foot fall of tourists who visited Octroi post and surrounding areas have fallen drastically.

According to official sources, “the tourist traffic to Octroi post is almost zero or negligent” these days owing to prevailing security situation.

A senior officer of the tourism department said, the tour operators who ferry tourists to different places have for the time being excluded border areas keeping in view the safety of the tourists.

“We are not booking tourists for border areas visit for last two weeks”, a tour operator said.

The ambitious border tourism project was kick started in April 2010 with the start of Baisakhi festival.

Besides Octroi post, famous shrine of Baba Chamliyal was also brought under the border tourism circuit to attract more and more tourists. During  the intense exchange of firing along the IB even the shrine of Baba Chamliyal was targeted from across the border but no one was injured in the attack.

Related: Pak Rangers, BSF men offer Peace Prayers at Baba Chamliyal Shrine

According to reports, at least two shells landed near the shrine and devotees present there escaped unhurt.

The state govt had developed tourist infrastructure besides renovating famous Ram temple in Suchetgarh village to promote border tourism. These days the area wears a deserted look with only BSF men stationed in a state of high alert along the IB.

Local villagers in the area said earlier they used to visit the park and pay obeisance at the temple but in view of the border tension even the local villagers prefer not to venture there and avoid inviting the wrath of BSF soldiers.

It may be mentioned that Octroi post is located adjacent to the area developed by the state govt to promote border tourism in the state.

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