The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has claimed that they are being wasted by being deployed at Kabootar Khana and have asked for alternate accommodation so that its men are put to better use.
“We don’t have any problems. If government provides us alternate accommodation, we will shift there. We too know that it is a tourist place,” IG- CRPF, Y S Yadav, told The Kashmir Monitor over phone.
Reliable sources said that the state government had also written to the Union home ministry to shift the CRPF camp from Kabutar Khana, once a hot tourist spot, for the betterment of the tourism industry but till date the CRPF has not vacated the place.
CRPF had vacated most of the public places and hotels in the city but they have not still vacated the Kabutar Khana, which could serve as an attracting tourist resort and will also increase the economic standard of the local boatmen there.
The Tourism department is presently putting all its efforts and exploring new places to boost the tourism sector in the valley, but Kabootar Khana has so far turned a major failure for them.
“Kabutar Khana was a hot tourist spot in the Valley. In early 1990’s the forces occupied the place and since then no one goes there. We have suffered a great loss due to this,” a local Shikarawala, Ghulam Hassan said while pointing towards the place.
The closure of the place for public is not only a loss to the tourism sector but is also a threat for the flora and fauna of the lake as whole sewage coming out from the CRPF camp flows into the Dal Lake.
Ghulam Muhammad, a Shikarawala says this island used to be main tourist destination before 1990. “I fail to understand why CRPF occupied this land. There is no such threat as it is in the middle of the lake,” he said and added it also mocks at the claims of the government that tourist destinations and public places will be vacated by forces occupation.
Most of the people say that this area has always remained peaceful but still forces have occupied the famous tourist spot.
“We fail to understand why government is not making efforts to get this place vacated from security forces to restore its tourist attraction,” said a group of locals.
Dal Lake is the main tourist spot where both locals and tourists like to roam during night hours to enjoy the pleasant gentle breeze of the lake.