J&K govt invites Bollywood to Gulmarg on Christmas

Last Updated 19 December 2019, 21:58 IST

In a bid to send message that Kashmir was safe for tourists, the Jammu and Kashmir government has invited film production houses to celebrate Christmas at famous ski-resort in Gulmarg.

Sources told DH that the move was aimed to give a “hands on feeling” to the film fraternity to frequently shoot their films in Kashmir’s picturesque landscape besides sending a positive message to the tourists that travelling to the Valley was safe.

“For these reasons, Gulmarg has been chosen and a grand function has been planned on the Christmas,” they said.

The Bollywood production houses that are expected to arrive at Gulmarg include, Yash Raj films, Dharma Productions, Sony Film Productions, Reliance Film Production, Rohit Shetty Films, Star Fox, Star Disney, Excel Productions, Ajay Devgan Productions, Cineyug Productions, Balaji Telefilms, MTV, T-Series.

Besides some production houses from South India are likely to join the festival. The celebrities are scheduled to arrive in Kashmir on December 24 and conclude their visit on December 26.

“They are also scheduled to address media in Srinagar before concluding their visit,” sources said. However, it is not clear as of now which Bollywood celebrity would be part of the group.

Besides, the government has also decided to conduct a cultural programme at Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir on New Year eve. “The move is aimed at promoting Pahalgam as winter tourist destination,” an official of tourism department said. Days ahead of August 5 decision of the Center to abrogate provisions of the Article 370 that gave special status to J&K and bifurcating it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, the government issued an advisory asking tourists and pilgrims to leave the Valley immediately.

The advisory created a fear psychosis within and outside the Valley as thousands of tourists and Amarnath pilgrims left in hurry. The advisory was officially lifted on October 10. From 2.49 lakh tourists visiting Kashmir between August and November last year, the number drastically went down to 32 thousand in the same period this year due to prevailing uncertainty in the Valley.

The, tourism, handicraft and e-commerce sectors have been the worst sufferers due to the situation post August 5. According to Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry,

(Published 19 December 2019, 21:58 IST)

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