Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 29 (ANI): As part of efforts to revive Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism industry after the disastrous second COVID-19 wave, the government has started a vaccination drive for people involved in the industry and those who live around the Dal Lake in Srinagar.
The lake, a popular tourist attraction, has been deserted over the last few weeks due to the surge in coronavirus cases across the country. The vaccination process has been sped up to protect people from the virus.
Awareness campaigns are also being organised in the area.
The tourism department, meanwhile, has started to rapidly vaccinate those who are either directly or indirectly involved with the industry so that as more people start to visit the Valley, they may not be at risk.
This special drive is going to different destinations including Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Nigeen Lake and Dal Lake, popular among tourists in the peak season.
According to Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary of Tourism, people in the industry within the category of prioritised groups are being vaccinated.
“Under the Lieutenant Governor, certain sections have been prioritised, which include people in the transport department and vulnerable sections. Several people – houseboat owners, Shikare owners and others who have to interact with a lot of people to earn their living, are getting inoculated,” he told ANI.
Over the last week, a number of people involved in the industry – including houseboat owners, boatmen, shop vendors and taxi drivers, can be seen around Dal Lake, where the tourism department has set up vaccination centers.
“I want to thank the tourism department for inoculating the people who rely on this industry for their living. This will keep the people and their families safe from COVID-19,” said Gulam Nabi Dharma, General Secretary of the Houseboat Owners Association.
High-level officials are also monitoring the vaccination drive personally and are creating awareness in people about the importance of vaccination due to which thousands of dwellers living in Nigeen Lake and Dal Lake will be safe from the virus when they resume their work and tourists from outside will also feel safe in their presence. (ANI)