Tourists give a miss to Kashmir train
60.30% prefer air travel, 38.10% take the bus, only 1.60% use rail
In absence of a train service from Jammu to Kashmir, less than 5 percent domestic and foreign tourists have travelled to the Valley via train from Banihal to Srinagar in two years.
According to the data available with the Tourism department, only 1.60 percent domestic and foreign tourists arrived here during the year 2018.
A total of 8,30,758 tourists arrived to Kashmir valley in 2018 of which only 13,305 domestic and 44 foreign visitors travelled via train.
A total of 5,00,920 (60.30%) tourists arrived in the Valley via Srinagar International Airport including 4,46,605 domestic and 54,315 foreign tourists.
Likewise, 3,16,489 visitors (38.10%) arrived in the Valley via Srinagar-Jammu highway including 3,15,034 domestic and 1455 foreign tourists.
In January and November 2018, no foreign tourist arrived in Kashmir via train.
In the year 2019, a total of 5,42,192 domestic and foreign tourists arrived in Kashmir till October of which only 4.11 percent arrived via train through Banihal.
Only 55 foreign and 22,203 domestic tourists arrived here via train.
Ironically, no tourist arrived via train in the months of February, August, September and October.
A total of 2,46,266 (45.42%) tourists arrived in the Valley via Srinagar International Airport including 2,14,601 domestic and 29,951 foreign tourists.
Likewise, 2,73,668 visitors (50.47%) arrived in the Valley through Srinagar-Jammu highway including 2,69,720 domestic and 635 foreign tourists.
Director Tourism, Nisar Wani said, “Until there is a 100 percent train connectively, one can’t expect a person to buy train ticket to Jammu and then again from Banihal to reach Srinagar. It will cause so much inconvenience to the visitors.”
He said the train service in Kashmir was suspended for more than four months this year.
Wani said the tourists prefer to reserve the mode of transport from Jammu to reach the tourist destiny in Kashmir to avoid any inconvenience.