Guv raises issue of Kargil airport, rising airfare on Srinagar route

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Srinagar, Feb 3: Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Sunday raised the issue of expansion of Kargil airport and manifold rise in airfare, when the Srinagar-Jammu national highway is closed, in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to this ‘Paradise on Earth’.
”I have been told by Chairman of Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, to raise the issue of expansion of Kargil airport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Leh,” Malik said, adding that he is now raising this issue openly.
He expressed hope that Modi will consider this demand and make some announcement. However, the Prime Minister, after inaugurating and laying foundation stone of various development projects, did not mention anything about the expansion of the airport.
In Srinagar, Malik raised the issue of charging of high airfare by different airlines, when the national highway, the only all weather road, is closed due to landslides, snow or shooting stones.
The Airlines charge anywhere between Rs 24000 to Rs 28000 from Delhi to Srinagar or Srinagar to Delhi, when there is problem in the highway or flights are cancelled due to bad weather, Malik said, adding that despite his repeated efforts, the airlines were not ready to listen.
One can travel to and fro Dubai in less amount than being charged on Srinagar route, he said and requested the Prime Minister to look into this issue.
This, he said, has badly affected the J&K tourism. How will the footfall of tourists increase, when the airfare are very high, he said.
He said when the national highway is blocked, hundreds of passengers get stranded at Jammu.
“Though we make arrangement for their stay and food, but we cannot do anything for the students, who have to appear in tests at Jammu or Delhi. We managed an Army plane for stranded passengers, particularly students, but it was available only once.
“The Srinagar-Jammu national highway reopened today for one-way only after remaining closed for three days due to snow and landslides and shooting stones. Last week, the highway remained closed for six days due to similar reasons, Malik pointed out.
Modi arrived here on a day-long visit to Jammu and Kashmir. He arrived at Leh from New Delhi this morning, followed by visit to Jammu and Srinagar on the last leg of his tour.