Famous Sula Park, Siarh Baba come to stand still
*Shopkeepers worried as no tourists this season
REASI, June 2: With lockdown in place in view of Coronavirus pandemic, the tourist movement across the natural water spots in Reasi including Sula Park, Siarh Baba and Dhansar Baba has come to a complete standstill.
According to sources, the shopkeepers who are dependent on these tourist resorts for their earnings are extremely worried over the prevailing situation as they largely depended on three months viz; April, May and June, when thousands of tourists made beeline to these natural water spots in Reasi to get respite from the scorching heat. “The rest of the nine months are considered lean season when very few or no tourists visit these places,” sources added.
Sources further said that early April had been the time when shopkeepers used to start maintenance and repair works of their shops and purchase material to welcome tourists, but now they have lost all hopes till next summer season in 2021.
“Shopkeepers here claim that the season was a complete wash out and the next one is likely to meet a worst fate because of the pandemic,” sources said.
It is pertinent to mention here that these natural water spots in the district are most sought out tourist destinations in the Jammu division during summer holidays, when locals from Jammu and pilgrims visiting Vaishno Devi and Shiv Khouri shrines flock to these spots.
“For tourists and locals, the three months from May to July is in some ways a perfect time to enjoy these incredible destinations at their most unspoilt, but for locals who depend on the income that visitors bring, it is a disaster and the one that is unlikely to let up any time soon,” said a dependent shopkeeper while expressing his tale of woes.
“We had also seen an unexpected side effect of the pandemic, the water here is crystal clear now and the fishes are visible all the time, ” he added.
Sources claim that the Sula Park carrying underground water from nearby Anji river is the best place to enjoy bathing and picnic under the shadows of trees and cool breeze.
“Scores of people, especially youth and families from Reasi, Jammu and adjoining areas and Shiv Khori pilgrims used to visit the water spots here. They were seen beating the heat by taking dips into the Sula Park and bath under one of the highest waterfall in North India Siarh Baba,” sources further claimed.
Sources further said that at other water spots in Reasi like Dhansar Baba and Nau Devi, the visitors while paying obeisance in temples also used to enjoy in natural swimming pools present there.
The UT Administration needs to develop these natural water spots immediately after the pandemic is over in order to lure more and more tourists and help the cause of dependent shopkeepers.