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End negative publicity, time to rediscover Kashmir: J&K officials
Thursday April 16, 2015 9:32 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The recent incessant rainfall in Jammu and Kashmir had triggered fears of another flood, pushing many to cancel their travel plans. But tourism officials from the Valley on Thursday said "things were blown out of proportion" and appealed to all stakeholders to refrain from negative publicity and promote tourism.

"This time there were no floods... things were blown out of proportion. There was waterlogging in some areas, but there were no floods at all recently," said Farooq A. Shah, managing director of Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation.

During rains in April, 44 people were killed and 25 others injured in landslides and flash floods in the state, and many people hurriedly cancelled their travel plans to the pristine Kashmir Valley, fearing a repetition of last years' deluge.

To present a clear picture of the scenario, various state ministers and Bollywood actor Sanjay Suri participated in an event "Rediscover Kashmir", organised by the travel portal

Kashmir Education Minister Naeem Akhtar tried to quell the fears of travel enthusiasts across the country and said: "I assure this to the organisers and other stakeholders that lots of positive things are happening and there is a lot of positivity in the overall atmosphere of the state."

Akhtar also said that "unnecessary misleading advisories are restraining many interested travellers from visiting Kashmir".

"These advisories should be addressed," he said.

Suri, who was born in Srinagar, said he is going to shoot his forthcoming movie "Heaven on Earth" in the Valley.

"Earlier I had plans of shooting the film at some other location, but I decided to shoot it here. I want to give a different perspective of Kashmir through the movie and highlight the good things the state has to offer," said the actor, who has worked in films like "My Brother Nikhil" and "Jhankaar Beats".

Officials also said how they are charting out plans to promote and develop lesser known and unexplored destinations which include locations like Kokernag, Daksum, Verinag and Manasbal.


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