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Around 30 pc increase in tourist rush since renovation, says Polo View Market president

Around 30 pc increase in tourist rush since renovation, says Polo View Market president

   

Shopkeepers say govt officials should regularly visit market to address issues that arise from time to time

Rehan Qayoom Mir

Srinagar, Jul 04 (KNO): Srinagar’s famous Polo View Market witnessed a 20 to 30 percent increase in tourist visits and has become a “wireless market” since it underwent renovation recently, the shopkeepers here said.

Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Haji Mohammad Ismail, president of Polo View Market in Srinagar, said the market expanded under the Srinagar Smart City project and gained international and domestic recognition.

“Before the renovation, the market already had a good footfall, but the renovation gave it a significant boost. The G-20 summit and visits by foreign delegates have played a major role in promoting this market,” he said.

He said there has been an increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting the market. “Even government guests visit here as it has been beautified to its highest potential,” Ismail said.

The renovation of the market, established in 1954, took approximately 14 months, and on May 12, 2023, it was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha.

Ismail said the market is now dust-free and beautified, making it the first “wireless market” in the entire Srinagar city. The seating arrangements here are also convenient for both males and females, allowing them to sit outside easily while the shops are busy with customers, he said.

“While the market is witnessing an increase in tourist footfall, the rush is not excessively high due to the low number of foreign tourists. However, we hope that foreign tourists will visit in large numbers in the future, In Sha Allah,” he mentioned.

Amjad Gulzar, the owner of K Salama, while talking to KNO said, “Before the renovation of Polo View Market, we used to have a good number of local, national and international tourists. However, after revamping the market, there has been a significant change as both local and foreign tourists have increased. Polo View now looks completely different and has become an iconic site in Srinagar.”

 

“People visit here during the day as well as at night, and footfall has increased by 20 to 30%. Likewise, the sales have also increased, and overall, there has been an increase in activity, with both locals and non-locals frequenting the market,” Amjad said. “Foreign tourism is still recovering as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to it. The restrictions imposed worldwide are lifted but the impact is still there even after many years, and foreign tourism is gradually increasing.”

Another shopkeeper wishing anonymity said, “This market is beautiful, and I personally feel that it should be well-maintained. The lighting and other facilities should be regularly checked, and if any issues arise, such as with electric poles or flooring, the government should quickly address them on own and it shouldn’t be informed by shopkeepers.”

Polo View was first established in 1954 by Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad who was the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir at that time. Initially located near the bund, it was later shifted to the side of Lal Chowk, and this market is famous for its domestic English market in the past and has always been a popular destination for prominent figures.

The history of Poloview Market reveals that its name originated from the time when the Maharajas of that time used to play Polo in the ground adjacent to the market. Subsequently, the market was named Polo View Market. It is the oldest market in Srinagar City famous all over India and beyond—(KNO)

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