Tourists flocking to picturesque destinations in Kashmir Valley often find themselves entangled in a web spun by conniving horse handlers eager to profit from their ignorance. A number of tourists visiting Central Kashmir tourist destination Doodhpathri alleged that in the absence of any regulations, they are being fleeced by ponnywalas and other touts.
“We don’t understand why tourist vehicles are not being allowed to proceed till motorable road ends and why we are being forced to ride on the horses,” one of the tourists from Maharashtra Anish Deshmukh told the news agency Kashmir News Trust.
This year Doodhpathri witnessed a huge tourist rush much to the satisfaction of the stakeholders who have been urging authorities to take stern action against the unscrupulous elements who resort to cheat and deceit and fleece naïve tourists as well as local visitors.
A female tourist from New Delhi said that he was mesmerized by the natural beauty of Doodhpathri but the absence of tourist police made him feel insecure. “Horse owners loot the tourists at will. For a mere few kilometers stretch of ride tourists are made to pay hefty amounts,” she said adding that at tourist resorts of Kashmir, horses have become not just majestic creatures but also tools in the hands of unscrupulous owners seeking to exploit wide-eyed visitors. [KNT]