Wednesday, November 01, 2017

In a first, Kashmir airport gets its first liquor shop

n a bid to woo tourists to this militancy-infested region in the Himalayas, the Indian government has decided to get a liquor shop opened at Srinagar International Airport in the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Airports Authority of India invited e-tenders in September – seeking bids from the potential players to run a duty-paid liquor shop at the airport – with the lowest bid of Rs 200,000 per month. October 16 was the deadline for the bidding.

Official sources said around 50 firms have shown interest to run the venture at the airport that caters to some 20 flights or 3500 passengers a day. The outlet is scheduled to start operations from January 1, 2018. Director Srinagar airport Sharad Kumar, while confirming the development told Asia Times: “All the famous and good quality liquor brands will be available for sales.”

Referring to the prevalent rise in violence in the trouble-torn region, Kumar said that the last two years remained “bad for tourism sector” in the valley.  “We hope that by providing this facility we can attract more and more tourists. Otherwise there are only a few liquor shops in Kashmir. But here it’ll be available in safe and secure environment and will give a boost to tourism,” Kumar added.
01/11/17 Majid Hyder/Asia Times