Houseboats are a major tourist attraction in Kashmir. History says that this tradition started in the 1800s and since then it has created a unique heritage in the tourism industry.
Due to policy changes over the years, the operations and the life of the houseboat owners are getting complicated. The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir in 2010 had banned all kinds of construction in Dal lake, and asked the authorities not to allow new registration of Houseboats, citing pollution issues.
As the house boats are always on water, they need regular maintenance and servicing, and without maintenance, the woods under the water often chips away.
In March 2021, the government allowed renovation and preservation of Houseboats, but the owners are saying that the rule is not yet implemented on the ground.
The VV Community Correspondent Urvat il Wuska from Srinagar, Kashmir in this video is highlighting a story of one Houseboat owner and the situations he is facing. The Houseboat was damaged and they are asking the Government for compensation. Unless the Government comes forward with some compensatory schemes, it will be difficult for the hard working houseboat owners to continue their trade.
In this video of UPS Manwan Awoora school, Kupwara, Kashmir, the community correspondent Pir Azhar shows us that there are nine classes for 250 students, and due to lack of space, the lower primary classes are held outside in the open. Also the school has only 7 teachers.