October 2017 News

Gulmarg Degradation: Hoteliers Too Are Responsible

17 October 2017
Kashmir Observer
Mohammad Farooq Wani

Srinagar: I don't think it is judicious to blame Gulmarg-Sonamarg development authorities or the administration alone but we must look beyond the government authorities as we being citizens are equally responsible for the deterioration of Gulmarg-Sonamarg and Baba-Reshi tourists sites which have been made dumping places for heaps of garbage scattered throughout these places which welcome visitors instead of the scenic natural beauty of Kashmir. As a conscious common citizen I would never blame administration alone for garbage mess as we too have responsibility to keep an eye on such issues which violate and destroy the scenic beauty of these forests by intruding in the flora and fauna of these lush green forests. When we can keep our houses, footpaths clean. When we plant trees in our lawns, why can't we take care of these tourist places for attracting more and more tourists to enjoy the valley's natural beauty which is one of the main source of our economy besides livelihood of many people associated with this sector directly or indirectly. Some days back on my way from Srinagar to Gulmarg and then to Baba-Reshi, I was shocked to see the heaps of garbage dumped in the lush green forests which has polluted the most attractive perfumed sky with tall pine trees as if these pine trees were virtually representing their cause before the nature about its deterioration, though the forests give relief to everyone and are being harmed for no reason. I was embarrassed to hear about the views of the people against the administration by exonerating those responsible for damaging the ecological balance of our green gold. When I could see the deterioration of the forests why those running palatial hotels and cafeterias are being exonerated by the government and the people. We shift everything on the shoulders of government or the administration but at the same time it too is a fact that the government shows half-hearted approach towards making waste disposal plant functional. It is a fact that concerned MLAs too have the responsibility to see that whether everything is going on in his constituency properly and without destruction. But for obvious reasons the MLA concerned seems least bothered about the ecological disaster which is to my utter surprise as the MLA has been voted for the development and supervision of its constituency and not to make the green forests as a place to dump waste. This is really pathetic and situation needs to be dealt with iron fist. Had the administration acted tough against violators the situation would not have been what it is today. I would suggest the government to book the hoteliers in the first instance for making the forests as its dumping sites for the hotel garbage as main responsibility lies on them. When a common man can understand the deteriorating situation of the forests caused due to garbage why should the hotel owner shut their eyes knowingly. What restrains administration to fix responsibility on the hoteliers for making forests as a dumping site for garbage and allowing the hoteliers to walk scot-free. To make money these hoteliers can go to any extent having least concern about the ecological balance and beauty of forests. Let me reiterate that all these hoteliers should be booked for damaging the green forests. It has now become imperative for the SDM being the guardian of these places to save these places before being turned into concrete. Please stop issuing NOC's in absence of a scientific system for waste disposal to the hoteliers. I can't say 'Swacch Bharat Mission' but can loudly say that by saving nature we are abiding by the teachings of its creator.