ANANTNAG: Senior National Conference leader and lawmaker, Dr Bashir Veeri Thursday opposed the declaration of Kausar Naag in southern Shopian district as a pilgrimage site for Hindus.
“The environment of the area leading to the water body is very sensitive. So making such places as pilgrimage sites will cause environmental disaster in the state. I warn the state government that such moves ravage the ecology of the area,” Dr Veeri, who headed the State Environment Committee, told Kashmir Reader.
Kausar Naag, a large spring located 30 kms from famous tourist destination Aharabal, was declared as a Hindu pilgrimage destination recently. At least 4000 Hindus are expected to visit the lake on July 29 for ‘puja’ for the first time with state government reportedly making all necessary preparations for the pilgrimage.
Veeri said that declaring the pure water bodies as pilgrimage destinations is a “religious hegemony”.
“In other states they don’t allow more than 200 people to visit the ecologically fragile pilgrimage sites. But here both the central government and the state authorities are out to plunder the nature in the name of pilgrimage tourism,” Veeri said.
He said that human intervention be banned at such ecologically sensitive places. “We cannot afford to lose our environment for what they call tourism. I will oppose the move tooth and nail, no matter who gets annoyed,” Veeri said.
“I will support the people of the area if they launch a campaign against the move. I have learnt that they are organising a protest program in this regard and if they invite me I will be the first to participate in the protest,” Veeri said.