Hail court orders to save the tourist destination
SRINAGAR: In a joint meeting of executive committee members of Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK) and Jammu and Kashmir Ski and Mountaineering Association (JKSMA), the members appreciated the High Court orders to maintain and manage Sonamarg resort on eco-tourism basis. A complete ban on polythene in entire Sonamarg area and ban on vehicular traffic to Thajwas valley from the main road will not only help keep the area tidy and clean but will also check the hazardous carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles that shuttle the area, an official press note issued Tuesday read.
According to the press note, Sonamarg, being primarily a destination of adventure tourism importance and also a place for pleasure and pilgrimage, should be maintained and preserved for all and for all times to come.
The Sonamarg Development Authority (SDA) must stop giving fresh permissions for raising concrete buildings for whatsoever purposes as too much steel and cement has already encroached upon its virgin land and those who have not completed their constructions should be asked to complete the work of their under-construction buildings at their soonest possible as these were giving a very ‘shabby and shoddy look’ to this beautiful valley, the note read.
President ATOAK, Rauf Tramboo, who chaired the meeting while hailing the High Court order to ban vehicular movement on the Sonamarg-Thajwas road stretch said, “Sonamarg valley, being pristine and at the same time fragile too and also small in size, can’t accommodate too much vehicular traffic around its meadows.”
He said that the recent findings on Thajwas glaciers which are melting at an alarming rate can further prove disastrous if we continued allowing too much vehicular traffic around Sonamarg area as much heat is generated due to carbon dioxide emissions from these vehicles.
Tramboo further said that mountains known as the water towers of the world, and being the main source of our water, must be looked after well and given extraordinary care so that our glaciers, rivers and water bodies remain intact to sustain our life.
He emphasised on the need of passing an order by the government in which a specific number of vehicles should be allowed to ply on the roads of Sonamarg like the order NGT (National Green Tribunal) passed for Manali-Rohtang Pass road to save that area.
The members unanimously requested the government to shift the army transit camp from main bowl of Sonamarg and accommodate it at some other place, preferably at the other side of Zojila Pass near Minimarg, and also requested CEO Sonamarg to divert all Srinagar-Leh vehicular traffic from Shitkari via outer road which has been already completed, the press note further read.