Srinagar: Majid Attar, 23 years old student is a concerned young man. Majid, who led several groups to the higher reaches of Pahalgam to clean the upper fragile environs of the litter which according to him was posing serious threat to the ecology.
Though, Majid is studying Computer Sciences at Degree College Khanabal, he is passionate about environment and extra sensitive about the preservation of lush greenery that surrounds the Valley.
It all started after the culmination of Amarnath Yatra this year that he, along with his group decided to start a trek to the upper reaches of Pahalgam to clean the surroundings, as it was reported that after the Yatra, the surrounding areas have been left filled with enormous amount of litter which needs to be collected and disposed off.
“After the Yatra ended we heard that the upper reaches of Pahalgam stand polluted, we promptly decided to assemble a group of 10-12 volunteers who will start a trek and clean up the surroundings,” said Majid.
The group carried on with the sanitation drive for 2 nights and 3 days, and collected a huge quantity of litter lying in the fragile environs of Pahalgam.
“It was due to the carelessness of local bodies and that of the Government institutions—especially those who were responsible for the conduct of any movement to these upper reaches—that they did not initiate cleanliness drive in the area which was really important,” he said.
The group after spending 2 nights and 3 days in the sanitation drive, was not able to take all the quantity of litter that was collected down from the upper reaches, “It was huge, and was really impossible for us to get all the litter down by ourselves, however, we managed to bring down some of it, which was later handed over to the officials at Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA), for further disposal,” Majid said.
The volunteers started their drive from Chandanwari which ended at Sheshnag, covering the total mountain terrain of 25.9 KMs.
Majid, who calls himself an ‘Environment Enthusiast’, said “we are betraying our environment, it is giving us almost everything, but in return we are not giving back even a bit, which is a sheer betrayal.”
The group is planning another trip today (October 12), where they will again be trekking on Chandanwari- Sheshnag route, focusing on the cleanliness, and bringing down the litter that they were not able to carry down during their previous trip. This somehow, raises serious questions over the tall claims made by the local bodies of keeping the environs clean and keeping an eye on cleanliness.
Majid and his group did not stop there, on October 6 fire engulfed the upper reaches of Pahalgam forests, which was initially ignored by the concerned departments. The group rose to the occasion and assembled all the members to reach to the forests and control the devastating fire.
“We decided to limit the radius of fire that had engulfed a large forest area, and was spreading continuously, no one took notice of it, but we were on the move,” he said.
As per Majid, they could not douse down the flames, but were able to limit the radius of the flames, “with our tools we were able to create a boundary, and limit the fire, which later on proved to be fruitful,” he said.
Later, on October 7 the concerned officials woke up from deep slumber and did the rest that was needed to be done, however, the promptness and alertness of the group prevented something that could have been a disaster.
In future, Majid along with his group is going to start a cleanliness drive in and around Dal Lake, which Majid believes is the need of the hour.