Latrines on river banks, sewage ruin water bodies
Pahalgam: Amid the tall claims of the J&K government about promoting tourism in Kashmir, the tourist resort Pahalgam is facing an existensial crisis due to the huge amounts of sewage and garbage generated mostly during the Amarnath Yatra period.
The unabated flow of sewage and garbage into the River Lidder is polluting its waters and making it unfit for consumption. A large number of latrines have come up on the banks of the river at Nonwanan, Chandanwari and other places for pilgrims. The garbage and solid waste produced by the langers erected at Pahalgam and at many places enroute the cave have created a serious environmental and health threat to the people living around.
Ramesh Kumar, a tourist from Mumbai, said, “We don’t brother when the media says about Kashmir, but the things which worry me are the polluted water, latrines situated on the river banks and the unabated garbage that results in destroying the picturesque quality of this beautiful place.”
“I have hardly seen any other place as beautiful as Kashmir and also the people here are so polite and kind that one gets pleased and attracted to visit this place again,” he added.
Another tourist, Amrita Singh, talked about lack of facilities.
“No doubt Kashmir is a paradise on earth, but the things that look ugly and painful are the lack of maintenance and facilities, which this place deserves. The pollution level has increased to such a level that one sees a threat of extinction due to unabated pollution. If things continue like this, soon this paradise will turn into hell.”
“I have come thrice to Kashmir but never saw this amount of pollution,” she added.
Ronia Dekosta, a tourist from Switzerland, said the unabated sewage and pollutants hurt a lot and “change our mood and minds towards this place and create negative images, which is a very bad sign for the development and welfare of this place.”