SRINAGAR: The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF), Dr Mohit Gera who is on four day tour to Kashmir visited the Shankaracharya Forest trail to inspect the progress of this 5.5 km gentle trek route being developed for trekking around Shankaracharya Hills.
The trail offers a 360-degree view of Srinagar City and the surrounding landscapes. Some basic amenities like signages, sitting benches and viewpoints are being provided on this trail to facilitate the trekkers who are generally the young students.
The department plans to work with local communities to initiate conducting of treks for School and College students and other visitors to this historical religious place.
During the visit the Pr. Chief Conservator of Forests (HoFF) reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir being a favourite destination for explorers has huge scope for trekking.
He said the Forest Department in pursuance to Government directions is developing 75 trekking routes both in Jammu and in Kashmir of which many are already in operation like Badrikali to Galganzara, Bhadrakali to Sanzipora, Rajpur-Pathri-Trimukhan-Kairvan Diver in North Kashmir and Mansar to Mahoregarh, DKG to Ratanpeer and DKG to Noori Chamb in Jammu region.
Dr Gera said, Trekking in Jammu and Kashmir provides a closer sneak peek into the culture of mountain dwellers as one enjoys the rugged mountains, lush green meadows, diverse forests and breathtaking scenic views dotted with wetlands. Trekking activities also involve birding, hiking, nature interpretation and wildlife photography.
He said it is expected that this initiative of the Government will create significant employment opportunities especially for local youth besides leading to well-being of forests, wildlife and overall biodiversity of Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the department has released a booklet on trek routes giving details of all the 75 trek routes across Jammu and Kashmir.
The PCCF was accompanied by Zubair Ahmad, Conservator of Forests Srinagar Circle, Abid Nazir DFO and other staff of Urban Forestry Division, Srinagar.