Notifying Bajpathri? ‘Save Yusmarg Movement’ Resists Any Move, Fears Destruction of Water Sources

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

Save Yusmarg Movement (SYM) on Tuesday condemned the state government’s proposal of throwing the environmentally fragile area in Yusmarg “open to plunder by military”.

Save Yusmarg Movement is a local committee supposed to safeguard eco-fragile tourist resort of Yousmarg and its peripheries.

“We will resist the move by all peaceful means,” a statement issued to press late this evening after it had convened a meeting against the backdrop of media reports that the state government is examining the proposal for leasing out Bajpathri near Yusmarg health resort to Army.

“In the light of surveys ordered by the state government about the consequences of having an artillery firing range in Yusmarg, the government’s decision to ‘expeditiously examine proposal’ of the Army comes as a shock for people,” the statement said.

Save Yusmarg Movement informed that at least six drinking water supply schemes on Doodhganga and Romshi streams are located in the area which is a source of drinking water supply for Pulwama, Shopian, Budgam and major part of Srinagar city.

“The move to shift the firing range will wash hazardous chemicals into these streams which will have long-term consequences on the health of hundreds of thousands of people who rely on drinking water from these schemes,” the SYM statement insisted, “the ill-planned move will also inflict unimaginable and irreparable cost on the fragile environment of Yusmarg in the form of deforestation, pollution to water bodies, besides human intrusion into the forests which has already resulted in increasing man-animal conflicts in the area.”

The statement added that the move will not only uproot thousands of poor people from their traditional lands, thereby pushing them further into the state of impoverishment, “but it will also bring down curtains on the development of Yusmarg as a tourist destination, as claimed by the state government”.      “Hundreds of Gujjars and Bakarwals who use these meadows as grazing land for their livestock will be deprived of their source of sustenance by opening the artillery firing range.”

The statement informed, “we will be meeting post-Friday prayers with various stakeholders in Chrar-i-Sharief to chart out the future course of action.”

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