SRINAGAR: Citing “unprecedented flow of tourists” and threat to ecologically fragile environs, Chief Executive Officer of Gulmarg Development Authority has written a letter to Director School Education Kashmir, urging him to ask educational institutions in the valley not to plan excursion/picnic to the famous resort on weekends.
“From the last couple of weeks, Gulmarg has witnessed an unprecedented flow of tourist which has caused frequent traffic jams and other inconveniences in the area,” news agency GNS quoted the letter saying.
It said that phase 1st of the Master Plan- 2032 which stands approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC) vide decision No. 140/20/2018, dated 22.11.2018 has detailed “major threats in view of the increased tourist influx“.
“The Increased tourist influx associated with the promotion of mass tourism to the area shall have serious and adverse consequences,” the letter said adding the maximum noise levels in the resort area slightly exceeded prescribed standards for the daytime level of noise.
“This continued growth and development of the resort area will impact the community noise levels through the introduction of additional private and commercial traffic and intensification of tourism, and will impact wildlife behavior and human health,” the letter underlined, adding, “In addition to this there are some other issues like Environment issues, biodiversity issues, pollution issues, flora and fauna issues, aesthetic issues, etc, which need to addressed in terms of Master Plan 2032.”
In view of it, coupled with the facts that most of the locals prefer to visits the area on weekend (Saturday and Sunday), the CEO requested the DSEK to issue necessary directions to all the heads of the schools of the valley, to plan their excursion/picnic to Gulmarg any day of the week, except Saturday and Sunday “so that eco fragile environment is maintained in terms of approved Master Plan.”