Srinagar, May 23: Kashmir is witnessing a bumper tourism season this year, which is helping thousands of people earn their livelihood and generate revenue for the government, but there are many challenges before the authorities that come with tourism: pollution, resource depletion, energy consumption, and waste.
Environmental experts said that with an increase in tourist flow, there is also an increase in solid and liquid waste at tourist spots. They say that people prefer to consume processed and packed foods and then throw polythene and other non-biodegradable materials on the roadside or in parks which later flow into streams and rivers.
Tourist destinations need proper supervision and at the same time control of emissions, disposal of wastes, and maintenance of hygiene, experts say.
People who go for trekking and other recreational purposes often take essential items in polythene and later they throw these polythene and food waste in the open, which is a threat to the environment. Though the government is claiming to be clearing polythene and food wastes every day, heaps of waste items can be seen in drains and other places.
JKTDC Secretary Sarmad Hafeez said that special attention is being given to keeping tourist spots clean.
He said that strict directions have been given to officials of development authorities to keep special vigil to manage waste so that tourist spots can be kept clean.
“No trekkers are being allowed to carry polythene and we have been carrying special cleanliness drives as well by involving NGOs,” he said, adding that people also need to throw waste items in dustbins.
Officials in Pahalgam and Gulmarg said that municipalities have been clearing all the waste items on a daily basis and solid treatment plants are there as well.
They also requested people to play their part by always using dustbins and avoiding throwing waste items in water bodies.