Monday, 8 July 2013

The Summer Belongs To Tourism

We need to keep the Tulips blossoming

Kashmir well-known and branded as the “Switzerland of  East” is renowned for its mammon, awe-inspiring picturesque beauty. God created Kashmir to provide a foretaste of heaven. The valley of beauty is endowed and decorated by cascading rivulets with the crystal-clear water and the undulating range of mountains beautified with snow that enthral on and all. The beauty gets even more honoured by the green carpet laid by the nature in the every orb of the valley. The haughty standing snow-clad mountains, thriving green paddocks, dense evergreen jungles, pulsating lakes add to splendour of the valley is such a way that one can hardly afford to blink eye. The seasons in Kashmir may keep changing but every spell enlarges the exquisiteness of the valley in its possessed way. Each of the seasons, well defined from each other, comprise their magnetic facet to lure the seeking eyes of sightseers. Through blooms of spring via the brand new summers or the vivid and dazzling autumn to the splendid and chilly winters, every season has a so much to put forward to the follower. The unrewarded beauty of Kashmir has soothing impinge on the seeking ones and transmogrify one from state of flux to the bliss. Much has been written and heard about the fascinating and charismatic vale but the valley’s vista is as much unrevealed as publicized.
Totting up in a brief, Kashmir is paradisiacal.
Tourism is regarded as the spine of the financial system of Jammu and Kashmir. Tourism cleaves the huge potential in the State in addition to being the main contributor of the economy. Tourism has been through bumpy and jarring in the past may it be by turmoil situations or by falling in the wrong hands. Kashmir has so much to offer to the locals and the sightseers from outside the State. One will certainly run out of mind's eye with reference to the beauty of the “God’s piece of Heaven on earth”. Polishing and presenting the innate natural sources to the people is a big uphill task for the Tourism Management populace of the State.  The Directorate of J&K Tourism as well as J&K Tourism Development Corporation is the focal presenter and guardian of the state tourism .After the drastic decline of tourists visiting in 2008-2010 (from 5- 6-7 lacs approx without Amaranth Ji Yatra in three years). The year 2011 Official figures reveal magic, about 1.4 million tourists had a trip to the valley generating about 100 million dollars and 2012 saw about 2 million tourist influx in the valley. These figures are magnificent and gesture the influx normalcy in the valley. This passes a wave of sanguine around the valley Symbolizing new life & optimism. About half a million people are connected with tourism for their living. As goings by the news bulletin the current Tourism Minister of the State Mr G.A Mir seems to be delivering the pledge regarding the endorsement and development of the tourism industry. The stratagem of promoting the tourism internationally may it be by means of organising Road shows in Saudi or promotional campaign in Spain seems to be going with the flow. The Tourism ministry of the state announced 165 new projects of appeal 516.80cr.  These new schemes will facilitate the recognition and developmental works of various other tourist spots of the valley Kashmir to lure more tourists. Road shows, Tourism festivals and other actions by the Dept of tourism seems to be paying off well as depicted by the 100% hotel occupancy by tourists in the on-going season. Tourism minister seem to be doing a praiseworthy job in prevention of destruction and deforestation, the Eco-tourism plan in cooperation with forest department to check the miscreants and conserve the nature of the state seeming interesting for conservation mode. But the tourism Ministry has a tough task uphill as many concerns remain unsolved from pollution check to price manipulation through development at cost of deforestation.  The Dal Lake is tranquil and attractive but profoundly polluted mainly by untreated sewage and now appears very monotonous, although several channels of maintaining its gleam are on but nothing seems to be falling on the track. The contamination of the natural resources at the tourist places is on high, plastics, tins, bottles and other rubbish creating a black-spot on these attractive destinations. This is unsettling the symmetry of nature. The polythene bags people clutch is major client to the environmental contamination. The developmental works seem to be catching the trend in the state, but at the same time alternatives have to be adopted to avoid deforestation and litter. One can visualize the fate of the elusive nature by such pollutants and remember nature adores symmetry, if we create an imbalance in nature then payback is bound to happen. Dust-bins or scrutiny for shikaras and houseboats need a proper look after for cleanness and waste disposal.
The 150 year old Amaranth Pilgrimage earlier would take almost a week to scale through rocky pursues to reach the cave. The people performing this hard journey would reflect atmosphere of devoutness on their return. The widening of roads, use of choppers and short-cuts to lodge more and more people with placate and easiness. This is commendable job by the concerned authority. But it has its aftermaths of pollution and unhinging the nature. The period of the pilgrimage being lengthened every year,  daily number of pilgrims for a period of one and a half month has gone up from 5,000 (as recommended by Dr. Nitish Sengupta after the inquiry into the 1996 disaster of snow blizzard), to 6,00,000.  Visualize the fate of the subtle environment when such large number of human beings visit the region and jumble every place with plastics, tins, bottles and other rubbish.
The pilgrims travelling along the attractive and divinely environment towards The Holy Cave need to understand the duty of protecting the locale of God’s gift. It is decisive for concerned authority to stick the policies and take positive steps to regulate the pilgrimage and maintain clean and green environment after every pilgrimage. The antidote exists in capping the limit on the number of pilgrims, introduction of janitors and ponies, used during the pilgrimage in a re-employed plan to go up and bring all the non-biodegradable junk down for final disposal. Perishable rubbish needs to be destroyed on spot. This cleaning process itself can generate sufficient employment for the local people.
The official tourism websites that the tourists usually refer to for State related information need a make-over. The official website of the Department of Tourism has just one picture in the hotchpotch which isn’t much attractive for the end-user and leaves an off-putting notion. The tourism authority of the state needs to be in the mode that will identify the pulse of a traveller. Much needs to be done and done fast, switching to social-networking sites for promoting and attracting the prospective tourists. It is a worth a try to incorporate the feedback from these social-networking websites for betterment of tourism industry. Beside Govt been on-track for tackling the problems with fitting remedy, but at individual level people need to be aware of their contribute towards checking the menace of litter and devastating natural beauties by acting as yard-sticks. The code needs to be tagged along while being on trip to the locations of the state. 

AuthorJunaid Shaida

Inside Kashmir © 2013