In eco-sensitive Gulmarg garbage dumped in forest area

Famous ski resort lacks proper waste management

ALTAF BABA
Gulmarg, Publish Date: Dec 9 2018 11:14PM | Updated Date: Dec 9 2018 11:14PM
In eco-sensitive Gulmarg garbage dumped in forest areaFile Photo

From land encroachment to disposal of solid waste and proper sanitation, the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) has miserably failed to address the main problems of the eco-sensitive areas of famous tourist resort Gulmarg. 

Despite being an eco-sensitive place, there is no garbage disposal mechanism in Gulmarg and tonnes of waste produced from hotels and restaurants along with other garbage including polythene, plastic bottles etc is being disposed in the open in forest area of the resort.

The open disposal of the waste in the forest area is happening despite the authorities have procured solid waste disposal plant worth crores of rupees, several years back, which is lying defunct at Tangmarg and has not been utilised since its purchase. 

“The machinery for the waste management has started to decay as it is lying unused” said president of Traders Federation Tangmarg. 

Despite being a major tourist attraction for domestic as well as overseas tourists, the Gulmarg Development Authority has failed over the years to come up with some new proposals which could make the picturesque Gulmarg much more attractive and appealing. 

“Gulmarg remains dead after evening. Every tourist place around the world remains abuzz with the activity after evening, however, here in Gulmarg there is no source of entertainment after 5 pm. The area should have indoor games and entertainment for kids which will make the area attractive for the tourists” said Farooq Ahmad, a local associated with the tourism. 

Another local said that the ice skating ring at Gulmarg is used merely for 12-15 days in the winter while for the rest of the days it remains idle. He said the place could be used for rest of the days better for different events like organising live concerts, which can generate more interest among the tourists. 

Spread over 15,949 kanals and 13 marlas, including 2,435 kanals of the built-up area, the Gulmarg tourist resort has ‘witnessed’ vandalism by people with political clout. As per the documents, around 123 kanals and 2 Marla’s of land has been leased out by the state Government to different hoteliers and hut owners in the past several decades. 

However, more than 130 kanals of land has been encroached by these hoteliers under the noose of authorities and instead of 123 Kanals and 2 Marla’s of land leased out, 252 kanals and 7 Marla’s of land stand encroached by the hoteliers. 

Another concern among the locals here is the concrete construction carried out by forces in the area. As per GDA authorities over 200 Kanals of land is encroached by the forces and at various places the concrete construction carried by the forces is in violation of the set rules. 

When contacted CEO Gulamarg said that the issue of land encroachment has been taken with the different hoteliers here in the Gulmarg and the encroached land will be retrieved soon. 

“The encroacher hoteliers have not physically taken the possession of the encroached land besides lease period of most of the hoteliers have expired already. We are devising a plan to retrieve the encroached land and it will be done soon” said Muhammad Hanief Balki, CEO Gulmarg. 

Over the waste management problem, the CEO said that the GDA has already started solid wastage management program of two metric and one metric tonne capacity separately which will solve waste generation in Gulmarg after its completion.

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