Gulmarg in Summer

SRINAGAR — Citing “unprecedented flow of tourists” and threat to ecologically fragile environs of the place, the Chief Executive Officer of Gulmarg Development Authority has written a letter to the Director of 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 tourists which has caused frequent traffic jams and other inconveniences in the area,” reads the letter, a copy of which lies with GNS.

“It is pertinent to mention here that Phase 1 of the Master Plan-2032 stands approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC) vide decision No. 140/20/2018, dated 22-11-2018, wherein some major threats have been detailed in view of the increased tourist influx,” the letter reads, adding, “the increased tourist influx associated with the promotion of mass tourism to the area shall have serious and adverse consequences.”

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“That maximum noise levels in the resort area slightly exceeded prescribed standards for the daytime level of noise,” it reads.

The letter added, “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 behaviour and human health,” the letter underlined, adding, “In addition to this, there are some other issues like environmental issues, biodiversity issues, pollution issues, flora and fauna issues, aesthetic issues, etc, which need to addressed in terms of Master Plan 2032.”

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In view of it, coupled with the fact that most of the locals prefer to visit the area on weekends (Saturday and Sunday), the CEO requested the DSEK to issue necessary directions to all the heads of the schools in 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.”

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