Authorities tell schools to avoid weekend trips to Gulmarg – The Dispatch

SRINAGAR: Citing an “unprecedented flow of tourists” and a threat to the place’s ecologically fragile surroundings, the chief executive of the Gulmarg Development Authority has written a letter to the director of school education in Kashmir, l urging to ask the educational institutions in the valley not to plan an excursion/picnic at the famous seaside resort on weekends.

Over the past two weeks, Gulmarg has witnessed an unprecedented influx of tourists which has caused frequent traffic jams and other inconveniences in the area,” the letter read.

It is relevant to mention here that Master Plan Phase 1 – 2032 is approved by the Decision of the State Administrative Council (SAC) No. 140/20/2018 of 22.11.2018, in which some major threats have been detailed into given the increase in the influx of tourists,” the letter read, adding that “the increase in the influx of tourists associated with the promotion of mass tourism in the region will have serious and adverse consequences” .

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

“This continued growth and development of the resort area will impact community noise levels through the introduction of additional private and commercial traffic and increased tourism, and will impact the wildlife behavior and human health,” the letter points out, adding, “In addition to there are other issues like environmental issues, biodiversity issues, pollution issues, flora and fauna, aesthetic issues, etc., which need to be addressed in terms of the 2032 master plan.”

Considering this, coupled with the fact that most locals prefer to visit the area on weekends (Saturday and Sunday), the CEO asked DSEK to give the necessary instructions to all heads of schools in the valley, to plan their excursion/picnic in Gulmarg every day of the week except Saturday and Sunday “so that the fragile eco environment is maintained in accordance with the approved master plan”. (GNS)

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