Complaints of polluting and disfiguring the picturesque tourist destination of Pahalgam have been coming in for quite some time. Selfish businessmen, hoteliers, venders and others are taking undue advantage of tourist and pilgrim rush during summer. They have been violating the rules and regulations that protect Pahalgam against vandalizing by commercial fraternity. The case of Tourism Department not taking full care of this famous tourist spot has been brought before the court of law.
The High Court had directed the Department of Tourism to prepare revised Master Plan for Pahalgam and submit the same to it for consideration as there were many complaints. The Tourism Department submitted the report to the court which has further infuriated the court on non-seriousness of the Tourism Department. The court has found many shortcomings in the report and has expressed its dissatisfaction. The court has observed that the report has not been prepared keeping in line with the directions that had been issued in the past. For example the report did not deal with the wildlife zone and forest zone though the court specifically desired that the Tourism Department should reflect on these two items in specific.
We fail to understand why the Tourism Department is playing dilly-dally in tackling the serious task of keeping Pahalgam clean and pollution free. It is in its interests that a smart and tidy health resort like Pahalgam would invite more tourists when they come to know of its robust cleanliness. We highly appreciate the reaction of the court which has in its verdict directed the authorities to file the detailed report before it by next date of hearing in tune with the decision and recommendations of the expert committee. Needless to remind that the court has banned all constructions within two meters from nallah Lidder and had asked the Government to decide about the old constructions which were already there as to whether these constructions will be relocated or not. The court is rightly concerned about the ecology and environment of this famous health resort and hopefully, the people at large will appreciate the action of the High Court.