High Court’s order banning fresh construction works in Pahalgam within the jurisdiction of Pahalgam Development Authority has come belatedly. Much damage has been done to the environments of the tourist resort of Pahalgam during past decades of lawlessness in the State and apathy of concerned authorities to arrest the reckless construction spree undertaken by people with vested interests. The court order says that any renovation or repair desired to be made in the structures will be undertaken only after obtaining formal permission for the same.
The point is that on the one hand the Government is beating the trumpet of giving a boost to tourist industry in the State and on the other hand the tourist destinations are being spoilt and vandalized to the extent that their very look becomes obnoxious for the tourists. The tourist whether local or foreign have the primary attraction of natural and scenic beauty of Kashmir, its verdure and pristine water channels, deep and dark forests and the snow clad peaks etc. If we begin to destroy this scenic beauty instead of adding something more attractive to it, we are not giving any support to the tourist industry in the State. Why should have the court been obliged to intervene in the matter that must first and foremost receive the attention of the civil society. This is a travesty of our tourism industry perceptions.
Actually, we have been expecting the Tourism Department to identify and add more tourist destinations in all the three regions of the State. In fact some new destinations like Bangus in Mawar, Kashmir and Mantalai in Jammu were already identified. Instead of developing these new destinations those already developed are being made look shabby and ruinous on account of wanton callousness of human beings. We highly appreciate the verdict of the High Court of banning further construction in Pahalgam without proper sanction from authorized agency of the Government.