Eco- tourism policy

What is there in dishing out statements, making announcements and promises which are costing absolutely nothing but not to take cogent and concrete steps in giving them practical shape, definitely costs the popularity of the political leadership and people start feeling susceptible towards such an approach by the Government. Could any logic explain to the satisfaction of everybody as to why even after three years, the State Government has failed to finalise eco- tourism policy. The eco- tourism has remained a catchphrase for the present dispensation in the State ever since acquiring the reins of power but beyond words, nothing concrete has emerged on the scene.
Eco- tourism has gained added importance on another count too besides the usual reasons and that is, the recent report by the WHO in which Srinagar has been shown as one of the most polluted cities among others. During peak summer days, a casual visit to any one frequently visited tourist spots in the State shall reveal what was in the offing in the next few years. Waste material, used polythene bags, left over eatables, automobile smoke , noise, damage to trees, pollution of water and eco system , constructions of unauthorized concrete buildings , felling of trees and the like might look as ordinary things now but over the years, they are poised to pose a deleterious threat to the eco system.
Tourism is to be self regulated and disciplined in that it must contribute in a significant way towards the environmental, ecological, social, cultural and economic welfare and improvement   of such visited destinations and the system including the local habitat. In other words, such destinations or spots should see four pronged positive development in them as well as the communities living there on account of tourism.
An analysis at  random would reveal that the State not only has done practically nothing in the matter but the idea has received no consideration even, despite the acknowledged fact that there was no dearth of ecotourism potential  in the State. We have human resources by way of different departments but there, we often find   lack of coordination and rapport between them hence even when policies of importance are formulated , only because of lack of information and coordination, their implementation gets delayed as also the quality of results too are found wanting in substance.
It may be recalled that the task of formulating the eco-tourism policy was assigned to the Tourism Department, the paper work was done leaving the rest for the Forest Department to do and to whom the task of developing eco-tourist sites was formally assigned but which had to dovetail the efforts with the Tourism Department as per the outcome of a high level meeting chaired by the then Chief Minister in Sept 2015. It also prepared the Draft Policy and wanted to solicit comments and suggestions from other concerned Government departments and strangely, the main stakeholder, the Department of Tourism has not found time so far to offer comments. This shows not only diluting the important issue but how the absence of coordination between the departments was making a mockery of the subject.
Though Forest Department had identified a few places like Bangus valley, Bojpathri, Toshmaidan, Daksum, Pahalgam, Warwan, Sukrala and Machedi for developing as eco – tourism destinations but  before this plan could take off, it met with its failure because of non cooperation between Forest and Tourism Departments.
Wildlife preservation, replenishments of extinct species of  medicinal shrubs and trees besides reviving nearly dead water bodies and springs are cardinal to the ecotourism policy. In this connection, a well known organization from Bangalore had prepared ecotourism development plan for our State but the fate of that is not known. The Government must treat the issue with all seriousness and promote ecotourism to reduce the impact that the tourism otherwise could have on natural beautiful environment and ensure no more exploitation of natural wealth took place.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here