High tourist influx alters Bhaderwah valley’s cleanliness scenario

Waste accumulated along roadside in Padri area of Bhaderwah. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj
Waste accumulated along roadside in Padri area of Bhaderwah. -Excelsior/Tilak Raj

*Stern action to be taken against staff: CEO BDA

Excelsior Correspondent
BHADERWAH, July 10: High tourist influx since last couple of weeks has altered Bhaderwah valley’s cleanliness scenario and the lackluster performance of different Government agencies especially that of Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA) hasn’t helped.
Pleasant weather, better security and improved infrastructure have resulted in a tourism bonanza for the valley. It is estimated that more than 2.5 lakh tourists mostly people from other parts of the country visited high altitude meadows of Bhaderwah valley during last 4 weeks, so far to escape the sizzling heat of the plains and enjoy the jaw-dropping views of Valleys, lush green meadows, series of mountains and free flowing fresh water bodies.
According to official figures of Bhaderwah Development Authority (BDA), with 25000 people directly or indirectly involved in the Bhaderwah valley’s tourism industry, this is now easily the biggest contributor to the local economy.
Waste generation in high altitude meadows of the otherwise pristine valley especially Jaie, Padri, Khanni Top, Baggan and Guldanda reached alarming proportions and has become a cause of concern for environmentalists and nature lovers as these meadows are rapidly being filled by the garbage especially bio non degradable wrappers and plastic bottles.
“Visitors cannot be solely blamed for the mess as there are very few waste bins in the meadows visited by hundreds of tourists every day. The absence of the management waste bins is an indicator of the BDA’s lack of resolve to develop proper infrastructure and save environment in the region”, said Dharam Kant Dogra renowned environmentalist of Bhaderwah.
When contacted CEO BDA, Dr.Rajinder Khajuria said, “This is a very serious issue and a matter of concern as my staff posted there keeps me updated on daily basis about the cleanliness but the pictures and videos of Padri meadow on inter-state Bhaderwah-Chamba road tell a different story. This callous attitude of the staff will not be tolerated and stern action will be initiated against them for dereliction of duties and providing wrong information”.
“High altitude meadows and water bodies are the main attraction for the tourists and these are the only things if kept in its original form can further boost the prospects of tourism here. To save the the natural paradise, we will form a task force to implement polythene and disposables ban letter and spirit”, CEO added.