Picturesque Pancheri pines for attention

Dr Rajesh Ahal
Pancheri is a natural beauty spot- a must visit place – as good as Patnitop about 90 kms from Jammu near Udhampur. The deodar forest cover is superb and gives more closer feel to nature.
It has an awesome soothing as well as therapeutic effect on one’s soul. The tranquility is immense and one can connect well with the nature at Pancheri. The people who come here fortunately do take back with them a lot that the nature gives them and soothens their soul. And unfortunately they forget to give back to the nature what they are supposed to give. This natural beauty is being ruined today :
* Incessant garbage being left behind. Broken glass bottles and plastic wraps litter the whole slopes – which are capable of causing immense harm and inflicting injuries to the unawakened.
* The Tourism Department has made good huts since pre – COVID.The immense investment is going waste and the infrastructure is undergoing deterioration due to non use and maintainence. It is believed that the same will be soon thrown open but the delay in the same is causing a great asset losing its value.
* The serenity of the place gets affected severely with people using loud music which also effects the fauna of the place. Awareness should be brought to use music systems in lower ranges for personal entertainment only.
The local people when talked to also feel helpless about the unfortunate turn of events and how their pristine area – as well as how green their valley was earlier and is becoming a waste area now
The local governance should step into bring about a change for the better:
* Guests to be informed to take back their waste. The local panchayat should be empowered to do that.
* Loud music not to be played
* A tocken amount – minimal green tax – about 100 per individual – to be collected towards funding the cleaning and maintenance activities so the same becomes self funded.
* The area does not have urinals for Men and women. Today bio toilets are available and the same can be placed in the area to cater to atleast 100-200 people a day. There is a water source and a water tank – the same can be developed along with the same. A small charge can be charged for the use of the same. Of course defecation in nature areas would again invite a fine. The same can be shared with a brochure or messages at the time of paying the entry green tax.
* The roads in the last stretch – about 10 kms short of Pancheri need to made good so that the travel to and for is a pleasant experience.
* An archeological site – Krimchi is also a site to be visited – there a group of abandoned temples of the Mahabharat era. The great aspect about the same is that there is cleanliness around the area. However the approach road to the same is not marked well on the main road and the road till the site needs to metalled well.
* In both Krimchi and Pancheri there is a strong need to develop good parking areas for atleast 40-50 vehicles.
* The government in recent times as well as visiting Ministers from Center have always propagated that they are willing to develop the tourist spots around Jammu. Krimchi and Pancheri therefore deserves their special attention.