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Lack of conservation measures at Bangus Valley worries residents

Lack of conservation measures at Bangus Valley worries residents


People say green meadows are wrecked by vehicles amid surge in visitor footfall 


Tasaduq Hussain


Kupwara, Aug 15 (KNO): With the footfall of tourists showing a record breaking increase, the human interference into natural habitat is causing a serious threat to green meadows and pastures at Bungus valley in Kupwara.



A former no go zone, Bungus valley nestled in the lap of high mountains and natural meadows has been receiving tourists in huge numbers for the last two years after the renewed ceasefire pact between the armies of India and Pakistan.


Close to 1.50 lakh tourists already visited Kupwara district this year. No go zones like Keran, Teethwal, Bungus and Machil have been eased up to receive tourists. It includes both Jammu and Kashmir residents and those from different parts of the country. Religious tourists from parts of the globe and India are visiting Sharda temple in Teethwal on the Line of Control (LoC).


Expressing concerns about the growing threat to naturally gifted places like Bungus, many inhabitants of Kupwara said that the mismanagement of those at the helm of affairs will harm the place.


Talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) they said that the visitors are parking their vehicles in the green pastures thus causing a potent threat to the naturally rich Bungus valley. “Without any proper management and regulation, vehicles are allowed to be parked in the green meadows falling in Bungus valley. Acts like this and open littering are going to pose a serious threat to it in the long run. It will lose the essence Bungus is known for offering to visitors if the practice doesn’t stop,” the concerned residents said.


Shahid Wani, a local associated with tourism while expressing concerns said that the authorities need to take serious note of it and take appropriate measures.


He claimed that he had last year requested then Principal Chief Conservator Forest (PCCF) not to allow parking of vehicles in bangus. “Parking space should be created outside the entrance to the Bungus valley on all three sides.”


Shahid said that the Master Plan if at all for Bangus valley should be no construction zone, no night stay. “A person staying at Bungus will be throwing loads of litter,” he added.


Advocate Umer Mir who has also filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the J&K and Ladakh High Court seeking protection of natural beauty and meadows of Bungus valley also expressed his concerns regarding the parking of vehicles.


He said that Bungus has a lot of tourism potential to boost the economy of the people provided eco-tourism is promoted rather than conventional tourism. “If meadows and forests of Bungus are converted into concrete, then we will surely lose Bangus before it comes into existence on the tourism map.”


He said that the rush of vehicles in green meadows of Bungus is in itself a threat to the virgin place. “Lack of proper mechanism in place to regulate the same has added to the trouble of visitors as well as threat to the beauty of Bungus,” he stated.


He also stated that Bungus is at present Custodia Legis, there is already a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) pending Before J&K and Ladakh High Court. “Court has sought response from Lolab Bungus Drangyari Development Authority (LBDDA) regarding the master plan of Bangus. Therefore taking any developmental activity in hand without a master plan as mandated under Jammu Kashmir Development Act will be fatal for the virgin beauty of Bungus as well as it tantamount to undermining authority of court,” he said—(KNO)

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