Advisor to Governor, K Vijay Kumar today asked the Wildlife Protection and Forest Department to take steps to promote Wildlife Eco-tourism and to harvest optimum level out of Eco-tourism potential the nature has bestowed the state with.
This was stated by the Advisor during his extensive visit to Gulmarg today where he chaired a meeting with the officers of Forest and Wildlife department to review the Wildlife Protection activities in the protected areas.
The Advisor was accompanied by Commissioner Secretary Forests, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi during the tour.
While reviewing the functioning of Wildlife Protection wing of the Forest department, the Advisor was informed about the details of protected areas including Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary and species of animals, birds found in these areas.
Threadbare discussions were held on the rare species that find space in the protected areas along with conservation measures taken by the Wildlife Department. The Advisor asked the concerned officers to explore the potential of organizing jungle camps, educational tours to these areas roping other concerned departments including Youth Services & Sports and Tourism.
“This move will help the wildlife loving people and students to come closer to the nature and feel the importance of wild animals and rare species in the eco-system,” K Vijay Kumar said adding that Wildlife Associations can be roped in for their help and promotion of Eco-Tourism under Wildlife in the state.
Various other issues related to the forests and its allied departments were also discussed and directions were given to the concerned officers accordingly.
To have the first-hand appraisal of tourism related activities at the world-famous ski resort, the Advisor also chaired a meeting with the officers of Tourism department and Cable Car Corporation. With regard to developmental activities and facilities being provided to the tourists, he sought details from the officers of Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA).
The Advisor asked for details of tourist footfall this year and strategy of the Tourism department to attract more tourists.
It was informed that usually the inflow picks up during the winters and various activities are being organized by the department during peak snow season in Gulmarg.
With regard to the solid waste management, CEO GDA informed that a Solid Waste Management Plant has already been installed at Gulmarg treating the waste collected here. For the proper disposal of pony dung at Gulmarg, the Advisor asked the concerned for installing dung disposal plant. He asked them to study the model that Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has adopted for the purpose.
Various other developmental issues were also raised by the officers that discussed briefly including status of construction of pony path and others.
MD Cable Car Corporation, Shamim Ahmad briefed the Advisor about revenue generation and other issues related with the functioning of the corporation. The Advisor suggested for installing bio-degradable toilets for the use of tourists at both the halt points keeping in mind the nature value of the area.
K Vijay Kumar also discussed the security scenario in the area with the senior army and police officers.
Later, he met with various local delegations including Pony Owner Association, Traders Association Gulmarg, Contractors Association and Tourists Guide Association who apprised the Advisor about their issues and demands.
Pony Association called for construction of shed for ponies, representatives of Tourist Guide Association requested for office building and enhancement of charges, contractor’s association sought the intervention of Advisor in releasing their pending liabilities while as Trader Association also presented their demands and concerns.
Giving patient hearing to the demands, the Advisor assured them that their genuine issues/demands would be looked into and be resolved in timely manner.
SSP Baramulla, ADC Baramulla, MD JK Cable Car Corporation, CEO Gulmarg Development Authority, GM JKTDC, SDM Tangmarg, DFO Tangmarg and other concerned officers were present on the occasion.