Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Growing plastic waste leaving devastating impact on pristine Shivaliks streams
JammuExpress. Dated: 11/3/2020 10:13:05 AM


Increased tourist footprints, picnicker leaving a devastating trail behind







Jammu, November 2:

Although Government and Tourism Department is making every effort to promote tourist destinations in Jammu region in recent years but plastic waste left by tourists is leaving a devastating trail behind which is impacting pristine water bodies in Shivalik mountains.

Plastic, polythene and non-biodegradable waste now dot once sparkling streams and sub-surface water sources in Himalayas and Shivaliks as tourism department is promoting virgin spots to attract more tourists to the state.

The environmentally fragile J&K is facing a daunting task to dispose tonnes polythene left by people.

There is total lack of civic sense among the visitors and added to this is failure of authorities especially tourism department to take any strict measures to deal with the menace.

No mechanism in place to disposal the waste scientifically. At Panchayat level committees should be constituted to prevent pollution.

“At popular tourist destination which is religiously and culturally important, Baba Siyad, one of the highest waterfall in north India, Baba Dhansar in Reasi district plastic waste makes up large proportion of debris with single use plastics such as food wrappers and polythene bags being large part of garbage”, said a tourist who recently visited Baba Siyad.

Even Ban Ganga, a holy river flowing through holy town of Katra has turned into garbage dump. Other water bodies like Mansar and Surinsar lake too are slowly being polluted by plastic waste.

According to studies surface and sub-surface water in South of Pir Panjal especially in Reasi, Udhampur, Samba, Kathua and Rajouri covered by Shivalik, sub-Himalayan mountains are under greater threat than Kashmir Valley due to scale changes in land use. However none of the officials from Tourism Department was available for comment.

Climatic changes in the region have also impacted the water resources by decreasing glacier extent, altering the precipitation pattern and decreasing the flow of rivers and streams.

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