Reyaz Rashid

Mounds of garbage blemish beauty of snow-clad Gulmarg

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Gulmarg, Jan 31: Thanks to lots of snow this winter, ski-resort of Gulmarg has everything that a visiting tourist’s eyes want to see, but they will have to be use their eyes a bit selectively so as not to catch sight of heaps of garbage that lay littered everywhere at the resort!

“With a heavy snowfall this season, Gulmarg has attracted thousands of tourists and skiers from all over the world. The hotels are running houseful, but unfortunately garbage littered around on the snow is a big eyesore,” said Manzoor Ahmed Sheik, a tourist, who works for a US-based multinational company.

“This is indeed a paradise on earth if only the garbage is taken care of,” he added.

A group of tourists from Rajasthan also pointed to tons of garbage including polythene and plastic bottles lying scattered everywhere in the resort.

“The garbage bins have not been emptied from months together. Dogs and crows have gathered round them posing, threat to lives of tourists here. The authorities seem to be acting as mute spectators to this grave problem,” locals said.

They accused the authorities of failing to enforce ban on polythene in the resort.

“The authorities should fine those who use polythene or litter garbage in Gulmarg. The tourist resort lacks adequate dustbins and proper solid waste management,” they alleged.

When contacted, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gulmarg Development Authority Syed Hanief Balkhi told ‘Kashmir Images’ that GDA and municipality are “very much concerned” about the cleanliness of Gulmarg.

“Due to cold weather conditions, the garbage bins may not have been emptied. I will look into it as we are very much concerned and particular about cleanliness of this tourist destination,” Balkhi said.

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