Pahalgam, July 28, CNS: Cleanliness of treks and camps and proper disposal of waste are two major challenges facing civic authorities in Pahalgam and Sonamarg during the ongoing Shri Amarnath Ji Yatra in Pahalgam and upper reaches including Chandanwari, Sheshnag, Poshpatri, Panjtarni,Holy Cave and the Baltal.
Irresponsible and ever increasing discharge of untreated sewage into river Lidder,sindh river and improper dumping of unsegregated waste cause long term damage to the water bodies and aquatic biodiversity, besides putting at risk the health and well being of local residents downstream.
The Himalayan Welfare Organization, Pahalgam is among the few organizations who has been highlighting the problem and making support sustained efforts for conservation of the local forest cover and for ensuring proper sanitation and source segregation of waste in and around Pahalgam under their ongoing project 'Green Himalayas', seeking to conserve the forest cover and biodiversity through the use of RTI, media campaigns and legal appeals.
The Himalayan Welfare Organization HWO team and volunteers, under the leadership of their president, Mushtaq Pahalgami, have also been offering their services and support to the Municipal Committee of Pahalgam,Pahalgam Development Authority Forests department and to other local civic authorities regularly and their volunteers have been setting an example in voluntary action through voluntary garbage collection from various yatra trek and camp sites over the years.
The HWO has also regularly been organizing awareness camps and seminars on environmental conservation since the inception of their organization in 2008.
The real challenge before authorities and civil society actors however is to be able to mobilize greater citizen participation in conservation efforts, which is one of the essential prerequisites for a sustainable environmental campaign.