Allah Almighty has endowed man with superiority over all creatures and has placed him in the highest position of the noblest of creatures. By traveling through the beautiful universe created by Allah Almighty, we also get the power, unity and nearness of Allah Almighty. The value and status of Paradise is also well realized, so Allah Almighty says in Holy book Quran
“In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the ocean bearing cargoes beneficial to man; in the water which God sends down from the sky and with which He revives the earth after its death, scattering over it all kinds of animals; in the courses of the winds, and in the clouds pressed into service between earth and sky, there are indeed signs for people who use their reason” Surah Baqarah Aayat 164
Movlana Wahiduddin Khan Translator
Taking time out of my busy schedule, a few days ago I started my journey to Pahalgam, a world famous tourist destination, with my dear friends from my hometown Panderathan The weather was also pleasant and the movement of vehicles on the National Highway was also limited in the early morning otherwise this route always becomes a cause of headache due to traffic jams. Every year we like to go to the valleys of Pahalgam, but due to the current unfavorable conditions, after a long time today we were lucky enough to go to our favorite tourist destination. During travel I was imagining in my mind that Pahalgam would be even more beautiful today and the tourism department would have expanded it a lot because these places were closed for sightseeing and entertainment due to covid 19 restrictions and it was a good opportunity to make the valleys of Pahalgam even more attractive and captivating. But I am sorry to say that my imagination was overwhelmed by the negative development of the department. During the trip I did not see any proper arrangement of cleanliness, even there was a great lack of dustbins, Now if there were dustbins in some places, they could be seen waiting for the scavengers. There were piles of dirt everywhere. Sanitation and drinking water management are among the basic facilities at the tourist spot, but it is unfortunate to say that the tourism authorities have not shown much interest in putting the basic principles in practise. It is becoming more and more difficult for middle class people to visit tourist places as every park has been brought under the category of Paid Park, In my observations, I also saw such tourist visiting parks where there was no proper seating arrangement but still it was forbidden to go there without entry fee even the parking of the vehicles was not properly arranged, when we turned to the hotels for overnight stay, the lodging charges were much higher than I expected, despite having the same facilities in each hotel, there were huge differences in lodging charges, same was the situation of restaurants.
I also saw in my observations many tourists who had brought small tents and after talking to many local and non-local tourists I found out that they have been staying in these tents for many nights and In the evening, I saw the same tourist cooking various dishes by burning green gold and I did not see any department official to stop them from doing so. Although the Wildlife Advisory says it is forbidden to spend the night in the open in such places, the government is not taking such decrees seriously. In some places in Pahalgam I see rotten and old wooden bridges which are not safe to cross but still I see people walking on them. If they are not repaired in time, a big accident could happen anytime. Every day we get news of suicide from the media and many accidents happen in the process of taking beautiful pictures which are commonly called selfies. The department should look for places where such accidents are more likely to happen and Put restrictions there so that incidents like “Aharbal” do not happen again, tourism plays an important role in Kashmir’s economy, the tourism department still has a long way to go at the grassroots level to strengthen this healthy, tourist destination and so far what has been done is not satisfactory. “Sometimes you just need an adventure to cleanse the bitter taste of life from your soul”
(The author is working as Sr Edp head at DD Target PMT Parraypora a reputed institute For Medical/JEE Coaching. Views are his own)