Kashmir is witnessing a good number of enthusiasts trekking to hills and peaks to take a break from routine life this summer.
An official told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that trekking spots are becoming widely popular in many areas of north Kashmir as everyday groups of trekkers are arriving in these offbeat destinations.
“It is so good to see people are now taking interest in mountains but care should be taken to ensure it does not create problems of pollution and degradation in these ecologically sensitive zones,” he said.
“Mountain treks are certainly increasing and there are lots of new groups which have come up recently organising treks through different routes,” the official said, adding that besides trekking, they can explore hiking, birding, wildlife viewing and cultural heritage.”
He said that the objective of developing trekking destinations is to uplift people living in rural and remote areas.
Conservator Forest Department North Kashmir Irfan Rasool said that 26 trekking routes pass through spectacular scenery with wild fauna and flora. “We have significant forest cover in north Kashmir and the plan is to conserve these forests by involving all stakeholders,” he said
“Our forests offer tremendous eco tourism opportunities so we can explore such forest areas which can sustain nature based tourism and does not affect the health of our forests,” the officer said.
“We are also focusing on creating forest based livelihood for local people from activities such as ecotourism, medicinal plants and other minor forest produce,” Irfan added.
He appealed to the trekkers to maintain brotherhood while trekking to these destinations of high altitudes, besides, they should help each other when needed—(KNO)