SRINAGAR, May 26: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said a well planned strategy was required to boost tourism without compromising with the conservation of environment.
“Various modules are available to focus simultaneously on both these important areas”, Omar said interacting with a group of 31 India Forest Service (IFS) Probationers here.
Replying to the IFS Probationers questions on the development of tourism and conservation of environment, the Chief Minister said, the aggressive marketing of tourism by Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh has badly affected the aspect of environment there.
“A balanced approach has to be put in place to develop and market tourism without compromising on the issue of environment importance”, he said, adding, the challenge in Jammu and Kashmir is in the area of creating a befitting infrastructure for tourists.
“We have underlined strict adherence to environment preservation and protection pre-requisite for infrastructure development in the tourist areas. The monitoring by courts has also narrowed down the chances of environment degradation due to infrastructure development”, he said.
The Chief Minister said the constructions at tourist places in the past have been haphazard and there is now a ban on any construction in tourist places like Pahalgam.
The group of IFS Probationers – first in the last 30 years – are on a study tour of the state to get appraisal of forest management measures and strategies in place to conserve forest wealth and the environment.