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Streamline adventure tourism, stop vandalisation at trekking routes: ATOAK

Post by on Thursday, August 26, 2021

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Srinagar, Aug 25: Valley based Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK) Wednesday said 
government should streamline adventure tourism and urged it to stop vandalisation of trekking areas by some companies.
Various tourism stakeholders including representatives of Pahalgam, Sonmarg and Gulmarg chapters of ATOAK along with senior tourism players and prominent tour operator Nasir Shah and President TAAK Farooq Kuthoo held meeting to discuss the issues 
During the meeting, the members were anguished over the recent reports of vandalisation of trekking trails at campsites and at water bodies.
ATOAK  urged the department of tourism to take strong action against unregistered and unauthorized outside trekking companies who are not only running their trekking business illegally but are also in some sort of malpractice. In the meeting, the members recommended the department stop outside trekking operators who are not registered.
"Regulating the number of trekkers as per the carrying capacity of Lidder and Sindh valleys and allowing only 15 pax in a trekking group as per an international norm," they said.
ATOAK urged the department to enhance the trekking permit fee from Rs 100 to Rs 1000 per person.
The members said there should be strong guidelines for operators to use trek permits at each station to only adventure tour operators.
"No trekking permissions should be given to guides who have no organizational skills and do not know how to handle and operate trekking," the group said.
They said the fisheries department should be asked to increase the vigil in the areas where trout are in lakes and streams "as illegal angling and poaching of trout fish is increasing day by day".
"We are more concerned about our ecology and environment; we must save it at all costs for our future generations and our progeny," they said.
The meeting was attended by Mushtaq Pahalgami, President Pahalgam Chapter of ATOAK, ATOAK Gulmarg Chapter Representative Mehmood Ahmad Lone and Javid Ahmad Sheikh and representatives from ATOAK Sonamarg Chapter Fayaz Ahmad were also part of the meeting.

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