Prioritise environmental conservation: MoEFCC directs UT Admin
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Prioritise environmental conservation: MoEFCC directs UT Admin

No new construction within the extent of eco-sensitive zone

Post by Aatif Qayoom on Sunday, October 22, 2023

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Srinagar, Oct 21: Taking the strong cognizance of unprecedented eco degradation in UT, The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has directed the UT government to formulate a comprehensive Tourism Master Plan that prioritizes environmental conservation.
This initiative comes as a response to the growing concerns over the impact of tourism on the fragile ecosystem of the region. The new plan seeks to strike a balance between promoting tourism and safeguarding the environment.
The MoEFCC has proposed a collaborative effort between the Union Territory Department of Tourism and the Union Territory Departments of Environment and Forests in crafting this master plan. The focus of this blueprint will be to assess the carrying capacity of the eco-sensitive zones within the region, ensuring that the delicate balance of nature is maintained.
Among the key directives, the notification states that new construction of hotels and resorts will not be allowed within one kilometre of protected areas or within the extent of the eco-sensitive zone. However, beyond this distance, the establishment of new tourism facilities will only be permitted in predefined and designated areas specified in the Tourism Master Plan.
The plan also underscores the importance of adhering to guidelines issued by the Central Government, with a particular emphasis on eco-tourism, eco-education, and eco-development. Additionally, it advocates following the eco-tourism guidelines issued by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, which evolve over time to reflect best practices.
Until the Zonal Master Plan is approved, the MoEFCC has given the green light for tourism development and expansion based on site-specific scrutiny and recommendations from the Monitoring Committee. Notably, no new hotel, resort, or commercial establishment construction will be permitted within the eco-sensitive zone area.
This initiative has been welcomed by stakeholders in the tourism industry who have long championed the cause of sustainable tourism. It reflects a significant step forward in ensuring that the breathtaking landscapes of Jammu and Kashmir are preserved for the future generations.

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