SRINAGAR- Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Thursday inaugurated 5.5 km gentle forest trek route around Shankaracharya hills, known as first learning ground for hiking enthusiasts in Srinagar.
Pertinently, the Shankaracharya 360 degree trekking trail offers a 360-degree view of Srinagar city and the surrounding landscapes.
Chief Secretary said that trekking is emerging as a potential adventure tourism in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the department to optimally utilize their men and machinery towards tapping the same. He asked the officers for ensuring all requisite basic amenities besides signages, sitting benches and viewpoints along this trail to facilitate the trekkers without disturbing or affecting the aesthetic wealth and environment of the area. He also asked for keeping the trekking routes free form plastics and other wastage.
Chief Secretary also interacted with the trekkers and enquired them about the equipments and other logistics being made available to them by the authorities.
He said that trekking in Jammu and Kashmir provides a closer peep into the culture of mountain dwellers as one enjoys the rugged mountains, lush green meadows, diverse forests and breathtaking scenic views.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole, Principal Chief Conservator Forests (PCCF), Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar and other officers accompanied the Chief Secretary during his visit.
Chief Secretary also visited the Hokarsar Wetland Conservation Reserve and reviewed progress on conservation works being executed on Ramsar site. He directed for initiating measures towards maintaining at least 3 feet level of water at the conservation reserve all the time. He asked for strenuous efforts to get rid of plastics there besides ensuring proper care of environment and the habitat of bird species.
He also enquired about the number of bird species visiting the place saying that facilities should also be put in place for convenience of visitors.
Later, Chief Secretary visited Dal Lake and launched modern machine with latest technological interventions in a bid to speed up cleaning operations of the Lake.
Highlighting the significance of Dal in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Secretary said that it is the second largest lake in the Union Territory which is integral to culture, tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is famously known as the "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir". He said that all efforts are being made towards complete extraction of unwanted weeds from the famous Lake.
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