Dear Editor,The erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, now a UT is undoubtedly a famous destination for tourists and other wildlife lovers, who want to explore its natural beauty. Kashmir valley, also known as ‘Paradise on earth’ enthralls visitors and explorers with its hub of several treks. Trekking and mountaineering in J&K offer breathtaking views and travelers can explore the beautiful alpine meadows, lakes and witness the most magnificent peaks of Himalayas. Jammu also hosts the most popular trek in India to Mata Vaishno Devi, which is taken by scores of devotees. However, recently the administrative council has approved the new trekking routes in areas protected by the wildlife department in coordination with tourism department. With this positive initiative, the opening of rest houses and inspection huts for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts have also been kick-started by the Forest department. This initiative of demarcating of new trekking routes will definitely promote Eco-tourism in J&K. The tourists and other nature lovers will then be able to use new defined routes as decided by the Government for trekking purpose, so as to feel and experience the nature closely.It is also in place to mention here the UT government has approved seven new trekking routes for tourists and wildlife lovers and the regions for its development have also been fixed. This is a progressive step and bold initiative by the Government and will definitely boost our economy to great extent. Further, the tourism sector which got impacted by corona pandemic and subsequent lockdowns will also be benefited by it. The lockdown has made people confined to their homes only and now there is an improvement in the overall situation so that people can take trekking as hobby to explore wildlife beauty and can also do a lot of adventure. Trekking acts as a stress buster and can help children overcoming their depressions. Besides this, with trekking as an hobby children can learn art of self control, determination and stay focused on their goals. That is why schools organize trekking expeditions to develop team spirit and love for nature among the students. Government has already given its nod for the development of new trekking routes for tourists but now it is need of the hour that the concerned authorities must expedite the developmental works in setting up of new trekking routes for the tourists, travelers and wildlife lovers.Vivek KoulBank Colony, Gole Gujral, Jammu.
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