'Dial 112' from the police rescues a family that is stuck in Bangus Valley
'Dial 112' from the police rescues a family that is stuck in Bangus Valley
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On September 8, Drangyari Chowkibal (Kupwara): These days, Bungus valley is visited by throngs of people, including locals, along the Drangyari path. Concerns regarding their effects on the environment are being raised, however, because to the recent significant growth in both tourism and construction.

The preservation of Bangus Valley’s rare biodiversity and the welfare of the nearby inhabitants, who rely on it directly, depend on ecotourism and sustainable development.

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One of Kashmir’s crown jewels, Bungus Valley is a relatively undiscovered grassland and tourist haven located in the northwest of Handwara, in the Kupwara district.

As stunning as Pahalgam, Sonamarg, and Gulmarg is the lesser-known Bungus valley. The largest golf course in Asia, according to experts, may be built where there are lush meadows spanning hundreds of waterways.

The Bungus Valley has excellent potential for ecotourism due to its natural beauty, uneven terrain, grassland with vegetation, and streams teeming with trout fish. The area has a tremendous deal of potential to draw tourists from across the world.

There are three ways to go to Bungus Valley: one is from the Mawer side of Handwara; the second is from the Rajwar side of Handwara; and the third is from Chowkibal, Kupwara.

The Union Territory government organises the “Bungus Awaam Mela” each year. When visiting Bungus last year, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that it was breathtaking to see such a sizable gathering in the picturesque valley.

Additionally, he had said that the government will work diligently to expand Bungus Valley’s infrastructure generally.

Even though certain initiatives have been done to enhance Bungus as a tourist destination, there are still some issues that need to be addressed. “Strict measures need to be taken to limit human impact so that its ecosystem, natural and cultural heritage remain preserved,” said a Lecturer, who teaches Environment Science at a college in Srinagar.

He said that there was ample need to create protected areas and restrict human interference. “There should be development but minus any damage to the natural ecosystem,” he said, adding, “Bungus Valley is having a fragile and sensitive ecosystem. Let us ensure that it is left undisturbed as much as possible.”

Shamin Ahmed, who retired as Botany professor said, “Bungus valley is home to hundreds of endemic and endangered species.” “There are lots of rivulets and ecological sensitive reserves,” he said, adding that these natural reserves needed to be saved from human interference.

While the government has claimed that Bungus valley is being developed, the approach road Chowkibal is still incomplete. The visitors still have to trek miles to reach the tourist spot.

Besides, there is hardly any sort of accommodation facility for tourists as the area sans hotels, restaurants, guest houses or prefab huts.

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