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SONMARG: Despite issuing strict guidelines to protect Thajiwas glacier, the Sonmarg Development Authority have been allowing vehicles of influential people to this endangered glacier. Scores of people on Monday staged a protest in Sonmarg against the Development Authority after it allowed the vehicles of some wards of bureaucrats and politicians to visit the Thajiwas glacier in their respective vehicles. “We were denied the permission but the vehicles of influential people were allowed to visit there. Sonmarg Development Authority should implement rules for all in letter and spirit to protect this glacier,” said the protesting people to news agency CNS.

 

Recently, Executive Engineer Sonmarg Development Authority issued a formal written order that reads: “the honorable court has issued an order that strict regulation of vehicular on the right side of the Srinagar Leh National Road and it has also suggested there should be designated pony track and nature trails with paper signage. As such you are directed to restrict the vehicular traffic towards the Thajiwas from National Highway and no vehicle be allowed to move towards the Thajiwas Road without proper permission from competent authority.”

Ironically, Chief Executive Officer SDA, Mr Shabir Raina said that he feels helpless when somebody from top asks him permit his guest to use vehicle on Thajiwas road. “Those who are at helm of affairs should stop making such requests,” he added. An elderly local who was part of the protest warned that if ‘mass tourism’ to Sonamarg is not stopped, the Thajiwas glacier will soon be a history.