SWAT: The civil society members have shown concerns over increase in pollution at the tourist resorts and demanded of the government to immediately take action against the people throwing garbage and shopping bags at open places.
They said that both tourists and hoteliers did not bother about cleanliness of the tourist resorts, rivers and streams where they threw plastic bags, bottles and waste.
“This is not only sad but also disappointing that tourists throw waste, plastic rappers and bottles at the spots where they come to enjoy the scenic beauty. Such kind of tourism, which leaves the scenic areas full of garbage, must be stopped,” said Amjad Ali, a civil society member.
The nature lovers said that tourists must be refrained from throwing waste at the scenic spots and spreading plastic pollution everywhere.
“It shocked me to see plastic waste everywhere in Ushu forest and Mahodand Lake. In my view everyone, who throws plastic rapper, shopper or bottle at the tourist spot, must be punished,” said Iqbal Hussain, a civil society member.
The locals said that not only tourists but restaurant and hotel workers were also throwing garbage into the Swat River. They said that drains from all the hotels discharged into the Swat River. “It is highly unhygienic and dangerous for aquatic life as well as for human being who use the river water,” said Shafiq Ahmad, a tourist from Islamabad.
The civil society members said that district administration must install waste bin and instruction boards at the tourist spots, asking visitors to use the dustbins instead of throwing waste openly.
“It seems that there is no district administration and no writ of government at the scenic spots. The government is making tall claims of clean environment and promotion of tourism but on the ground we see nothing. It is the responsibility of the district administration to fine the restaurant and hotel owners for spreading filth everywhere,” said Khurram Iqbal, a tourist from Peshawar.
Abdul Hadi, a supervisor in Tehsil Municipal Administration Bahrain, said that the cleanliness team was working hard to clean the streets and remove waste from waste bin and picnic spots.
“However, during the tourist season, the tourists leave waste everywhere along the Swat River and our team tries its best to find and clean them,” he said, adding that tourists threw plastic shoppers and pampers in large number that created big problem for administration.
He appealed to the tourists and locals to keep the environment clean and dispose of waste at proper places.
Published in Dawn, July 17th, 2020