Over 4.2 Mn tourists visit Gulmarg in last 5 years; GDA generates 6.4 Cr. revenue: RTI

Wajahat Shabir. Updated: 2/12/2024 1:29:30 AM Front Page

'Waste produced more than 2.0 MT, 16187 kanals transferred to GDA'

SRINAGAR: In the last five years, more than 42 lakh tourists visited Gulmarg, Right to Information (RTI) has revealed.
Meanwhile, Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) generated a revenue of Rs 6.4 Cr in the last five years.
In reply to the details of revenue generated by Gulmarg Development Authority in the last five years, the Public Information Officer, in reply to RTI by M.M Shuja, replied that Rs 6390000 revenue was generated in 2019, Rs 8471000 was generated in 2020, Rs 9730000 in 2020, Rs 21124000 was generated in 2022, and Rs 18738000 was generated last year.
Regarding the method and manner of treating solid waste and its outsourcing details of waste generated per day along with the details of disposal (Manual/Scientific), PIO replied that the Solid Waste Treatment Plant disposes of 2.00 metric tons per day.
Biodegradable waste is processed through an Insta auto-composing system of 1.00 metric tons per day, and non-biodegradable waste is processed through a magnetic disintegrator, including the cost of Bioculture and herbal disinfection of 1.00 MT per day.
However, the plant is under capacity as both biodegradable/non-biodegradable waste produced by hoteliers is beyond 2.00 MT. The excess waste is mechanically transported from the Solid Waste Management Plant, Gulmarg, to designated/approved dumping sites.
The total land transferred to the Gulmarg Development Authority is 16187 kanals and 11 marlas. The department timely demolished the encroachment made by individuals/hoteliers.
The PIO further informed that the bed capacity in both government and private facilities in Gulmarg has been increased to 2,200. The number of tourists visited during 2019 was 327049, 98757 in 2020, 618076 in 2021, 1542320 in 2022, and 1625732, the highest last year.
On the other hand, RTI revealed that the Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) failed to allocate the budget and funds fully in the last five years.
In 2019, the government earmarked budgets of Rs 607.73 lakhs and Rs 609.38 lakhs, respectively. However, actual expenditures for the fiscal year were recorded at Rs 166.73 lakhs and Rs 276.88 lakhs, respectively.
In 2020, a total budget allocation of Rs 603 lakhs was designated for the GDA, with actual expenditure reaching Rs 377.64 lakhs.
In the subsequent year, 2021, authorities allotted a budget totaling Rs 627.68 lakhs, of which Rs 531.72 lakh was utilized. By 2022, the allocated budget for the GDA remained undisclosed, yet only Rs 503.13 lakhs were expended by the authorities.
Lastly, in 2023, a budget of Rs 325.03 lakhs was designated for the GDA, of which Rs 198.29 lakhs were expended.

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