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Tangmarg- A Treasurehouse At the Foothills of Apharwat

Tangmarg – come and get elixir from here

THIS IS A PLACE OF PROMINENCE NOT ONLY FOR ITS BREATHTAKING BEAUTY, BUT FOR HAVING MEDICINAL PLANTS OF A GREAT VALUE, WRITES AHMAD KASHMIRI

Kashmir is peculiar geographically, barring social, political position of Kashmir here let us talk the absolute geographic, topographic peculiarity of Kashmir which has been always beautiful and catchy. Since it is an established and observed fact that the topography of Kashmir particularly that of Tangmarg tehsil is ideal for various and varied kinds of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP’s). Many of them are of international repute mentioning here a few are Taxus, Podophylum, Dioscorea, Zera, Kuth, et al. It is a matter of proud that the ‘Rose’ of Tangmarg tehsil(Rosa Domascena) is the world’s best rose as per its medicinal value and aroma is concerned. As such the cultivation of MAPs should be taken on large scale in the area, this will explore new avenues and areas for research and development of MAPs . Such projects would ensure the real time analysis, research and development of the high potential MAPs . The existence of the field station of the Regional Research Laboratory at Yarekhah Tangmarg would serve as a ready reference technical aid to this project. Nallah Ferozpora is already rich, as a treasure of unexplored MAPs ,the establishment of such MAPs projects will synergise the efforts of the researchers in opening the new vistas in the field. The farmers of the area are reluctant to grow any kind of such plants because of unawareness and lack of marketing avenues. In recent years, there has been a tremendous growth of interest in plant based drugs, pharmaceuticals perfumery, cosmetics and aroma compounds used in food flavors and fragrances and natural colors in the world. There is definite trend to adopt pant based products due to the cumulative derogatory effects resulting from the use of antibiotics and synthetics, and except for a few cultivated crops, the available plant based material is mainly from the natural sources like forests and waste land. But due to the ever increasing utilization of land for food crops, devastation of forest and exploitation of these crops, there availability from natural sources has declined. On the other hand, the demand for internal use and for export has been increasing, necessitating the production of these crops on a large scale, there is a need to introduce these crops into the cropping system of the agriculture. Which, besides meeting the demands of the industry, will also help to maintain the standard on quality, potency and chemical composition (See Table). Since these crops are new and uncommon to growers and they often lack knowledge of their scientific cultivation, there is hesitation even among the interested growers to take up their cultivation. Plants have been one of the important sources of medicine ever since the dawn of human civilization. In spite of tremendous developments in the field of allopathic during the 20th century, plants still remain one of the major sources of drugs in modern as well as traditional systems of medicines throughout the world. Approximately one third of all pharmaceuticals are of plant origin, wherein fungi and bacteria are also included. Over 60 % of all pharmaceuticals are plant based. In fact, a grim concern has emerged, since the advent of railway-line inside the vale. Many things have gone wrong due to hurry and perhaps due to plan less moves initiated by the planners. As the work on railway project started, the geographic wealth of valley -the small and segregated mountains and hillocks met the worst treatments, natural disasters like earth quakes, perhaps could not have caused such havoc to these beautiful and balanced mountains ! The concerned departments, agencies whosoever, might be busy in paper work, making tall claims for protecting and preserving the natural resourses, assets, caves, mountains et al; also they might be drawing extra allowances with their schedule-salaries for the preservation of such marvelous things, but on the ground the situation is pitiable, who cares, the Government underestimates all these things for that the ‘’Rail should reach Varmul (Baramulla) in 2007 even if the chastity of “Raishma” (Kashmir)is at stake! Is anybody listening? Meanwhile conversion of paddy-land(Aabi Awal)into ‘paradox-land’, is turning the paradise into hell at a very speedy rate, the same goes intentionally, unintentionally unnoticed. World famous tourist place Gulmarg is not restricted to the place “Gulmarg” only where we have golf, Gondola, horses and hotels, instead, the elegant jurisdiction of Gulmarg starts form Goigam village near Magam town. The importance and tourist scope of Srinagar – Gulmarg highway is not less than that of “Proper Gulmarg” this importance and scope can be read, watched and viewed in the books, films and other media of international repute . Amorous glances from Goigam to Gulmarg include paddy fields from both sides of the highway, streams, streamlets running parallel to the highway, springs alongside the highway at Chichilora,Gokhama,Raram and the horizon-scenic hillock locally called as “Lolepur-Wudar”. The marvelous hill side scenery from right side of Drurooo to Tangmarg and amusing down-dale from the left side of the same range, down hilling of mountains and hillocks and the glorious downstream flow of irrigation Kohls viz Babul, Tilgaem, Chukaer, Nihalpuer, Yauel and Lolepuer adventurously catch the attention of visitors, a natural heavenly scene that can not be developed artificially despite every possible efforts, neither it can be expressed in words here. Nature calls that we must preserve our assets, flora, fauna, springs, streams, forests, hills, hillocks; this is only possible if we wake up to awareness right now. Revenue department must enforce the law meant for prohibition of construction on cultivable and paddy land, in letter and sprit, otherwise just after five years glory of Srinagar-Gulmarg Highway will be no more and there will be smoke everywhere instead of sniff(pleasant air). Tourism department must ensure the originality of the area and it must not allow the bulldozing of hillocks that are support to imaginary horizons and that balance the ecology and environment. Original tracks and shape and size even the gesture of streams,’Kohls’and streamlets must be ensured even if these are shifted away by some metres right or left. No construction of houses and commercial establishments be allowed even at barren land alongside the highway upto the distance of sight. Stone-crushers from Nallah-Ferozpora be shifted to far places to ensure environmental comfort and atmosphere. 1. Construction of Kunzer-Chanpora bridge under ADB, be planned on priority to restore the glory of the area, worth sightseeing. Since the construction of this bridge is very vital from three main points. a) It can link the proposed Airport-Gulmarg road(via Beerwah) b) It can serve as a by-pass bridge to the main bridge of Srinagar-Gulmarg highway near Kunzer and it is pertinent to mention here that there was a lot of trouble to the people and the visitors when recently the Kunzer Bridge had collapsed. c) It links the southern downtrodden and remote villages with Kunzer, the only commercial town available in the block. Concluding, Revenue, Tourism, R&B, RD, PHE and Gulmarg Development Authority must wake up, co-ordinate for this grim scenario right now to set the things right, otherwise to repent when sparrows peck the paddy will bear no fruits. Kashmir in future will rule the world as the main treasure in Natural medicine, let us preserve even the deserts, not to speak of the fertile land, let us wake up.

Copyright Greater Kashmir 05/29/2007

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