Skardu tourist capital of Pakistan has no structured solid waste management system. This region has the densest glaciers in the world outside the polar region. The impacts of global warming also started surfacing in Gilgit Baltistan. The whole region observing heavy rainfall in the past decade is also an environmental anomaly. This piece of article will cover the key aspects of these accelerating roots toward a catastrophic result in Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan.
The total population of Gilgit Baltistan is 2.6 million and more than 0.5 million relocated to other parts of Pakistan. Roughly, 2 million people as a whole are living in Gilgit Baltistan. If we look back to the 90s, 99% of locals were relying on organic means. The rate of plastic waste was less than 50g/person.
Tourism turned around the fate of locals by economical means. The living standard of locals improved by more than 10x within two decades. As tourism is the most emerging business in the current time around the globe. The governmental authorities and tour operators only squeezing money with zero reinvestment in sustainability. Solid waste per capita also increased 10x times having no management plan.
Tourism in Gilgit Baltistan boosted in last few years. The math of tourist flow in Skardu in the past few years is more than 3 million in a year. Contrary to tourists, only 0.3 million locals in Skardu city which is currently accommodating 3 million tourists. There’s a hotel and rest house every at every next step. Except for collecting money from tourists, no one bothered to eye on the aftermath of such a huge number.
Solid waste, air and water pollutions are the major issues in Skardu as well as across Gilgit Baltistan. Abundance of tourist carrying vehicles generating so much smoke causes air pollution. Same goes solid waste and water pollution. GB government should formulate a policy to control these disastrous menace to save the future.
The solid waste management of Skardu needs attention. To keep the tourism money-making machine running, sustainability of the environment is vital. Some experts are predicting that the number of tourists in Skardu might bubble up to 10 million within 5 years.
Accommodating tourists without affecting the nature of Gilgit Baltistan is challenging. All the NGOs working across GB are just filling up their files with bogus reports, nothing else. To change the fate of the region, GBians should raise their voices.
Sustainability is the key to FUTURE!