World-famous tourist spot Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir has become the first destination in the country to adopt the Swachhta Green Leaf Rating as part of the sustainable tourism program. The Swachhta Green Leaf Rating (SGLR) system will be introduced at the tourist spot on a pilot basis to assess tourism infrastructure like hotels, resorts, home stays on the parameters of safe sanitation practices, according to a top state official.
The SGLR is a collaborative initiative taken by the Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation (DDWS) and the Tourism Ministry for voluntary rating of hospitality infrastructure for hygiene and sanitation.
Virtually launching the adoption of the SGLR in the hospitality sector by hoteliers in Pahalgam, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary Atal Dulloo advised all stakeholders, including the authorities concerned, to ensure the success of this model. He said that J&K, as the torchbearer, has an added responsibility to set an example.
“Since tourism is one of the mainstays of our economy, it has added significance for us to preserve the pristine assets of beauty and a pleasant environment in our UT”, Dullo said.
He further said that responsible citizens lead to responsible practices in each sector, considering the three pillars of sustainable development: economy, ecology, and equity.
Dulloo unveiled the three components of Solid Waste Management (SWM), Faecal Sludge Management (FSM), and Greywater Management (GWM), emphasising their practical principles.
“Three phases of accreditation involving orientation for stakeholders, voluntary declaration, followed by verification and ground truthing, as facilitative steps to improve tourist destinations”, he said.
The SGLR comprises three themes, each allocated a total of 200 marks, with the first two having 80 marks each and the last one having 40 marks.
“Participating entities are required to score at least 50 per cent in each theme to be eligible for the certification process. Entities scoring 100-130 marks receive ”1-Leaf Status,” 130-180 marks as ”3-Leaf Status,” and those scoring between 180-200 achieve the best with ”5-Leaf Status,” the official said.
The rating system is part of Travel for LiFE program for tourism sector under Mission LiFE, that has been envisaged to create awareness about sustainable tourism and to nudge the tourists and tourism businesses to adopt sustainable practices synchronous with nature.
The program aims to mainstream sustainability into tourism sector towards developing a sustainable, responsible and resilient tourism sector.