‘U’Khand An Eye Opener: Devise Eco-Friendly Yatra Plan’

Srinagar: Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) today urged the  prime minister  of India to come up with a plan of action to stop the unbridled and prolonged rush of  people into the extremely eco sensitive   terrain of Amarnath Shrine by limiting the number of pilgrims as well as the duration of Yatra as it used to be before its  politicization (beginning with the formation of a shrine board). 

KCDS met  under  its chairperson  Hameeda Nayeem and discussed the aftermath of Uttarakhand   environmental tragedy, a press release said. 

Members said with one voice that the tragedy should be an eye –opener for those who would take the issue lightly.  The fury of Nature and the consequent loss of lives has underscored the need  to regulate Yatra to Amarnath Shrine ,the need to cut down on numbers as per Nittish Sengupta recommendations, the need to restrict  the Yatra days to the natural 15 days as used to be the practice before it was politicized the need to preserve the biodiversity  and wild life of the area and above all need to protect the glacial table of Kashmir from melting  as it has already receded  in size due to warming in the area.We were and are  putting before the govt the views expressed by the environmental experts and not the propaganda of demagogues. In our various communiqués to the govt we warned it of dire consequences if the flow of pilgrims and the duration of pilgrimage is not restricted and if natural habitat is disturbed by creating facilities on way to Amarnath Shrine. As some lady politician has aptly commented that it seemed as Lord Shiva was dancing in rage over the massive interference with the ecology   and habitat in the Himalayan region which is considered to be very sacred.

Prof Hameeda Nayeem said that Nature seems to be very angry over the predatory forays into her bosom which she cannot tolerate at any cost and hence strikes with nemesis on the gross and unbridled intrusion of humanity and the creation of concrete infrastructure in her lap. While our hearts go to the victims of this rage,   we impress upon the   govt to straightaway   put in operation a plan of action to avert such tragedies of human loss of life and damage to the natural habitat. The members reiterated their demand to cut down on the numbers of pilgrims as per recommendations given by the expert committee, restriction of the number of days to what it used to be (Shiv Lingum could be seen only for a short duration of time, not more than 15 days) and the   rolling back of any plans of making concrete jungle along the way to Shri Amarnath Shrine. This she said is very important to sustain the Yatra itself.

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