Uttarakhand’s Chard Dham Yatra has turned the path to Kedarnath into a mounting pile of garbage. ANI shared visuals of the path, where plastic trash could be seen piling up with ice-capped mountains looming in the background. Tents are lined up and discarded plastic bags and bottles galore, giving the place the appearance of a garbage dump. Kedarnath is ecologically sensitive and garbage dumping may leave it vulnerable to erosion, an expert said. “It’ll lead to erosion which can cause landslides. We must keep in mind the tragedy of 2013 and remain careful,” Professor MS Negi, Head of the Department of Geography at Garhwal Central University was quoted as saying by ANI.
Professor MC Nautiyal, Director, HAPPRC, also said that the increase in tourist footfall has led to more garbage and a consequent negative impact on vegetation as the place does not have proper sanitation facilities. The Char Dham Yatra was kept closed for the past two years due to the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, it started on May 3, on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. As per media reports, over eight lakh pilgrims have undertaken the Char Dham yatra in Uttarakhand this year. Not only the experts, but the general public appeared miffed on Twitter as they, too, rang alarm bells over the disruption to the ecology of the area.
Ridiculous, so much for being closer to Mother Nature! The culprits should be heavily fined https://t.co/lzEK7xgcAL
— icurius (@iCurius) May 23, 2022
Biggest danger to humanity. Almost all ideas have failed. Do you have any ideas? https://t.co/bWdTRUO2RI
— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) May 23, 2022
This is not Switzerland…but India.. can you believe it? https://t.co/G6hs4Eosrk
— V (@AgentSaffron) May 22, 2022
People boast about their love for treks in moutains and eventually do this. https://t.co/rdU6K0Oy41
— Neeraj Kapri (@imneerajkapri) May 22, 2022
Sadly, we have not learnt anything from the 2013 fiasco. https://t.co/b8Whf9mk30
— Megha (@MeghaaPant) May 22, 2022
This makes me so so sad…we need extremely strict enforcement and ban plastic. https://t.co/KSOaeBgkG6
— Dr.Aarathi Bellary (@Himalayanmuse) May 22, 2022
In June 2013 a cloudburst in the hilly state led to devastating floods and landslides. To date, it is considered one of India’s worst natural disasters since the tsunami that struck coastal communities along the Bay of Bengal in 2004.
Recently, a blogger from Noida took his pet dog Nawab to the Kedarnath temple and had a tilak put on him, an action that has caused for an FIR to be filed against the blogger. As per Times of India, the Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) filed a complaint against the blogger, Rohan Tyagi (also reported as Vikash Tyagi on some instances). The committee has claimed that the blogger’s actions have hurt religious sentiments.