Camping prohibited in Kullu’s Kheerganga area : The Tribune India

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Camping prohibited in Kullu’s Kheerganga area

Camping prohibited in Kullu’s Kheerganga area

Tents have been removed at Kheerganga in the Parvati valley of Kullu district. Tribune photo



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, July 10

The Forest Department has banned camping in the fragile Kheerganga area of the Parvati Valley, where trekkers have been pitching tents. The area has religious significance and is known for hot springs. Some persons had pitched tents to provide accommodation to visitors. The number of such units has increased during the past decade, endangering the environment.

Praveen Thakur, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Parvati Division, said the tents in the area had increased to about 500 in April, even though people had been encouraged to promote eco-friendly tourism. About 400 tents were removed by the operators themselves, he said, adding that “the remaining tents were removed recently and camping had been banned, for the time being, to allow nature to heal. No compromise will be made with the environment in the name of mass eco-friendly tourism and violators will be dealt with strictly.”

The DFO said a complaint regarding huge piles of garbage along the trek route had also been received. A self-sustainable waste management model would be implemented and an NGO had been engaged to take care of waste management.

Eco-friendly activities would be allowed in the area as per the working plan approved by the Central and state ministries. “Preference would be given to locals, especially unemployed youth, for operating temporary accommodation units in the designated area. The accommodation units will be designed in a way that they blend with nature and are uniform,” he stated.

The locals had been advised to form an eco-tourism society or a committee. Various user groups of the committee would be provided training in hospitality, rescue and guiding trades. A barrier would also be installed at Icy Point on the Barshaini-Kheerganga trek route, he said, adding that the masses had been advised to carry out regulated tourism activities to protect the biodiversity of the region.

Tourists who want to visit Kheerganga will have to make an early start and reach there before 10 am. They will be required to return before 2 pm. They can stay overnight at Nakthan, Barshaini, Kalga or Tosh.

No compromise with environment

No compromise will be made with the environment in the name of mass eco-friendly tourism and violators will be dealt with strictly. — Praveen Thakur, Divisional Forest Officer

#Kullu


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