Char Dham Yatra Waste Generation: Kedarnath Path Converted Into A Sea of Garbage

by | Jun 29, 2022 | Environmental News, Pollution

Home » Pollution » Char Dham Yatra Waste Generation: Kedarnath Path Converted Into A Sea of Garbage

Certain concerns have recently been raised over the Char Dham Yatra waste generation. According to the ANI news agency, lakhs of pilgrims undertake the Char Dham Yatra in Uttarakhand every year- approximately eight lakhs in 2022. Even before the government opened the site following the two-year hiatus, the sacred site’s route continued to turn into a massive garbage ground.

Pilgrims from all around India visit the sacred sites of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri every year. Several tourists and pilgrims bring with them the much-needed revenue to Uttarakhand’s coffers; however, they also bring a dangerous and polluting item- garbage, especially plastic. Today, tons of plastic bags, wrappers, bottles, and more layers are on the routes.

Up to 16,000 people visit Badrinath every day, 13,000 at Kedarnath, 8,000 at Gangotri, and 5,000 at Yamunotri and Hemkund Sahib every day. All of this adds up to a horrifying amount of waste.

The ANI took pictures of tents spread across the beautiful landscape with majestic snow-covered mountains in the background. Heaps of discarded items are also visible in the photos. This image has left environmental activists and scientists concerned, not just because plastic can severely destroy the environment but also because of the effect on a state prone to natural calamities such as landslides.

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According to Professor MS Negi, head of the geography department at the Garhwal Central University, the disposal of plastic garbage in huge heaps in a sensitive place like Kedarnath is dangerous for our environment. He further adds that the trash will lead to erosion, resulting in landslides. Keeping the tragedy that occurred in 2013 in mind, it is important to be careful to prevent such disasters.

The 2013 tragedy occurred in June when a cloudburst led to disastrous floods and landslides across the state of Uttarakhand. It was India’s worse natural disaster that occurred since the tsunami that struck the coastal communities along the Bay of Bengal in 2004.

According to Professor MC Nautiyal, director of the High Altitude Plant Physiology Research Centre in Uttarakhand, plastic waste has increased due to an increase in the number of tourists and pilgrims. Efficient sanitation facilities are not available in the region. This has severely affected the ecology of the area. For example, medicinal plant species in the area are gradually getting extinct.

The Char Dham Yatra waste generation is a serious issue amid an environmental crisis. Collaborative efforts to reduce waste in the area should be undertaken by locals, governmental bodies, NGOs, and tourist organizations.



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