Uttarakhand News

Ban on overnight stays in Bugyals

In an another setback to Uttarakhand Tourism Industry, Hon’ble High Court has banned overnight stays in Alpine Meadows/ Sub Alpine Meadows/ Bugyals and also directed the state government to remove any kind of fixed structure from Alpine Meadows/ Sub Alpine Meadows/ Bugyals. This will severely affect the trekking industry of Uttarakhand.

The immediate consequence of banning overnight stay in bugyals would mean that the distant bugyals like Roopkund, Rudranath will become inaccessible as they can’t be trekked (to and fro) in a single day!

The number of visitors has been limited to 200 per day, however overnight stay wouldn’t be allowed in the bugyals.

The High Court also directed the state govt to consider declaring all the high altitude valleys and bugyals as high altitude National Parks/ Sanctuaries within a period of six months.

Snippets of detailed order dated 21 Aug 2018

A. The State Government is directed to remove all the permanent structures from the alpine meadows/ sub-alpine meadows/ Bugyals in the State of Uttarakhand including Aali-Bedini-Bagzi Bugyals within a period of three months.

B. The State Government is directed to constitute the Eco-Development Committees within six weeks in eco-sensitive zones throughout the State of Uttarkahand to protect and preserve the nature, environment and ecology.

C. The State Government is directed to restrict the number of tourists (not more than 200) visiting the alpine meadows/ sub-alpine meadows/ Bugyals.

D. No person including the State Public Undertakings/Private Entrepreneurs shall construct any permanent structure on the alpine meadows/ subalpine meadows/ Bugyals throughout the State of Uttarakhand.

E. The overnight stay in the Alpine meadows/ Subalpine meadows/ Bugyals is banned.

F. The commercial grazing of cattle is banned on alpine meadows/ sub-alpine meadows/ Bugyals forthwith. The local shepherds alone will be permitted to graze their cattle on the alpine meadows/ sub-alpine meadows/ Bugyals by imposing reasonable restriction on the number of cattle.

G. All the District Magistrates throughout the State of Uttarakhand are directed to ensure removal of plastic water bottles, cans etc. from the alpine meadows/ sub-alpine meadows/ Bugyals within six weeks from today.

H. The State Government is also directed to ensure that no encroachment is made in these alpine meadows/Bugyals in any form, even in the name of religion. The encroachments already made are ordered to be removed within three months from today by issuing notices.

I. The State Government is directed to conduct systematic survey of its flora at the earliest to prepare comprehensive manual, as recommended by the experts within six months from today.

J. Every forest division should have a herbarium of important medicinal, rare, threatened and botanically interesting plants for reference. The exploitation of medicinal plants should be limited and it should be done only through Government/Public sector, as recommended by the experts.

K. The State Government is also directed to introduce rotational grazing of cattle in alpine meadows/ subalpine meadows/ Bugyals, as recommended by experts, where alternative sites are available. The stay of livestock is ordered to be reduced, as recommended by the experts.

L. The State Government is directed to consider declaring all import high altitude valleys and alpine meadows/ sub-alpine meadows/ Bugyals with rich plant as high altitude National Parks/Sanctuaries, within a period of six months from today.