Uttarakhand News

NGT approves 25 Camping Points along Rishikesh: Its Pros & Cons

Thursday brought a new ray of hope for the adventure junkies and nature addicts who had always dreamt of camping on the silvery banks of river Ganges as NGT had allowed camping activities on the 25 sites majorly between Shivpuri and Rishikesh. The Government body also gave directions that no sort of camping activity will be entertained within 100 metres stretch of Ganga River.

Environment Activist, Vikrant Tongad said, “It is a welcome decision but it is only half part done as this decision’s implementation in its true spirit is still a cause for concern. Earlier, people would camp along the river at any place and leave behind plastic bottles and pouches on the bank and disposed of waste into the river, deteriorating the environment in Rishikesh.

“The NGT finds only 25 places fit for camping along the Ganga. Now, it will be more important if the state government implements the order in its true spirit,” Tongad quoted.

NGT approves 25 Camping Points along Rishikesh

While everybody is rejoicing on the Government’s decision let’s analyze the hard felt pros and cons of allowing camping at these 25 alluring sites near Ganges-

Pros:

  • As Rishikesh is the ‘Adventure Capital of India’ there is a plethora of opportunities for tourism to spread its wing here. This decision of NGT will surely channelize the hidden potential of Rishikesh Tourism.
  • By allowing camping in these 25 exotic sites the crowd will be distributed equally and not much stress will be laid on one area. Thereby, keeping a check on the pollution and on the water quality.
  • Since ‘Glamping’ has become a rage these days and Rishikesh being the favourite abode of foreign tourists can entice foreign tourists to camp in the celestial city.
  • Consequently more revenue will be generated from the potential areas and more tourists and young crowd will be attracted to the tranquil city of Rishikesh.

NGT approves 25 Camping Points along Rishikesh

Cons:

  • If we look into this matter closely, we should recall the time when the Tribunal had prohibited camping and river rafting back in 2015 after a Delhi-based non-profit Social Action for Forest & Environment (SAFE) appealed that it was degrading the local ecology. Therefore allowing camping will only pollute the river and its surrounding areas, making the condition even worse. Instead of giving a green flag to camping, NGT should have rather shown some strictness regarding the breach of rules that were slated before.
  • According to the latest updates, around 18 hectares of forest cover across 20 beach camps will be cleared for which NGT had asked the Ministry of Environment and Forest to grant the permission. This decision has come as a major threat to the Himalayan foliage that is being slashed in the name of adventure and for generating revenue from the tourism sector.
  • While NGT prohibited hunting, use of generators for lighting, music instruments, group singing, dancing, firecrackers and setting campfires, no emphases has been laid on the beautification or cleaning of the river body and the areas near the campsites, where people leave all the junk after making merry.
  • Allowing any kind of human activity near the river body will only creates ruckus as the travel operators have been disposing the waste into the river and deteriorating the plush environs of Rishikesh, without paying any penalty for it.

 

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