Himalayas – Too many tourists can cause massive disaster

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Published on : Tuesday, June 21, 2022

A recent report highlighted that there is an urgent call for to anticipate the terrible impacts of uncontrolled tourism and know the lessons from the tourist destinations which are over-exploited in the Himalayas. On hill stations, terrible demand for tourism has created tremendous pressure and is becoming a matter of anxiety in terms of change in land use and land cover. The report was made by Govind Ballabh Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment in Kosi-Katarmal.

To the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, this report was submitted in compliance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order.

The research was conducted in relation to a declaration made the Hindu that to the Himalayan regions, tourism has caused financial prosperity but the cost on environment has been disastrous.

As per Environmental evaluation of tourism in the Indian Himalayan region, handling tourism within existing civic facilities and infrastructural carrying capacity within the threshold has been tough. Ladakh is an area which has water deficiency. The region is dependent on glacial melt and flow of River Indus. On an average, water consumption of an individual of a resident is 75 litres per day. While a tourist in Ladakh consumes about 100 litres per day, as per the report.

Hemis National Park, Changthang Cold Desert Sanctuary and Karakoram Sanctuary need watchfulness and standard patrolling to decrease unnecessary tourist interaction with the wildlife along with devastation of the habitat due to off-road driving, the report said.

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