KCSDS To File PIL On Degradation Of Environment

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KL Report

SRINAGAR

A civil society, Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) is going to file public interest litigation (PIL) for the sharply deteriorating conditions of environment and ecology in Jammu & Kashmir state.

In a daylong Round Table Conference organized by KCSDS at Srinagar on the subject “Environment and sustainable Tourism”, it was observed by the participants, “There is free human trafficking in the name of Tourism and Amarnath Yatra in Kashmir which is unregulated and leads to environmental disaster in eco-fragile areas of the state particularly in Pahalgam and Sonamarg valleys.”

Noted environmentalist Dr Shakeel Romshu presented the figures of environmental degradation in the state. While throwing light on depletion of glaciers he said, “In 1992 the total area of glaciers was 42.33 sq.kms which has shrunk to 37.56 Square kms by the 2011.” In his presentation Dr Javed Iqbal quoted a study conducted by Vijay Kumar Raina formerly Geological Survey of India who related that from 1934 to 2003 there was an average shrinkage of 70 feet (20 meters) on an average annually. In 2004-05 the retrace slode to 12 meters a year and since 2007 it is practically at standstill.

As per a statement the members have observed that the yatra entry is magnified and beyond the carrying capacity, lacs of people in the name of yatra are pushed in the area which has serious implications on ecology and results in condemnation of water. The members further observed that on “one hand, the glaciers in the area are shrinking due to increase in temperature, and on other side the huge human rush has also affected the early melting of the Holy lingum as is observed by experts.”

Keeping in view the environmental hazards and challenge to the biodiversity in this eco-fragile area, it was unanimously resolved that “we must ask the government to regulate the yatra and limit its time to 21 days as per the practice in vogue for past 150 years. It was in accordance to Hindu faith for the holy month of Shrawan which concludes with the festival of Raksha Bandhan. Besides the number of yatris per day needs to be restricted to the carrying capacity which according to Nitish Sen Gupta recommendation is 2000 per day.”

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