Wildlife Institute of India submits report on 18 beaches for beach camp in Rishikesh
Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has submitted its report on beach camping to Uttarkhand government which confirms to the Uttarakhand that the NGT order regarding beach camps near the Ganga was being flouted by many operators who were also openly dumping waste into the river and cutting firewood from the jungle when they existed before the ban. For its report, the WII mapped all the total 56 beaches 17 km stretch from Rishikesh to Kaudiyala on the banks of Ganga. It found many permanent structures still existing which include toilets and kitchen which had been specially prohibited by the tribunal.
Out of 56 beach camps surveyed by the team of scientists of WII, 18 has been ruled out. This include the five beaches with high wildlife use, three beaches where fish spawning is maximum, five beaches for their vulnerability quotient , others for being either too small or being degraded due to deforestation. Four beaches camps were found in the forest area, which is not allowed. However we have permitted pick and drop from these four places.”
“The permanent construction such as toilet and kitchen have been constructed where they flow the waste into the river, flouting the guidelines made earlier. Some of these structures still exist. While at many places, the trees and vegetation have been cut a great deal. The vegetation help in absorbing rainy water which is discharged in dry season of non-monsoon. It also help in absorbing pollution.
A monitoring committee consisting of representatives from district administration forest, tourism, State Pollution Control Board, rafting association and scientific association to ensure adherence of guidelines has been recommended. The report has found minimal impact on the river in rafting but suggested check on the number of rafts on the river at a time.