DEHRADUN: Making a fresh case for capping for capping the number of tourists visiting the Uttarakhand Himalayas, a number of photographs and videos of tourists stranded on the trekking route to the Tungnath temple, went viral on various social media platforms on Wednesday.Voicing concern, environmentalists suggested that the number of visitors to ecologically fragile areas such as glaciers and shrines in eco-sensitive areas be capped.
Shekhar Pathak, an environment activist to be conferred with the Padma Shree, said, “The government must understand that the extent of traffic in glaciers and eco-sensitive shrines needs to be controlled, as these are sensitive sites. Carbon footprint and piling waste risk damage to such ecologically-fragile places.”The outrage sweeping the social media started after Rahul Sharma, a young trekker from New Delhi, posted a photograph and a video, titled ‘Traffic jam in Tunganath’, on his Facebook page, on February 23.
The picture and video has been shared by thousands of netizens since. Many took to social media to say that there was a similar queue of visitors bidding to scale Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak, last year.
The Tungnath shrine, in Rudrprayag district, is about 250 km from Dehradun and is located at a height of 12,073 ft from ground level. One has trek more than 5 km to reach the temple.Yash, social media user, posted, “Govt should apply daily visit limit here.”However, Mangesh Ghildiyal, DM, Rudraprayag, said, “We have all measures in place to deal with any situation. The so-called jam may have been because of the weekend when more people happen to visit the shrine.”