Nanda Devi Sanctuary, investigative expedition. The president of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, N Vohra, organized an expedition in June-July 2001 to investigate whether the Sanctuary should be opened to climbers, trekkers, and scientific research (the Sanctuary has been closed since 1983 and even local villagers have been banned entry to their traditional grazing rights). The team was given clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, and the Government of Uttaranchal, a legal requirement as the area has been designated a National Park under an act of Parliament. The IMF expedition studied the area and submitted a 100-page report, which recommended controlled opening of the Sanctuary. This is also the wish of the Uttaranchal State. No decision has yet been taken by the Government, though from a press report it appears that limited access to scientific expeditions may possibly be granted. During their stay in the area three members of the expedition reached the Sunderdhunga Col (5550m) on the southern rim of the Sanctuary, east of Maiktoli (6803m). The only other recorded visit to this col was made by Shipton and Tilman 67 years earlier.
Harish Kapadia, Honorary Editor, The Himalayan Journal