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Gangotri National Park

Gangotri National Park. Recently the Gangotri region gained national park status. The park has already reported a number of successfully completed projects and an on-going program is planned. This program is displayed at the park entrance a few kilometers from the road head at Gangotri. Projects are listed below with a somewhat liberal translation from the Indian English (I struggled with a number of words).

Project Enterprise of Achievements

1. Installation of eco-friendly incinerator at Gangotri.

2. Placing 50 garbage bins between Gangotri and Bhojbas.

3. Issue of 400 LPG connections at Gangotri and beyond.

4. Issue of 15 tubular frame structures with protective covering to replace existing shelters made of bhojpatra wood.

5. Issue of 16 prefabricated latrines at Gangnani, Gangotri, Chirbas, and Bhojbas.

6. Cleaning various base camps beyond Gaumukh; over three tons garbage brought back.

7. An awareness program; construction of obelisks at Uttarkashi, Sukhitop, and Bhairongati. Issue of leaflets and holding of seminars.

8. Establishing nurseries at Rawara, Maneri, and Bhojbas.

9. Plantation of “over roplings” at Malla, Lata , Raithal Barsu, and Sukhi Top.

10. Facelift of Gangnani sulphur springs.

Future Activities

* Provision of solar light at Bhojbas, Chirbas, and Devoad.

* Setting up a hydro-electricity plant of 150 to 250 kW at Gangotri.

* Provision of LPG connections to all hotels, ashrams, and guest houses at Gangotri and beyond.

* Provision of toilets between Gangotri and Gaumukh.

* Afforestation between Uttarkashi and Harsil.

* Periodic cleaning at all base camps.

* Collection of garbage from Gangotri to Gaumukh.

* Strengthening existing nurseries.

* Plantation of bhojpatra trees at Bhojbas.

* Footbridge at Bhojbas on river Bhagirathi to prevent crossing of Gangotri Glacier.

This appears very timely, given the increasing popularity of the area with Indian tourists

and pilgrims, who visit the source of the Ganges at Gaumukh (the Cow’s Mouth) at the snout of the Gangotri glacier. The number of lodges has increased dramatically and as a result there is a lot of pressure on the environment. Most of the environmental damage comes from domestic tourism, as there is less awareness of best practice. The perception at the Indian Mountaineering Foundation is that the majority of foreign expeditions promote best practice and leave base camps in good condition. Let's make sure this trend continues.

Andy Perkins, U.K.