`Gaumukh` to be out of bounds for tourists for eco reasons

Last Updated: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 09:59

Dehra Dun: Tourists will not be allowed to go near `Gaumukh`, the source of the Ganga, with the Uttarakhand government imposing a total ban on trekking to the spot to protect receding Himalayan glaciers from human activities.

From the tourist season beginning this month, the regulations would come into effect. Tourists will be stopped 500 meters away from Gaumukh, Deputy Director of Gangotri
National Park, Indrapal Singh, said.

The park administration would erect fencing and display
boards to inform tourists about the ban. Gaumukh is near the
famous shrine of Gangotri visited by lakhs of pilgrims every
year.

As several trekking routes like Tapovan, Raktvan,
Vasukital and Kalindikhal pass through Gaumukh, an alternative
route is also being explored by the forest department, he
said.

In 2008, the government had brought restrictions in the
number of visitors to 150 a day.

Official sources said 3000-odd Kanwarias, devotees of
Lord Shiva, used to throng Gangotri area daily during
July-August raising concerns about the fragile ecological
conditions of the range.

The regulations were imposed in the line of a report
prepared by Dehra Dun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan
Geology (WIHG), which found that the glaciers were receding at
a rate of 17 to 23 meters per year.

PTI

First Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 09:59
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