Experts, on Sunday, said that a huge ‘concentration of people’ present at a spot can cause an adverse impact on the environment during the Amarnath yatra.
“The presence of a huge number of people at a particular place creates fragile environmental conditions,” says Shakeel Ramshoo Professor and Head, Department of Earth Sciences, Kashmir University. He said that the cause of the fragile environment is the lack of the knowledge among the masses. “There is no concept of scientific disposal of waste management among the people. They will litter the waste where ever they go,” he said.
“Whenever there are huge gatherings, you will usually see that they litter the garbage on that spot or on nearby roads or on walking paths. People need to understand that garbage should be dumped in a scientific manner.’’ “It creates threat for water, air and land quality which a human has a deep rooted connection with.”
Ramshoo said many times people defecate on tourist spots which again poses threat to the environment. “Many are not bothered how by doing such activities would lead to the extinction of our environment,” he said.
Suggesting ways to tackle this problem, Ramshoo said, “Establishing a good infrastructure at every spot could ease this problem. As a result only one developed spot would not witness rush.”
Irfan Rashid, a senior professor at Department of Earth Sciences, Kashmir University said that government has not yet understood the concept ‘carrying capacity’.
“Everything in the universe has a carrying capacity but I have failed to understand that why our government is unaware about this term,” he said.
“Take the example of famous tourist spot Gulmarg, he said, every year we witness lakhs of tourists making a beeline for this place. For the tourists, government must check the carrying capacity of this place.
“In India, we have a concept called Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) where experts read about threats and improvement need to done towards the environment. But unfortunately, we don’t have such facility here.”
The Chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah had earlier demand for restricting the duration of annual Amarnath Yatra to minimum time period in view of the “fragile environmental conditions” of the mountainous region. “The huge concentration of Yatris is the main reason behind the melting of glaciers in mountainous region, floods, and diseases like Hepatitis,” Shah had said.