Mangaluru: A group of trekkers spot a sambar deer running in panic in the silent and panoramic valley of Minchukallu in the Western Ghats.
The trekkers also notice that the animal is bleeding in one foot and find that the reason for this wound is a broken liquor bottle thrown by somebody who had come for trekking.
This incident that took place two years ago, might be just one incident but such incidents go unnoticed. Animals in the Ghats regularly have to face threats because of the garbage dumped by people who come as trekkers in the Western Ghats.
Often people who come in the name of trekking to the Western Ghats during holidays and weekends, dump garbage like plastic water and juice bottles, and liquor bottles in the forest.
These people mostly come to enjoy in secluded places than because of genuine love for nature. Even forest department officials agree that many who come for trekking, end up dumping garbage in the forest areas.
“We warn them that a fine will be imposed on them if they are found dumping garbage. But checking each and every person is difficult and tracking every person too is a tough job. Despite our warning and the installation of signboards in these places, people continue to dump garbage. Our awareness programmes are taken seriously only by a handful of them,” Kudremukh National Park RFO Shrinath told Deccan Chronicle.
The real picture of pollution in trekking places has come to light after Sahyadri Sanchaya led by Dinesh Holla started a clean-up drive. In every place where the drive was taken up, the team got several gunny bags of bottles, plastic and canes.
The place where the Swachh Abhiyan was conducted recently was Jamalabad fort, situated atop a hill in Belthangady taluk. “We found 21 gunny bags of plastics and bottles at Jamalabad. As part of our campaign, we not only clean these places but also erect warning boards, install garbage bins and after a week or two, go to these places to see if people maintain cleanliness,” Holla said.
“We have seen people coming to these places for the sake of mere enjoyment and boozing instead of any true love for nature. So we have asked the local guides to be careful and entertain only those who really care about nature," he added....