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Kedarnath ropeway: Uttarakhand government informs NGT about survey

The Uttarakhand tourism department on Tuesday filed an affidavit before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) informing about the ongoing ground survey for construction of ropeway at Kedarnath shrine

dehradun Updated: Oct 25, 2017 19:51 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,Kedarnath ropeway,Kedarnath shrine
The matter is now listed before the NGT for hearing on November 2.(HT File Photo)

The Uttarakhand tourism department on Tuesday filed an affidavit before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) informing about the ongoing ground survey for construction of ropeway at Kedarnath shrine.

The government claims to submit a Detailed Project Report soon. The matter is now listed for hearing on November 2.

A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar was informed about the progress of ropeway services which were recommended as a potential medium of transportation to replace helicopters that were causing noise and air pollution, by a report of Wildlife Institute of India.

In its report titled ‘Assessment of impacts on wildlife of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary due to helicopter services’, the WII said: ‘To prevent noise pollution and unaccounted part of air pollution due to very frequent flying in the highly fragile environment, the option of mass transportation of pilgrim via passenger ropeways could be considered, as the same emits minimal sound and causes no air pollution.”

The incident dates back to 2013 when the then divisional forest officer (DFO) submitted a report to the forest officers sharing how unregulated chopper service is causing disturbance in the breeding pattern of high altitude wild species. The matter didn’t caught attention of government as in June Kedarnath reported flashfloods.

But, Doaba Paryavaran Sansthan, a non government organisation (NGO), filed a petition before the Tribunal urging to declare the area around the Kedarnath sanctuary as eco-sensitive zone.

It also prayed for setting the minimum altitude for flying choppers. The Uttarakhand government failed to take steps in this regard, following which environment activist Kavita Ashok of the NGO filed a petition this year.

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, who represents the NGO, told Hindustan Times, “The tourism department assured that the ground survey for construction of ropeway is on and soon DPR will be submitted.”

The Uttarakhand Infrastructure Projects Company is the officiating agency that will be proposing the DPR.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 19:51 IST