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NGT seeks Kedarnath ropeway status from govt

In a report on April 20, Hindustan Times published how aviation firms flouted norms by flying low in the Kedarnath valley. Taking cognizance , the NGT issued notices to the Centre and the state government. In May, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended flying permit in the area. It was revoked later after DGCA officials completed an inspection .

dehradun Updated: Aug 30, 2017 21:18 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Kedarnath,National Green Tribunal
The Wildlife Institute of India, in its report, said the noise from low-flying helicopters was disturbing the wildlife in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT File)

DEHRADUN: The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday asked the Uttarakhand government about the ropeway services, which was suggested by Wildlife Institute of India (WII) as a long term measure to secure the vulnerable Kedarnath valley.

Headed by Justice Swantanter Kumar, the green tribunal questioned about the progress of ropeway services which were recommended as a potential medium of transportation replacing helicopters that were causing noise and air pollution. The next hearing is scheduled in the second week of September.

In a report on April 20, Hindustan Times published how aviation companies were flouting norms by flying low in the Kedarnath valley. Taking cognizance of the report , the NGT had issued notices to the Centre and the state government. Just before the pilgrimage in May, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation suspended flying permit in the area. It was revoked later after DGCA officials completed an inspection in the valley.

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.’

Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, who represented NGO ‘Doaba Paryavaran Sansthan’ and activist Kavita Ashok, told Hindustan Times that the WII suggested both short and long term recommendations. “While the government immediately took short term initiatives, we are more concerned of long term mitigation plan so that the sanctity of the fragile valley could be resumed,” Bansal said.

WII director VB Mathur asserted the ropeway with all safeguards was suggested for it would neither cause air nor noise pollution.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 21:18 IST