Save Sandakphu

Save Sandakphu

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Subrata Sarkar started this petition to Government of West Bengal and

Last month a team of eight persons including me went for Sandakphu (3636 meters, the highest point of West Bengal, India) Trek. The most annoying thing we had experienced is the motorable road. Due to the easy accessibility of this beautiful trekking route, which once upon a time was known as Trekkers' Heaven, unfortunately, has now become just the opposite.

Trekkers (I admit not everyone) are very conscious about the environment they are passing through. But the availability of motorable road and an uncontrolled number of visitors are slowly destroying the place at least in the following two ways:

1. Tourists are hardly caring about protecting nature and throwing their wastes everywhere. During our trek, we had seen a lot of unwanted materials like Fast-food wrappers, Empty package water bottles, empty glass bottles of alcohol and many other things. This must be STOPPED immediately!!

2. Guides are having a hard time to get trekkers. Before the motorable road was introduced, guides used to get a good amount of trekkers throughout the year. During our trek, we did not see any other Indian team walking along with us. On the contrary, we saw at least 12 passenger-filled Landrovers crossed us with great speed emitting a lot of Carbon Monoxide! Road to Sandakphu passes through Singalila National Park, which is the home of many Himalayan animals like Bear, Red Panda, Himalayan Tiger, Snow Leopard, Birds and different species of other animals. The sound and pollution created by these Landrovers are disturbing the ecosystem of this beautiful place and making living harder for these animals.

I have a couple of suggestions:

1. Restrict the number of cars per day to Sandakphu. It should not be more than 5 per day under any circumstance.

2. There must be an inspector in each car so that he can monitor the behavior of the tourists. Every inspector should have the authority to take action against any nuisance done by any tourist under his supervisory, The charge of each inspector will be the same as a Trekking guide on a per-day basis. If the charge for a trekking guide is INR 1000 per day, the same would be applied for an inspector as well. This will ensure the income of each guide even if he does not get real trekkers.

3. When starting for Sandakphu (holds true for both Trekkers and general tourists going by cars), every single bag must be checked properly and a list of all the belongings must be prepared. A separate list for each bag needs to be prepared under the bag owner's name. The same has to be signed by authority and the person who is carrying the bag. A photo-copy of the signed list can also be handed over to the respective person as a record.

When they come down, the authority needs to cross-check the list and the belongings and would charge a monetary penalty if anything is found missing or left behind at the top or during the journey. This will turn irresponsible tourists into responsible ones.

4. I would also suggest a reward program for tourists and trekkers. If somebody brings down wastes like plastic bottles, plastic wrappers etc., with him he can be rewarded with a memento. He will remember this for his lifetime and will encourage others to do the same. If this can be made a practice, garbages will start to decrease automatically.

If we do not wake up now, the destruction of the beauty and charm of Sandakphu is very near! This is the high time to rise to the occasion and protect this beautiful place.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
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