“I just now came back from Nagalapuram one day ‘Relax Trek’. One good thing is, I have decided I will never go there again. And that is the bad thing as well.
Reason is simple- I have seen Nagalapuram Forests 47 times including this. I have seen her as the most beautiful place, in every season, in every mood, in all its glory. But, private trekking parties are ruining the place like any other Indian tourist place. No matter how many ever times Chennai Trekking Club or me sweep it through out, next time when we go there, it becomes worse.
I have all those fond memories. I am happy with that.”
Yes, this was the Facebook status I put as I returned from the trek. There are many ways you can preserve the nature. And the only way to save is not by restricting people from visiting it. There are many places in Andhrapradesh-Tamilnadu border, in chittoor(thiruppathi) district where fellow visitors are abusing the nature. Chennai Trekking Club, a non-profit organization has arranged Clean up drives in many places like Tada Falls and Nagalapuram just in the view of preserving the ecology.
No matter how many times they clean up the places, the next week when they go to the same spot, it would come to square one. Sometimes I feel as if “Do CTC people have no other job than to straighten this dog’s tail?” Or “Do the people who come here have no other job than to litter the place?”.
This time when I planned for a Nagalapuram trek, My thoughts where lush green. Because it has been more than 18 months I have been there, where as in earlier years I went there for 46 times. The appeal to go there was hard. But when I went this time, I could see it has been slowly converted to a commercial spot. Lot of private parties visiting the place, who have no intention of keeping the place as it were before.
When we reached there, we could see another 3 groups are already in the forest. One was of CTC. Their minimum standard is enough for safe keeping the place. Another group was 5 ‘student-like’ guys who came in a car. Last one, I believe one guy acting as a guide bringing a family/3 couples to a day’s trek.
- Student-like guys were drunk. Leaving their food packets in the stream.
- The guide who was with them was using normal husk ropes to tie to the floater tubes. They were cooking inside the forest. What can happen in a worst case of inducing a forest fire?! They are not thinking about the WCS.
For Nagala, People must understand something… Forest is not the place for boozing. Also, Enjoyment != Drinking
For Tada, Having sex in the forest will be exciting… But please take your used condoms with yourself back to your home.
The neighboring state, Kerala, has took enough measures to overcome this minimally address these kind of problems.
The following measures have been implemented to make the Eco-tourism pollution free in Thiruvananthapuram Forest division.
1. All bags and vehicles must be presented for security check.
2. Being drunk or keeping alcohol with you inside the forest area is strictly prohibited.
3. Plastic bags are strictly prohibited. If you have brought food in plastic covers, you can buy eco-friendly cloth bags @Rs. 2 per bag.
4. If you have brought water bottles, It must be shown in security checkpost. An amount of Rs. 50 must be paid as a caution deposit. When you return from the forest, you can show the bottle again and get a refund of the caution deposit.
5. Those who need water, can buy a bottle of “Sabari” bottled water from the counter. When you return the bottle, Rs. 12 will be refunded.
Divisional Forest Officer.
*Be a part in forest conservation.
Who will oppose this kind of proposal?! Allow people to visit the nature as a natural one. But, restrict from spoiling it. After all, we were all dwelling there one day.
She is our mother
[Kerala Forest Department board image courtesy: Harish Krishnamurthy]