Dhaulagiri base camp becoming dirty and polluted (Feature)

DhaulagiriKamal Khatri (Myagdi) / June 20: The base camp of the seventh tallest mountain of the world, Mt Dhualargiri, has become polluted. It becomes very dirty due to the trash thrown by tourists, tourist guides and their helpers travelling to the Dhaulagiri mountain and the Round-Dhaulagiri trekking route. The 8,167 metres tall Dhaulagiri mountain is located at Mudi VDC in Myagdi district.

Garbage has piled up at the camp area for years. A local tourism entrepreneur Hari Prasad Tilija said that the wreckage of helicopters that have crashed and things thrown by tourists after using them are still found scattered around the base camp. The trash has not been managed yet.

He said, “We have been raising voice for the management of garbage thrown at the area since long. We have sent our complaints to the district officials through the village council. But the bodies concerned have turned a deaf ear to our demands.”

The locals have been demanding the management of garbage thrown haphazardly at the area and stopping tourists throwing garbage wantonly.

A team of stakeholders of the district that recently reached at the base camp to carry out a study regarding possibility and problems of Dhaulagiri base camp had found different things like clothes, gas cylinders, bottles, utensils, plastics etc thrown by tourists and helpers.

Tourists and their helpers staying in the camps above the Japanese camp of Mudi are now found throwing garbage in haphazard manner. Tires as well as equipments used in course of climbing mountain are also thrown there in unsystematic manner. The base camp has become very dirty for lack of presence of and monitoring by government bodies.

Chairman of Dhaulagiri Tourism Council, Amar Baniya, said that piles of garbage, trash thrown everywhere and tidbits scattered around have not only spoiled the natural beauty of the area but has also polluted the environment.

Baniya said, “We found a huge quantity of garbage there. The government and tourism ministry are found not showing their any interest regarding the management of garbage.”

Although the tourism ministry had deployed a team from Kathmandu for the management of garbage at the Dhaulagiri base camp spending tens of thousands of rupees, it returned Kathmandu after completing formality, rather than managing the garbage, piled at the area for years, complained tourism entrepreneurs.

A local entrepreneur Bom Bahadur Pun said that tourists visiting the Dhaulagiri base camp have now been facing problems to get an unpolluted space to pitch their tents as trash is found thrown everywhere around the camp site.

He said, “Tourists staying in the camp have been compelled to stay there removing garbage themselves. The bodies concerned should take effective steps for the management of garbage as well as stop tourists throwing garbage there.”

There is a policy that a tourist climbing a mountain cannot throw garbage anywhere and has to submit proof to the government officers that the garbage he or she has generated has been properly managed after bringing it from there. But the tourists visiting Dhaulagiri mountain are found not complying the government policy, said CPN (UML) Myagdi Chairman, Hari Krishna Shrestha.

Shrestha said, “The garbage was found at most of the area of the base camp. Now we have to draw the attention of the tourism ministry and stakeholders as well as exert pressure from the district level for the same.”

Kul Bahadur Gharti, Secretary of the First Dhaulagiri Youth Club, Mudi, said although they requested the local bodies time and again to make arrangements for the proper dumping site and container, but in vain.

Similarly, Chairman of NGO Federation, Hari Prasad Poudel, who returned after visiting Dhaulagiri base camp, said, “I found garbage everywhere at the base camp. It will be managed in a long-term manner if a concrete policy is formulated through the District Development Committee with coordination of all and is implemented in letter and spirit.”

The garbage thrown at the scenic Dhaulagiri base camp has started affecting the environment and beauty of the base camp. It is necessary to pay attention by bodies concerned for the management of garbage at the earliest. RSS

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