Mangaluru: September 1, 2015: While trekking is a passion for few, it has become a fashion for others. The underbelly of this adventure hobby is the garbage that trekkers leave behind, which is a danger to animals.
One trekker on the other hand has been on a mission to clean-up after littering trekkers in the Western Ghats. Dinesh Holla and his Sahyadri Samrakshana Sanchaya team have been exploring new spots in the Ghats to clean out.
“During a trek to Kudremukh, about five years ago, we found an injured antelope. The reason for the injury was a piece of beer bottle that was stuck in the animal’s hoof. As we proceeded further, we found many liquor bottles, some broken, lying in the middle of the thick forest. They were left there by a group of trekkers,” recalls Holla.
He said, maximum garbage is found near water falls – empty liquor bottles, plastic water bottles and carry bags among others.
This year, the team has decided to clean one region of the eco-sensitive Western Ghats every month. In April they cleaned Gangadi Kallu region near Kudremukh. Followed by a stretch in Charmadi Ghat section in May and Kadamagundi falls (Kudremukh region) in June. They plan to clean Seethanadi at Hebri (in Udupi district) in September.
Volunteers from Bengaluru also lend a hand during these expeditions.
Ranganath, a businessman from Bengaluru and his friends not only join the group, they also bring necessary materials like gloves, said Holla.
Dinesh Holla has been trekking in the Western Ghats for the last 20 years. He has also stumbled upon more than 100 unexplored spots. He would also publish articles about these spots in a few publications.
He soon realised that the number of trekkers increased because of the articles, which in turn meant more garbage in the forest.
“As soon as I realised that my articles are indirectly contributing to the pollution in Western Ghats, I stopped writing,” he said.