Guwahati, Tuesday, January 20, 2015
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Demand for ban on picnics near sanctuaries
Staff Reporter

 GUWAHATI, Jan 19 – Despite the awareness drives launched continuously to refrain picnickers from harming the environment, there has been no improvement in the scenario with the winter season emerging every year as the worst time for the inhabitants of the wild.

Wildlife sanctuaries and the other lush green belts have always been picnickers’ favourite destinations. But unmindful to the ambience, these people create panic for the wildlife species with blaring music besides leaving behind a trail of litter.

With no change in the attitude of the picnickers, several organizations working for conservation of Nature and wildlife have appealed to the authorities to ban picnics near the wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks.

Wave Ecotourism, which has been promoting the concept of ecotourism in the rural areas of the state, has even submitted a memorandum to the PCCF, Assam, insisting that picnics be banned near the wildlife sanctuaries and National Parks, including the Dibru Saikhowa National Park.

“We are not against people enjoying some peaceful moments in the lap of Nature. But in the name of picnic, a section of citizens have been causing immense harm to the environment and to the inhabitants of the wild, many of which are included in the Schedule 1 species,” said Niranta Gohain, director of Wave Ecotourism.

It needs to be mentioned here that WildRoots, a non- government organization based in Guwahati, has also been calling upon the citizens not to spoil the environment in the name of picnic. The organization, too, has appealed for a ban on picnics near all eco-sensitive zones.

“It is very unfortunate that people don’t hesitate to pollute the environment for a few hours of fun. The natural resources are normally spoilt by the picnickers. The water of ponds and lakes are glistened with leftover kerosene oil and burnt cooking oil for the fishes and snails to savour. The wildlife sanctuaries turn into a noisy arena with picnic parties competing to beat each other in playing loud music. Schedule-1 species are greeted by blaring numbers that can be heard from miles away and are forced to leave their own sweet foraging grounds,” said WildRoots.

On the other hand, Niranta Gohain said that use of plastic, alcohol and loud music near the eco-sensitive zones must be stopped at the earliest. He added that the citizens keen to spend a few hours in natural ambience must opt for eco-friendly picnics.

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