Had recently been to a familiar jungle / waterfall trek somewhere in the National Park at Thane dist. that i had done a couple of yrs ago. Wont mention the name (derived from the Indian date) to anyone cause im sure more idiots will visit it and ruin the place with more plastic waste . The place has changed and people are degrading the pristene jungle environment, just as in the case of Lohagad which i had revisited a yr ago since my first trip 4 yrs back.
Now the locals there face water shortage all thru the summer and have gotten an artificial lake dredged and put all the stones on the jungle path to the waterfall making it impossible to walk. Worse a lingering fear has made permanent residence in my mind that that small trek path will become a motorbike-able road in the near future which would mean disaster for the ecology.
Now this waterfall is very well known but what most people dont know is that it is massive and multi layered and most people only go to the lowest part of the waterfall and not the main one which is a moderate to difficult trek upwards from there. Im posting all the pics of the main waterfall and a few strategic pics of the one commonly frequented at my flikr account.
The whole route through the jungle was spewn with plastic waste of casual thrill seekers and locals alike – with Plastics of biscuit packets, balaji wafer, lays packs and mostly with gutka and zarda packs like the Goa1000 etc worse at a few places there were broken beer bottles(people have gotten drunk and drowned there). I couldnt bear to see the mess and made my trek buddies help me clean some of the mess. They did it that too with ankle and foot injuries sustained due to all the stones dumped by the locals and the sharp rocks at the waterfall. Mine was a tad bit worse because i did the difficult solo trek up the boulders to the foot of the main waterfall barefoot as it meant better grip and lower risk of getting a head injury in the wilderness. A few leaps of faith went wrong and i did receive some punishment.
By the time i was back home my foot had swollen to a such an extent that i couldnt see my ankle and im still recuperating almost immobile all alone at home with ice packs and Rice therapy and an anti inflammatory pills 2 days hence. Expecting the foot to be back to normal in a weeks time.
Everyone knows that the govt is doin nothing as votes and builders moolah is way more precious than green jungles and the citys lungs. Most of the influx of migrants from the bimaru states of up and bihar etc(40% and growing) are parking themselves in and around the national park and mangrove areas destroying whats left of our green cover.
Infact a few yrs back i was a tad bit careless too just like most Indians but my European Nri sister taught me a thing or two about nature conservation and avoiding plastic bags as much as possible.
I feel saddened to see lazy overweight housewives insisting on plastic bags from bhajiwalas at the local market.Agreed an office goer who shops can be excused sometimes but these people who regularly insist on plastic bags for pav kilo gobi get on my nerves.
This brings a few questions in my mind …
Do we Indians care about our jungles and the environment around us? Do we Mumbaikars understand the repercussions of our careless attitude and the natural disaster we can be making for ourselves?