Plastic waste in National Parks!

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?


8 thoughts on “Plastic waste in National Parks!

  1. Good to see you back in action!

    the fact that im seriously out of action thanks to the swollen foot means i can be in blog action!
    thanks for so dedicatedly chkg my blog out

  2. Nice photos. I MISS, absolutely MISS India. 😦
    Reminded me of college ‘Nature’ trips to western ghats.
    Once we had been to Karwar coast and that is where the
    most beautiful beach in the world is.
    I also like un touristy beaches in Orissa coast.

    I had mentioned sometime ago in another blog that
    India should not hold ‘visit India’ shows unless
    the tourist spots are cleaned up and preserved.
    There is no penalization for littering.

  3. Prax, this is a very good post. I don’t know how I missed it although I have you on my surfer. I am going to add a link to this post in my main post.

  4. Prax, yeah waste left by trekkers is a serious issue and if left unattended, it will damage the fragile ecology. Here in the US, national parks have specific trails that one must stick to – you can’t just roam around anywhere you want as it destroys the forest ecology, and they have a rule of “carry in, carry out, take only pictures, leave only footprints” – which is very reasonable. It’s really nice of you and your friends that you collected bottles and waste when you were there. Is that area managed by some government agency? Maybe it’s worth a try to write a letter to them. Even if they put up a board that reminds people to not litter or leave waste, it may help a little bit.

    Hey amit, welcome to my blog
    here there is a lack of personnel to secure the forest cover add to it the public invasion of forests for feeding livestock and farming and corruption of officials.

  5. Its good to see more and more people voicing out their concerns for the mother nature .
    I was just out this last weekend to Corbett . We were staying inside the park – every morning some 50 people or so would come for forest trail visit…and would stop at the rest house for tea and snacks….! Gawd they would litter like anything….it was disgusting, and yeah we ( as in 2 people from our group) cleaned up after them.
    I think there is still some hope left….!

    BTW -quite curious to know what made you do the trek barefoot???

    well the waterfall was kinda very mossy n slippery and i did not wear proper trek shoes and had landed there with my thin rainy sandals . i was trekking bear foot and body on swimin trunks just after a swim and had a pretty sunburnt back later!
    goin to the main wfall was tricky too and nothin better than goin bear foot to climb big slippery rocks.

  6. “Trek” only a small speck in your tag cloud.
    That’s sacrilege.

    I would like to read more of your trekking experiences.
    I am unable to do any more myself, so I enjoy others’ travels by proxy.

    sure dude , i also think so, terribly pathetic on my part ,
    will do some posting for sure when i get free time
    don’t do much trekking now as home matters take precedence

  7. There are some trekking groups that have an agenda to go and clean up trek routes. When I used to go with my friends, we always carried big plastic bags to collect the plastic wrappers that decorated the landscape.

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