New Delhi, Aug 23: Voicing concern over the looming threat to the flora and fauna due to operation of helicopters in the eco-sensitive zone at Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, an NGO has approached the National Green Tribunal seeking closure of such services.
Pilgrims who intend to avoid the 16-km trek to visit the shrine of Kedarnath in Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand opt for helicopter services to reach the destination.
NGO Doaba Paryavaran Samiti has contended that helicopter services in this area for religious tourism has seriously disturbed the eco-system and fauna of Kedarnath Sanctuary.
The matter is likely to be listed for hearing in the coming week. In its plea, filed through advocate Gaurav Bansal, the NGO has said that even a top forest official wrote a letter to the authorities citing the impact of helicopters over the sanctuary which clearly states that the services has forced endangered species like Musk Deer and Himalayan Thar to abandon their habitat.
The letter further states that due to noise of low flying helicopters the breeding of these endangered species has also been severely effected, it said. "The Conservator of Forest, Kedarnath Wildlife Division, Gopeshwar, Uttarakhand has also written a letter to the Van Sanrakshak, Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve, Gopeshwar and apprised him that no aviation company has taken consent from the authorities and hence are illegally flying over the sanctuary," the plea said.