Clean-up crew goes hiking on Western Ghats

A J Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on August 27, 2015

Members of Sahyadri Samrakshana Sanchaya from Mangaluru,carry out ‘Swachch Western Ghats’ campaign BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Trekkers on the ‘Swachch’ mission aim to clear trash in the eco-sensitive zone

Dinesh Holla’s Sahyadri Samrakshana Sanchaya team members go trekking in the Western Ghats once every month. For them, it’s not just a holiday trip. They are on a mission to clean-up after other trekkers and tourists in the eco-sensitive locale.

Recalling an incident that took place five years ago, Holla said his team was hiking to Bandaje falls in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada district. Another team of trekkers from Bengaluru, which had camped there the previous night, had littered the place.

As Sanchaya’s team members swung into action to clean up the area, the apologetic revellers from Bengaluru turned a new leaf, joining Holla’s crew in sweeping the area clean.

Holla tells BusinessLine that locations with good road connectivity on the Western Ghats, especially near the waterfalls, produce the maximum amount of trash. Bottles of beer, mineral water bottles and plastic are the major contributors to the garbage.

Baby steps

Sanchaya started the ‘Swachch Western Ghats’ campaign at Kannadi Kallu of Bisale ghat section in April this year. In the second programme at Charmadi ghat section, the team members collected two loads of trash. The third programme was conducted at Kadamagundi Yermai falls in Belthangady taluk.

Regarding the disposal of garbage collected, Holla said his team members approach scrap dealers and local bodies in nearby villages or towns before planning the cleanup trek. . The segregated waste is handed over to them. The waste collected in the Charmadi ghat section was handed over to the solid waste management wing of Belthangady town panchayat.

Ongoing mission

Their aim is to conduct one exclusive Swachch Western Ghats trekking camp every month. Holla said the team will take up the campaign at Sitanadi falls area near Agumbe ghat section in September.

Though a small team goes for regular trekking, a crew of 40-50 members participates in this ‘Swachch Western Ghats’ programme. Even some volunteers from Bengaluru join Sanchaya’s efforts in this campaign.

Youth brigade

In addition to this, college students have started contributing to the effort.. As of now, seven colleges from different parts of Dakshina Kannada district are participating in this programme. Holla said his team members will also approach other campuses to inform them about the need for protecting the Western Ghats region.

Published on August 27, 2015
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