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Restraining tourists the answer?

Dhananjay Mahapatra & Nitin Sethi
Times of India, March 7, 2007

NEW DELHI: The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has recommended that the Uttarakhand government deploy adequate number of officials to protect the Ganga basin area.

On the advice of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Uttarakhand government had mulled over a proposal to stop pilgrims at the temple area and to provide water from Gaumukh for rituals at the site instead of letting thousands of people into the fragile alpine region.

The government, however, developed cold feet. “The area is free from grazing, therefore there is a good presence of blue sheep in the area. If the pilgrims can be halted below this area, it would stop the degradation,”said G S Rawat of the Wildlife Institute of India. [more]