Passing a slew of measures to control pollution in the river Ganga, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday banned camping activity from Kaudiyala to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand with immediate effect. However, rafting has been permitted by the panel. The tribunal also barred any activity in the ‘eco-sensitive zone’ within 100 metres of middle of the river.
Banning mechanised riverbed mining in the Ganga till Haridwar, the tribunal barred use of plastic in the Ganga belt in Rishikesh and Haridwar and ordered a fine of Rs 5000 for violation of the order.
The governments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh will create an action plan to identify rafting camps, said the NGT, adding ashrams, dharmshalas from Gomukh to Haridwar will have to pay environment compensation for dumping waste in the Ganga.
The panel also spelt out that there will be no temporary or permanent structures in Rishikesh and that camping will be allowed only in identified sites.
Rishikesh is a popular rafting site and attracts a huge number of tourists from India and abroad.