LEH: After facing strong criticisms and protests from Leh based organisations working for conservation, wildlife, nature, environment and tourism, ‘Raid De Himalaya’ car rally 2018 had to drop wildlife sensitive regions such as Dat and Photoksar from its proposed route and has also decided not to organise the rally in Ladakh in the coming years.
‘Raid De Himalaya’, a tough motorsports in the Himalayas scheduled to begin in Ladakh from Wednesday faced tough criticisms for raiding the fragile eco-system of the Himalayas, particularly wildlife hotspots in Ladakh.
Wildlife Conservation and Birds Club of Ladakh (WCBCL), Snow Leopard Conservancy-India Trust, All Ladakh Tour Operators Association (ALTOA), WWF-Leh and Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG) jointly protested against the motorsports for it being scheduled to pass through various wildlife sensitive places of Ladakh.
Earlier, Wildlife Conservation and Birds Club of Ladakh officially wrote to the Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh, Deputy Commissioner Leh and other concerned authorities and sought their intervention to stop this rally from entering into ecologically sensitive areas.
Representatives of Leh organisations finally met the representative of ‘Raid De Himalaya’ and registered their protest and as a result of which ‘Raid De Himalaya’ organisers had to decide not to enter into Dat and Photoksar routes during the planned rally and also decided not to conduct the rally in Ladakh from next year.
“However, a watchful eye will be kept on their route when they rally through Ladakh. Wildlife Warden and Regional Wildlife Warden have assured us to keep wildlife guards of the department to guard entry points on rally days,” Chairman WCBCL Lobzang Vishudha told STATE TIMES. He added that ‘Raid De Himalaya’ rally will not be held in Ladakh.
The NGOs decided to draft a proposal of route map including and rules of Do’s and Don’t’s for such extreme activities and present before LAHDC to make a policy which may be required for similar activities in Ladakh in future.
Many of the wildlife activists and environmentalists of Leh protested against that rally as they say that it disturbs the fauna around the region because wild animals and birds are not accustomed to such unfamiliar high levels of noise and for many of them it comes as a shock.
Driving off road on the wet pasture lands, causing to deplete the growth of plants and making glacier melt even faster, disturbing normal traffic, and its dangerously high speed life threatening for both domestic animals and children in villages were some of the reasons the activists cited.
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