October 23, 2014

Uncontrolled Tourism in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

There is a high influx of tourists in the NBR region. The major tourism zones include the Siruvani Waterfall with mostly local tourists who visit with an intent of a picnic and leave behind solid waste in the form of plastic wrappers, bottles and more. The next major tourism belt is that of the Upper Nilgiri region based around the towns of Coonoor and Ooty. The visitors include visitors from outside the state, foreigners and day visitors from cities and towns of Tamil Nadu. The Ooty- Coonoor region is the hub of most tourist activities with the estimated number of people touching more than twelve lakh persons in a year. The third major zone is that of the Sigur Plateau where wildlife tourism is in the vogue. A consequent spin-off of the wildlife tourism enterprise is that of widespread reports of night safari, attempts at domestication of wild animals and increased pressures on the meager resources of this dry plateau. The fourth zone is that of the Bandipur- Gundulpet belt where a number of resorts have come up, adjacent to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. This comprises of visitors from parts of Karnataka and outstation visitors from other parts of India. The Fifth zone is in Nagarhole where the majority of the tourists are willing to pay more for high end services that include luxury settings. The sixth zone is that of Wyanad where there has been recent developments in tourism and a number of middle to high end resorts have come up that cater to varying clientele. The seventh zone is the Silent Valley National park where a limited number of tourists are allowed.

Of these seven zones, the Sigur plateau, Ooty Plateau and Bandipur region are under severe pressure. A large number of tourists arrive with an intention to enjoy, with minimal respect for the environment. Rowdiness is rampant and these tourists are especially uncontrolled during the summer season in the plateau region of Ooty. The brunt of uncontrolled tourism is most felt in the wildlife areas like Sigur and Nagarhole, where it leads to firewood cutting for tourist needs, night jeep rides for animal sighting, etc. This `green greed’ - has led to the mushrooming of several wildlife resorts, guest houses and camp sites in the area. Many private estates have converted to this lucrative business. E.g. in Sigur sub region there are more than thirty wild life resorts and hotels which put severe pressure for resources in that plateau (Keystone, Water Resources and Land Use Survey, 2006).

Besides, there is little restriction on the number and kinds of vehicles that are let into the protected areas, especially in Mudumalai (Daniel, 1996). Roads have proven to be a major source of degradation of the forest regions and in fast forwarding exposure of adivasis to jetsetters from all over the nation. One particular example is the road that passes through Masinagudi and upto Ooty through the forested regions of Sigur, this being a road that witness more vehicles than the main Gudalur- Mysore highway. Tourists coming from different areas exert pressure on the eco-system by excessive traffic, demand for goods and services and solid waste pollution.

October 21, 2014

Some Quotes on Nature

- Nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is god - Cowper

- Nature is the living visible element of god - Goethe

- Nature binds happiness, truth and virtue together by an indispensable chain - Marquis

- Nature has perfected itself by an eternity of justice - Thoreau

- I follow nature as a surest guide and resign myself with implicit obedience to her secret ordinances - Cicero

- Let us permit nature to have her way, she understands her business better than we do - De Montaigne

October 20, 2014

A Diwali Message

Do you love firing rockets every year during the loud, raucous celebration that Diwali has come to be in India? It may hardly cross our minds, but these whizzing rockets are responsible for scaring and potentially causing grievous harm to various bird species and arboreal animals. And, sound bombs which are mandatory in that one night of high-decibel celebrations, add to the havoc created to the already-scared wildlife that hold on to a tenuous existence in most urban areas.

Animals have an acute sense of hearing, far greater than our limited capabilities. Most crackers might actually sound like a big bomb, scaring them, and often contributing to their death. With streets full of excited children accompanied by equally excited parents who prefer to burst crackers in open areas, wild animals, pets and farm animals have no place to hide, no place to run and no alternative but to cower in fear.

Let us remember that for animals, crackers are not a cause of celebration. They are a cause of extreme distress and panic, leading to injuries, long-lasting debilitating fears and even death. This Diwali, let us tone down our excitement, share our space with wildlife and offer them respite. They might just make it through without permanent scars.

Diwali is a festival of lights – let us keep it that way and not convert it into a festival of sound.

October 17, 2014

Free Advice from a well wisher - 3

He said, ' When you are loud, hotheaded or conceited, people tend to go all the way out of your way to JAT you (JAT= Just avoid them).

Try and be somewhere else, on a different plane. So, people may get attracted towards you and respect you.

Yet, people are people. They may not ever digest you. The terse line inevitably gets stretched.

October 16, 2014

Free Advice from a well wisher - 2

It is so hard to convince oneself to take the right path.

Do not criticize yourself for failing several times,
but take pride in willing to fight another battle.

To have the courage to go on is as one feels the right way to do it...

Free Advice by a well wisher - 1

If you are planning to start something new,

Step 1 is to do a lot of background work

Step 2 is work on a positive outcome

Step 3 is to just do it

Step 4 and Step 5 do not exist

October 14, 2014

Reaching out to pachyderms


October 1, 2014