‘Smash the Trash’ Citizens take up drive to clean up Kudremukh
Posted: Friday, March 01st, 2013 | Posted by: Rohit S. Rao | Views: 14144
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The Kudremukh National Park is a Jewel in the crown of Western Ghats. Rising from only 100 meters on the western side to 1892 meters at the Kudremukh peak, this park is one of the most picturesque places on earth. This protected wilderness area houses some very rare species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, birds and plants.

The combination of high altitude grasslands and thick Shola forests makes this place one of the best rainfall regions of the world. Hence it is no wonder that scores of people travel to this park to enjoy its splendorous beauty. Unfortunately the rising density of human traffic is causing problems in maintaining the natural purity of the park as the people who travel via the main arterial road leave behind a disastrous trail of garbage.

Making matters worse is the fact that the road to two major shrines - Sringeri and Horanadu - passes through this park. The transit passengers too add to the litter without a care in the world. As a result the road is today lined with hundreds and thousands of PET bottles, polythene bags, liquor bottles, and rubbish of all types and sizes.  All of them totally NON-BIO DEGRADABLE and very harmful to the wildlife and soil.

Observing the sorry state of affairs, The Kudremukh Wildlife Foundation made it a mission to clean up the mess. The Karnataka Forest Department, Kudremukh Wildlife Division extended their much needed co-operation and permission.

On Sunday 24th Feb 2013, eight of us volunteers - Deepika, Chinmayi, Karthik, Sowmini, Vivek, Raj Mohan, myself Rohit and my 8-year old son Abhinav – set out in two cars armed with gloves and garbage sacks. The team consisted of engineers, software professionals, a chartered accountant, a businessman and a class 2 student.

When we reached the base of the Ghats at the Forest Check Post near Mala, we got out of the comfort of our cars, rolled up our sleeves and started collecting the waste.

Our objective was to clean up the entire 62 km stretch from Mala to Samse Gate and DK border to Kerekatte. We had assumed that it would be an easy task as we were eight people and we had cars. But alas, NO! The sheer volume of trash proved to be too much …. In fact, so great that even an army might have been insufficient to clean up the mess.

But undaunted by the task we set upon this mission. With gloved hands we picked up PET bottles, polythene bags, spirit bottles, and all other trash. By noon we had collected a huge pile of around 9 sacks of garbage. Vantage view points and tourists’ favorite places had much more rubbish. By the evening we could manage to fill up 21 sacks of trash. Moreover each PET bottle or beer can had to be smashed and flattened to save space. This took extra time and effort. We were also careful not to dump the collected garbage anywhere nearby as we hauled it all back to a proper disposal facility in Karkala and Mangalore.

By the time we wound up for the day we had finished only around 6 kms – less than 10% of our goal! So the job is still half done … but WELL BEGUN! Hence we are attacking the problem again with renewed spirits, and a definite goal to clean up the entire park, on another day.

If you are interested in participating in such an event please mail us at kudremukh.wildlife@gmail.com

For further details contact: Rohit 9845071770

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