Annapurna Circuit Trekking route getting polluted

Mustang, Aug. 4: The famous Annapurna Circuit Trekking route is getting polluted as the trekkers and tourists are found wantonly throwing trash.  It takes 21 days to complete the Annapurna round and the trek takes one to Kaski, Manang, Myagdi and Mustang. The route is getting polluted due to haphazard throwing of garbage at the border of Manang and Mustang and at places like Shikh, Ghar, Jomsom, Kaski, Nayapool.

The belongings (clothes, bags and tents) of those trekkers who lost their lives to the deadly snowstorm a year ago are yet to be collected and removed from the route. This too has contributed to the pollution.

In the view of tourism entrepreneur Kul Bahadur Thakali , Jomsom, Kagbeni, Muktinath and Lete of Mustang been polluted, affecting the beauty of the trekking route. Normally, around 100,000 tourists visit the route every year. However, after the April 25 earthquake, the arrival of tourists here has dramatically gone down.

Though those tourists who have already trekked on this route are found to dispose of waste without polluting the place, the new ones are wont to throw waste haphazardly. So, awareness campaign is needed to keep the charm of the route unaffected.

The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP), Jomsom picked up waste, nearly two tractors full, from the Thorangpass area with the help of Nepali Army two weeks ago. But this effort alone is not enough to keep the route clean and it is a matter of concern that the area is being polluted, ACAP Jomsom Chief Bidur Kuinkel said.

He stressed the need of cooperation and unity from all sectors to keep the world-famous trekking route clean.

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