MAHARATNA oil PSU ONGC is taking Narendra Modi's Clean India Mission (Swatchh Bharat) to the Himalayas literally. ONGC is taken measures to nurse the ground and clean up key sources of water in the Himalayas. The national flagship explorer has joined four expeditions launched by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, the apex mountaineering body, to take Swatchh Bharat campaign to Himalayan heights. The expeditions...will bring back mountains of garbage, left behind by climbers and thousands of trekkers, from four regions in the Himalaya, reports The Times of India.
"This is the first time adventure has entered CSR (corporate social responsibility) lexicon. We have the expertise and access to mountains. ONGC has the resources and decided to join us in cleaning up these challenging heights in the Himalaya," IMF president Col (Retd) H S Chauhan was quoted as telling TOI.
ONGC has one representative in each expedition. ONGC's venture with the IMF stands out as corporate sponsorship for mountaineering or other adventure sports is not common in India. Big conglomerates like the Tata group back their own adventure wings.
Each team is being led by an IMF expert. The teams have been kept small and are expected to return by the end of this month.
Experts have warned against piling garbage in the Himalaya. Non-biodegradable waste absorbs heat which raises temperature and speeds up the rate at which glaciers melt. Faster glacial melting rate has been linked to shrinking of glaciers and give rise to glacial lakes that can burst with devastating results downstream. The expeditions would start mopping up waste from the village, right to the top.
Earlier, as part of its CSR initiative, the flagship oil company adopted Taj Mahal, a world heritage site under the Clean India Campaign.
The ONGC has taken upon its shoulders the responsibility of cleaning the 561 ft long marble mausoleum and its premises. ONGC has also received the go ahead from ASI for adopting five more monuments under the Clean India campaign. The monuments include Ellora, Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, the Red Fort in Delhi, Golkonda Fort near Hyderabad, and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu.