Tiger Hill in Darjeeling, West Bengal's famed hill station -- known for the picturesque vistas of Himalayan peaks it offers and a striking view of the rising sun -- is ecologically threatened in more ways than one. Tourists thronging this vantage point have not just enjoyed these scenes but also contributed to the mounds of garbage, predominantly plastic bags lying on the hill. Even the sacred precincts of the Senchel Devi temple have not been spared.
Tiger hill is a peak on Senchel range. Senchel , a Lepcha word meaning "hill of mists", befits the range that for most part of the year is drowned in fog and rain. What was once covered with dense forests has now been reduced to brown and bald masses with a few scattered tufts of shrubs and trees, thanks to rapid deforestation. The balding of these ranges has also had an adverse effect on Senchel lake, the source of Darjeeling's water supply. Although a few individuals and groups like the Socially Active Creative Youth's Association are doing their bit to create awareness on issues such as the harmful effects of using plastics, a community-based movement is the best answer to the problem, feel concerned citizens.