Chipko activist Ramraj Badoni on Friday demanded formation of an autonomous commission to maintain the fragile ecology of the Himalayas. In a memorandum faxed to President Pranab Mukherjee, Badoni said the recent calamity in Uttarakhand should serve as a wake up call to people in power at the Centre and an autonomous Himalayan commission should be set up without further delay to address environmental issues unique to the Himalayas like the melting of the glaciers.
He also demanded that the June disaster in Uttarakhand be declared a national calamity considering the largescale damage caused to life and property. "The calamity has shaken the entire nation with thousands of people from different parts of the country feared killed. The Centre's refusal to declare it a national calamity is strange," he said.
He said, considering the fragile ecology of the Himalayas, the border areas of the state's hill districts like Uttarkashi, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar which bore the brunt of the natural calamity should be declared eco-sensitive zones.