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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Deluge of liquor, plastic bottles, with tourists’ influx

Section 144 imposed in Ashwani Khad of Sadhupul to prevent littering

Overflooded dustbins at Mcleodganj (Himachal)
Shimla | TNR

Himachal towns and places of tourist attraction are facing the annual challenge of dealing with empty liquor bottles, broken most of the time, and heaps of garbage, particularly plastic wrappers.

The otherwise pristine hills are currently dumping spots for empty liquor bottles and other waste by mostly tourists out to party in the cool climes of Himachal’s hill stations.

An increase in littering, even in streams, rivers and rivulets, is leading to verbal clashes between residents and tourists.

In one instance district commissioner Kritika Kulhari was forced to impose Section 144 in Ashwini Khad area of Sadhupul in Solan district to prevent littering in the river there. Bathing, unauthorised tourist activities and picnics in the Ashwinin Khad area have been banned.

A delegation of residents of Mashada near Theog had met the sub-divisional magistrate of Theog to urge him to post policemen in Mashada to prevent littering by tourists.

A video of tourists driving their vehicles on the natural green meadows of Kyoto in Spiti valley is already doing the rounds even as loud music being played by some tourists, who are camping in tents in forest areas is shattering the peace in otherwise quiet areas.

The empty liquor/plastic bottles and other waste is turning out to be a nuisance in several hill stations including Dalhousie, Manali, Rohtang, Kamna Devi, Kufri, Narkanda, to name a few.

Official take

Shimla district collector Aditya Negi said that tourists need to be sensitive about the environment and stop littering. Complaints of littering are being received daily. Tourism department as well as civic bodies and panchayats are trying to spread awareness about the harm caused to the environment due to littering.

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