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HomeHimachal PradeshTNR campaign: Clean up Devbhoomi Himachal

TNR campaign: Clean up Devbhoomi Himachal

Unwelcome sight at entry point of Dharmshala via Chambi Charri road

Civic authorities remain blissfully ignorant of “garbage peak”

The Newz Radar

Dharamshala: Nature has been bountiful when it comes to Himachal’s Dharamshala city, nestled in the foothills of the Dhauladhar range. Snow-covered peaks, dense forests, rivers, and fresh and clean air.

However, the first impression of those entering Dharamshala from the Chambi Charri road is formed by a huge heap of garbage occupying one of the hills which is visible from a distance. It can also be clearly seen through Google Earth.

The trash among the otherwise pristine green hills has been piling up for two and a half decades with the Dharamshala civic authorities deciding to turn a blind eye to this eyesore.

The civic authorities apparently firmly believe that the mountain of trash is no deterrent for the 15,000-20000 odd tourists who visit this scenic hill station every day or the thousands of residents of this city.

Dharamsala reportedly generates up to 30 tonnes of garbage during the regular season. The quantity goes up significantly during the tourist season. It is also a season when a lot of trash is generated from hotels, markets, streets, trekking routes and places of tourism interest.

Dharamshala Municipal Corporation authorities have no system of waste management. Since the lids of dumpsters do not close tightly enough, monkeys and stray cattle manage to pull everything out, littering the place. Municipal Corporation authorities, who are dealing with the city’s underground dustbins, are unable to find a solution to keep the city clean.

Had it not been for volunteers like Clean Upper Dharamshala Project (CUDP), Waste Warriors and Dhauladhar Cleaners the situation could have become worse every year.

The Tibetan-run project, CUDP, tries to keep the hometown of their spiritual leader Dalai Lama neat and clean by recycling and disposing of waste. Dhauladhar Cleaners is another group of volunteers based in Dharamshala with a mission – “If mountains have pollution, we have a solution. Vision: Make a greener and cleaner tomorrow”.

They collect garbage every Sunday and make people aware of garbage management and motivate them to keep the city clean.

Waste Warriors, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that specialises in waste collection and waste management is also working for clean and green Dharamshala. Jodie Underhill, a British citizen known as ‘Garbage Girl’ is the co-founder of this group.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has declared Kangra district, in which Dharamshala is located, as the tourism capital of Himachal. It would be quite interesting to watch how civic authorities fulfill his dream without a solid waste management system.



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