The tourist places of Kullu Manali are clogged with garbage during summer tourist season as tourist crowd leaves behind tonnes of garbage. This time Kullu administration is not in mood to spare the litterbugs and has warned to impose a heavy fine on whoever throws garbage in open space.
After National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked deputy commissioners of all districts of Himachal to ensure disposal of plastic waste from roadsides, rivers, nullahs and tourist places, Kullu administration has warned people of district to stop littering or face fine of upto Rs one lakh.
The administration will run district wide campaigns to clean up garbage from rivers, their tributaries, towns and tourist places from May 3. As the district produces most garbage during summer tourist season in May and June, the officials have warned hoteliers, restaurant operators, shopkeepers and all residents that special surveillance teams are monitoring the entire district which will take action on litterbugs.
Kullu deputy commissioner Yunus said civic bodies, panchayats, mahila mandals, yuvak mandals, NGOs and general public will take part in garbage cleanliness campaigns in entire district. “Our focus is on plastic garbage which not only will be collected but we shall dispose it off properly. We have taken the complaints of littering very seriously. We have provision of imposing fine up to Rs one lakh,” he said.
Kullu-Manali produces tonnes of garbage every day during tourist season. Littering is the problem in all tourist places of Kullu. The officials of different departments have been directed to inspect tourist places frequently so that action could be taken against the offenders. Not just national highways, Beas river, its tributaries and towns but the villagers too would be challaned on the spot if they found throwing garbage in open spaces.
The DC said dedicated teams have been constituted to keep an eye on litterbugs. “Those playing with environment, beauty of the place and public health will not be tolerated. People should realize their responsibilities. We shall also not allow unauthorized structures on government land. Cases of encroachment on government land increases during tourist season. Officials have been directed to dismantle such structures immediately and take legal action,” Yunus said.
He added that NGT is serious about littering and environment protection. “We have to submit report on garbage to the state level committee of NGT. Before this, we are doing all possible to clean up the district. Modern garbage disposal units are being set up at Manali, Kullu and Bhuntar.”