Once upon a time in Manali

Once upon a time in Manali

Manali the tourist haven has changed. For the worse. Its hills are still green and its woods still lovely and deep. But the rot has set in and it is spreading, fast. Unplanned growth, inadequate disposal of waste and lack of awareness is damaging this fragile ecosystem irreparably.

HOW MANY
Total Population of Manali (including tourists and locals) — 23,95,990* (refer link below)
Total no. of tourist establishments (hotels, guest houses, homestays, restaurants) — about 1500
No. of municipal workers — 66
*http://mcmanali.com/general-profile.php

The banks of the Manalsu river  are replete with such scenes

The banks of the Manalsu river
are replete with such scenes

HOW MUCH
Waste generated by 1 tourist per day — 500 gms* (refer link below)
Waste generated by year-round residents per day — 250 gms*
Waste generated by tourist establishments — 10,000 tonnes in three months during the peak tourist season; 8,000 tonnes in the remaining nine months*
*http://www.tribuneindia.com/1998/98aug08/saturday/head.htm

HOW LONG
Since spurt in tourism 1989-90 onward
No. of years till Manali’s ecology collapses due to ecological strain — 07 (2020)
All major streams and the two major rivers — Beas and Manalsu – have turned into sewers
All garbage is dumped in and sewerage channelled into these streams and the two rivers

The banks of the Beas river enroute Goshal village

The banks of the Beas river enroute Goshal village

WHAT A STINK
In the absence of proper waste disposal, Manali today is one huge stinking garbage bin
Tourists litter, hotels dump and locals burn domestic waste in non-designated spots
If the current scenario persists for even a few more years, Manali and its verdant hills will be damaged beyond repair

SOLUTIONS
Impose a heavy fine on tourists littering streets and bylanes
Every tourist/business establishment should properly dispose off their waste
Sewerage must NOT be dumped into the Beas and Manalsu rivers and other streams/rivers near Manali
Increase awareness among locals about imperatives of maintaining hygiene and sanitation within their homes and outside

Garbage stuck amid rocks in a waterfall

Garbage stuck amid rocks in a waterfall

ACT NOW!
You can contribute toward preserving Manali’s ecology
Do not litter yourself. Tell your friends/family to do so too
Stay in a tourist establishment that complies with existing waste disposal norms

Manali as it used to be -- when the spring had just arrived

Manali as it used to be — when the spring had just arrived

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: