Himachal govt frames committee to regulate tourism in Lahaul : The Tribune India

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Himachal govt frames committee to regulate tourism in Lahaul

Himachal govt frames committee to regulate tourism in Lahaul

Tourists enjoy the snow at Sissu in Lahaul valley. File Photo



Abhinav Vashisht

Kullu, May 22

In a bid to protect the ecosystem of Lahaul valley, an 11-member committee, headed by Director Tourism, has been formed by the state government for safe and sustainable tourism.

Traffic on Manali-Solang Nala road. File Photo

Tourist influx in the Lahaul valley has increased considerably after the opening of the Atal Tunnel in October 2020. A large number of tourists are flocking Sissu and Koksar to witness and enjoy adventure activities in the snow. The number of visitors is increasing every year.

Environmentalists raise concern

  • Tourist influx to the Lahaul valley has increased considerably after the opening of the Atal Tunnel in October 2020. Environmentalists have raised concern on the carrying capacity of the region
  • The committee will give suggestions regarding traffic management, safety, adventure activities etc in the region to ensure safe, efficient and sustainable tourism, said Kullu District Tourism Development Officer (DTDO) Sunayna Sharma
  • The government had also constituted the Atal Tunnel Planning Area, freezing the existing land use of this area in May 2023, which also includes revenue villages of Lahaul and Spiti district
  • Earlier, the HP High Court had taken cognisance of the news item headlined "Littering near Atal Tunnel threat to ecology" published in The Tribune on July 3, 2022, as a public interest litigation (PIL) and directed the state authorities to file their affidavits mentioning therein about the plan of action

Environmentalists have raised concerns on the carrying capacity of the region. Kullu District Tourism Development Officer (DTDO) Sunayna Sharma said the committee had been formed to regulate tourism in the region. She said the committee would give suggestions regarding traffic management, safety, adventure activities etc in the region to ensure safe, efficient and sustainable tourism.

The government had also constituted the Atal Tunnel Planning Area, freezing the existing land use of this area in May 2023, which also includes revenue villages of Lahaul and Spiti district. A large number of hotels and homestays have come up in the Lahaul area to cater to the growing demands of the tourism industry. As such, the government felt the need to regulate construction activities as per the TCP Act, especially along highways and roads, to ensure that the possibility of further expansion does not get blocked.

The HP High Court on March 6 had directed the Town and Country Planning Principal Secretary to ensure the issuance of a notification of vending and non-vending zones at the Solang Special Area (Manali).

Earlier, expressing serious concern over littering near the Atal Tunnel, the HP High Court had taken cognisance of the news item headlined “Littering near Atal Tunnel threat to ecology” published in The Tribune on July 3, 2022, as a public interest litigation (PIL) and directed the state authorities to file their affidavits mentioning therein about the plan of action, including special drives to be conducted along with dates, to ensure that garbage was lifted.

The court had also sought information regarding how many washrooms for men and women were available at the site and what measures were to be taken to monitor cleanliness in the area.

The Tourism Department had also chalked out a plan to build a cafeteria, a parking lot, a pavilion, selfie point and other facilities at a cost of Rs 6 crore in 4 bigha area in the South Portal of the Atal Tunnel at Dhundi.

However, the plan of the Tourism Department to develop these facilities for tourists is yet to see the light of the day as the matter is lying pending with the Ministry of Environment and Forests for the past over one year.

#Kullu #Lahaul and Spiti #Manali


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