Manali: The Plastic Heaven



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A few days back, I was in a famous hill station in India, Manali. It has got a cool climate, fabulous hills and trees, apart from other attractions like temples and monasteries. It draws a large number of people from all over India for the holiday season. With it comes the malaise of plastic and cans thrown all around and drowning the place. Be it youngster or elders everyone seems to enjoy littering in India.

Every touristy road was littered with wrappers of chips and cola cans and much more. So much, so that after a while plastic litter is the dominant thing about the place that one notices. I remember a big car opening its window and throwing out the chips packets just like that. Needless to add that it detracts so much from the charm of the place. I will never think of visiting Manali for a vacation, at least, not in the tourist season (this time I was there because it is on the way to Ladakh).

Mountains Near Manali, Himachal Pradesh

Mountains Near Manali, Himachal Pradesh

And one wonders what is the way out? All those who keep their homes spotlessly clean, litter with abandon on the streets! That is one dominant trademark of us Indians. It frustrates me to no end that we treat streets as a dustbin, even in such pristine surroundings. And why only mountains, look at the public beaches and it is the same story that gets repeated.

One day, if I have the time and the money, I wish to form a group of volunteers and clean up a small area in some place (or as large as we can) after the tourist season is over.

PS. (17/10/2012) Manali has banned the use of plastic and tried to control the litter. So the place is relatively clean now. But littering by the tourists still continues.

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4 thoughts on “Manali: The Plastic Heaven

  1. evolving_everyday

    i have a similar experience now when i travel. it hurts me to see people without a thought for nature carelessly tossing trash out of buses, trains, etc.now even highways are littered on either side with trash.i wrote about this on my bloghttp://learningandevolving.blogspot.com/2005/07/train-journeys.htmli think we should start affecting the change in our own behaviour and inspire others to follow.some eco-conscious tour companies ensure that their clients do not throw trash away but keep it with them and dispose it later in dustbins

    Reply
  2. Charu

    Mridula, this is sad but true of most “touristy” places in India – people litter without a thought – and pollution is restricted not not just to plastic and paper but also noise – screeching kids, loud music…

    Reply

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