BHADARWAH, July 11: Concerned by the increasing accumulation of solid waste after sudden tourist influx in high altitude meadows, Bhadarwah Development Authority (BDA) constituted a task force to ensure cleanliness and implementation of plastic and disposables ban especially at the tourist destinations.
Pertinently, Daily Excelsior, in its July 11th edition, had carried a story highlighting the plight of the high altitude meadows due to accumulation of solid waste especially that of Padri located at a height of 11000 ft above sea level on Bhadarwah-Chamba inter-state road which alone received a staggering 2.5 lakh visitors during past 4 weeks.
Chief Executive Officer BDA Dr Rajinder Prasad Khajuria constituted a task force comprising of Dr Iftkhar Ahmed Malik, Accounts Officer Gaja Singh Rana and Aanchal Singh Statistical Assistant headed by Executive Engineer Amar Jeet Singh.
Acting swiftly, the newly formed task force accompanied by a team from Police Station Bhaderwah immediately swung into action and carried out surprise checks of the vendors at Padri today and also carried out a cleanliness drive at the high altitude meadow.
“After media reports about the accumulation of solid waste in high altitude meadows, reportedly due to the non implementation of plastic and disposables ban, we raided all the vendors at Padri meadow and gave them last warning to maintain cleanliness around their establishments and also asked them to immediately stop use of disposables, failing which they will be fined a minimum of Rs 500, beside initiating legal action against them”, said Amar Jeet Singh.
“Beside requesting tourists to use dustbins installed by BDA, and educating them about the ill effects on the environment by leaving the wrappers and disposables in the meadows, we also carried out a cleanliness drive and removed all the solid waste and other garbage from Padri meadow”, Singh said, adding that hopefully visitors and locals will also cooperate to atleast make these meadows plastic free zone.
“To enforce plastic ban atleast in high altitude meadows is a welcome step, but sustained efforts with professional and long lasting approach is required from all the stake holders to save our environment for the sake of our coming generations”, said Dharam Kant Dogra, an environmentalist and social worker from Bhadarwah.