Kullu, October 18
Littering the Lahaul valley will now invite a fine of Rs 1,000. As the opening of Atal Tunnel has resulted in a huge inflow of tourists, the Sissu panchayat in Lahaul has put up boards warning visitors against littering the area and has announced a penalty of Rs 1,000 on offenders. The north portal of the tunnel is near Teiling village in Sissu.
Sissu panchayat president Suman Thakur said visitors were threatening the ecology of the area by littering the place. Due to lack of infrastructure to cope with the increasing number of visitors, steps have to be initiated at the local level to keep the valley clean.
Local youths have been roped in for the cleanliness drive initiated by the Adventure Sports and Tourism Society in Sissu. A local resident, Kamaljeet Rashpa, said the garbage left behind tourists is being collected and disposed of in a scientific manner. Hoardings have been put up at various places to spread awareness among tourists.
A large number of people are pouring into the Lahaul valley after the opening of the tunnel. The footfall has gone up with visitors coming from nearby areas too. Now, residents of Kullu district are covering the touristy and religious spots in Lahaul in a daylong trip. Earlier they had to cross the Rohtang pass, which took around three to four hours more.