Over-tourism has ruined ecosystems in our hills

Summer breaks? Weekend getaway? Want to relax? Want a break from this heat? Head to the hill station. Hilly areas have become this ultimate trip destination in India. We enjoy and make memories there but do you know how much harm it is doing to the ecosystem of these areas?

This is the time of year when we all will be heading towards hill stations and it is really sad to see what the city goes through when the visitors leave. Kullu Manali which is the top tourist destination in India, its mountains are slowly turning into mountains of garbage now. Both these towns are generating several tonnes of solid waste with no land available to dispose of it.

The situation is so bad that the dumping yards in the proximity to the Beas River are overflowing, spilling the waste into the river and polluting it. As per a report on a normal day Manali produces nearly 10 tons of garbage which increases to the level of 50 tons during peak tourist season.

The number of visitors is increasing day by day. And not to forget the water crisis that Shimla and Mussoorie faced last year due to over tourism. According to a report, Shimla’s supplies fell as low as 18 million liters per day as against a daily water requirement of about 44 million liters per day.

These hill stations already have limited accessibility of drinking water owing to their landscape, and irresponsible consumption owing to tourism just spoils it.

Trekking to the Himalayas is the latest trend, we love traveling and adventure but what we are forgetting is the amount of trash we are leaving behind in the hills. The non-biodegradable waste is turning the Himalayas into a garbage dump.

Although drinking is banned at camping sites, most of them become party zones on weekends. Also, reports say that trekkers carry loudspeakers with them which destroys the peace and serenity of the hills.

An official explained how irresponsible tourism is causing huge damage to the mountains. He stated: “Mountains have their own microclimate. Its unique fauna and flora have a short reproductive time frame and are sensitive to disturbance. Too many trekkers and tourists will upset the natural balance.”

Source hindustan times

We leave garbage in the hills and fails to understand its impact on melting glaciers that might cause glacial outburst and flooding in the long term.

Remember there was a time Leh was an untouched beauty and least polluted one now the district is facing threat from the huge influx of tourists.

As per a report, Leh received a record number of 2,77,255 tourists in 2017. This is more than double the entire population of Leh district.

In our wish to explore mountains we end up going to remote places which are untouched and we destroy them by visiting there. These places have their own culture and we disturb it.

We love traveling but we need to take care of is to carefully use the resources and not dump garbage over there. Something’s are better untouched only.