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Taking cleanliness drive from Himalayas to smart city

Sanjeev Kumar | Shimla |

After carrying out cleanliness drive on trekking trails in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, these cleanliness volunteers have moved to the smart city Shimla with their mission.

The drive which is being carried on every Sunday since the start of April by Healing Himalayas Foundation, an NGO, is evoking a good response from the locals, though there is much remains to be done to make the Queen of Hills garbage free.

“We have started the cleanliness drive in Shimla to make it garbage free and aware the locals about keeping the surroundings clean,” Pradeep Sangwan, founder of Healing Himalayas Foundation told The Statesman. The littering of waste in open spaces, roads and down the hills is a major concern in the tourist city, Shimla.

“Youngsters especially college goers are indulging in littering of waste material in open places and there is the need for sensitising them that the garbage is one of the most challenging factor that pollutes the environment everywhere,” he said. Besides, the residents of Shimla need to adopt and participate in cleanliness initiatives started by the government.

“We have observed that though the government had made appeal for disposing off the waste material after segregating bio-degradable and non bio-degradable. But still there is lack of response on the call,” he said.

He said the waste to energy project being run by Municipal Corporation, Shimla is also facing several issues due to this. The plant disposes off the non bio-degradable material by incinerating it and the energy generated in the process is being utilised for generating power.

“The lack of segregated material is affecting the capacity of the plant as plastic and other non bio-degradable products are disposed by residents along with other waste. It is resulting in plant getting wet waste which is affecting its efficiency,” he said.

It is worthwhile to mention here that Sangwan had founded Healing Himalayas Foundation in 2009 after he moved into Manali and started trekking on famous spots in Kullu.

During treks, he observed the issue of garbage waste polluting the pristine beauty of Himalayas after which he decided to start initiates to tackle the problem. He along with other volunteers had carried out several drives at Shrikhand Mahadev, Kheer Ganga trek and other places in Kullu district.