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HW introduces two new sections – Environment and Eco-Tourism

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To promote green practices and ecotourism in Himachal, HW has introduced two new sections.

Environment

Climate change is a global phenomenon, which have become a reason of big worry for people in developed countries. Promoting green lifestyle and development of green technologies has become the first preference in many regions of the world. Many countries are tapping the renewable energy resources like solar and wind energy along with emphasizing the need to save water and energy to avert future crisis.

However, the public and government in the state of Himachal Pradesh have not paid any serious attention to the environmental consequences by the virtue of their daily routine activities and policies e.g. like choice they make regarding a product, the way they dispose of the garbage, use of energy and water. Pollution check is not considered as a common duty we all share, rather it’s done half heartedly to avoid penalty. It’s the public who has forced the government to create and implement rules and penalties for what should be its duty. You never cared about the comfort of other members of the society while you decided to smoke in a public place. Therefore, government legally banned it. In other words, we are so insensitive, self-centered, ignorant and uncivilized that government had to form hard rules enforced by law to tame us.

An example of our ignorant attitude is the change in the climate of Shimla. Can you remember, when did you see snow on Christmas last time? In facts,those born in the year 2000, could only hear incidents of heavy snowfall from those, who were lucky enough to witness the majestic occasion when nature showered white puffs of snow from the sky. Even in a city like Shimla, except a few people, rarely anyone bothers to analyze the fatal future consequences of human ignorance toward maintaining natural balance. Nature has gifted us a heaven like place on earth – Himachal Pradesh, but even a place like Shimla, that enjoyed the title of summer capital, is now losing its beauty and pleasant climate. Concrete structures are replacing the agricultural and forest lands. Places like Shimla, Dharmshala, Kullu-Manali are falling victims to overexploitation of resources. Frequent and long traffic jams in these regions hint at the huge increase in the number of vehicles on road.

If still the issue doesn’t sound much serious to you, then you should consider a few other proves of climate change. This year India has witnessed weakest monsoon since 2009, and according to RBI, rainfall deficit of 21 per cent is likely to affect Kharif crops resulting in increased costs. Government even claims that the the recent power grid failures that affected north-east India were caused because the farmers were using energy-intensive water pumps for irrigation, as the monsoon did not deliver enough water. Historic Drought in America and excess rainfall in Korea suggest the climate patterns are getting unpredictable.

The concern here is not consoling ourselves for the damage, but to find the reasons and causes, which are pushing humanity towards a catastrophic end. Anyone who has received elementary science education can be sure, that it’s no one other than the human race, devotionally digging a grave for itself by spoiling the balance of nature, ignoring natural laws, and provoking the planet to maintain the balance through its unpleasant ways. Every individual should know how much damage he/she causes to our environment and more than that, the ways to contribute to help earth retain its balance.

Therefore, as per the recommendations of HW Community members and readers, an environment section has been incorporated to promote ecofriendly practices ,to update the public on the sensitive issues such as environmental pollution, climate change, deforestation any every other issue which have already caused a great loss to a place like Shimla, once famous for the white Christmas.

ECO-TOURISM

Himachal Pradesh is a mountainous area located in western Himalayas. The state is famous for its greenery, culture, and hill stations. Moreover, Himachal represents a rich part of Himalayan bio-diversity and ecosystem. Places like Shimla, Kullu Manali, Dharmshala not only attract tourists from India but from different parts of the world. Tourism is one of the major sources of state revenue. A PTI report shows that in 2010 Himachal received a record number of 1.33 crore tourists. With such a rate of growth, tourism is estimated to add 300 crore to GDP annually. The state seeks to develop tourism as a key revenue-earning sector by 2015.

However, one thing that the government and the public must consider is that the environment, natural resources and bio-diversity of the state should not suffer because of the measures taken to develop tourism industry. Therefore, ecotourism should be the preference for the state. Local population shouldn’t be devoid of natural resources and agricultural land, which is also an important source of revenue and employment in the state, must not be sold to private firms to build hotels and luxury villas. It’ll be a great mistake to ready infrastructure for the development of tourism on the cost environment.

Therefore, HW consider it as one of its duty to help promoting our state as an ecotourism destination and therefore, introduced a section dedicated to the cause.

We hope, our efforts would create awareness among the public regarding the sensitive issues affecting the ecology and would help promote our state as an ecotourism destination. However, the public and our readers themselves plays the major role in the success of the cause, therefore, please contribute by writing to HW anything that you think is relevant for the conservation of our environment and promotion of ecotourism for the economical development of Himachal.

How You Can Contribute

HW is a platform for the public and it publishes and highlights what public want us to. Most of the public grievances and issues published on HW relate to their impact on a society as a whole. Members of the society sent us the complaints or issues on the behalf of their society. Therefore, for the creation of a healthy, developed and highly conscious society, it’s necessary to share individual opinions and views at some common place to ensure that the norms, rules and policies are formed and implemented for the equal benefit of each member of our society.

Hence, the members of the society writing to HW regarding the grievances, opinions and sensitive issues, which requires attention, are contributing for the betterment of the society they live in. In the same manner, every member of the society can contribute by writing to us about any matter pertaining to the public grievance, malpractices in the society, corruption, defaults of our governmental and social system, suggestions through pictures, videos and textual information. When an article on any complaint or an issue regarding the society and public benefit is published on HW, the information circulates and is exposed to greater number of people. The authority of the Community as a public platform increases in proportion to the number of people participating.

HW is one of the many other ways to contribute your part of duties, but what distinguishes is that it’s an online community accessible from any part of Himachal or world.

Important Note:

Please do not associate HW with any anti- government campaign. We criticize faults of both, government and public equally. The change is possible only if both, the government and the public work in co-operation with each other.

ECO-Tourism

Himachal seeks Rs. 300 crore from Centre to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism

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Religious Tourism in Himachal PRadesh

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has urged the Union Minister for Tourism, K.J. Alphons to sanction three schemes worth Rs. 300 crore to promote religious tourism circuit and eco-adventure tourism in the state.

The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, during a meeting in New Delhi, apprised the Minister that Himachal was also a major centre of religious tourism and religious tourism circuits will be developed here to provide devotees more facilities.

The Chief Minister also invited Union Minister to Himachal and said that he himself will take him to the tourist destinations of the State. K.J. Alphons whole-heartedly accepted the invitation.

Chief Minister also urged the Centre to provide funds generously for widespread publicity of tourism sites in the state.

The Union Minister of State for Tourism assured the Chief Minister that the Union Government will extend all possible support to this hill state for exploitation and expansion of its tourism potential.

The Chief Minister said that the focus should be on tourism in the state, which was not given before. However, now the state government is giving special emphasis to strengthening infrastructure in virgin natural places, he said.

Himachal has immense potential for adventure tourism and adventure sports like mountaineering, biking, river rafting, and paragliding and the state is considered as a paradise for these adventure sports.

However, it is true that the governments have done very little to polish and maintain the tourism sector.

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ECO-Tourism

Amidst wild animals, without electricity, phone or clock, an old woman lives alone in Great Himalayan National Park

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Great-Himalayan-National-Park

SHIMLA- Have you ever thought of living your entire life in wild, without electricity and electronics, and even a clock? How about the Great National Himalayan Park that is recognized by UNESCO for its incredibly rich bio-diversity? The 754 square kilometer National Park houses 31 mammal species including leopards, the Himalayan black and brown bear, and the ghost cat – snow leopards. There are over 300 bird species, reptiles, hundreds of insect species amid rich Himalayan flora and fauna.  It sounds more like a Hollywood adventure movie. Is it possible to live in such a harmony with nature?  

Indian woman Living in forest alone

Photo: GHNP

There is no habitation for miles as all natives were removed to a separate buffer –zone when the area was declared as a National Park. However, there was a woman, who refused to depart from the nature. She has been sharing the forest with wild animals for decades now. 

Woman lives in himalayan national park

Photo: IANS

So it’s not entirely true that there is no habitation inside the park. An 83-years-old lady, Chatri Devi, still lives in her clay-house, all alone.

Woman lives along in forestPhoto: Xerxespa
She doesn’t have electricity or a phone. She doesn’t even possess a clock and calculate time by following sun. This seclusion, complete isolation and wild animals do not scare her at all.

Leopards and black bears do come near to my house, even with their cubs, but they never attacked me as I am not their prey. Why should I be afraid of them? They go on their way (pointing towards a thick forest adjoining her house),

Chatri Devi says.

chatri devi GHNP

Clay House of Chatri Devi in GHNP/ Photo: Gaurav Chaudhary

It’s not that she doesn’t have a family or is bound to live here. Rather, she has a big family comprising of three married sons, their wives, and nine grandchildren, who live in a village outside the park. It takes about one and half hour walk uphill to reach her from their place.

Great Himalayan National Park

Photo: GHNP

The only reason for her to choose this life in the park is that she loves it as she has a strong emotional attachment to the house she had build with her husband decades ago and small-piece of farmland where the couple grew wheat, barely, potato, corn and rajmah. She is the only one person who refused to relocate when the the area was declared as the GHNP in 1999. 

chatri devi in great himalayan national park

Xerxespa.Blogspot

Her death is the only way to separate her from the house, she said.

When asked if she ever gets bored, she replies,

These birds and animals are also part of my family. Every winter ‘jujuranas’ or western tragopans and gorals descend here. So I ejoy watching them.

These days, as she is very old now, one of the family members come to visit her everyday after taking that hours long uphill walk to ensure she is doing fine and returns by evening. 

She makes a remarkable example of complete harmony with nature and its creature, away from modernised and way far complex, stressful urban life. 

About The Himalayan National Park

Top Image: IANS

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ECO-Tourism

India’s first Igloo hotel in Manali is the fresh tourist attraction in Himachal

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Manali Igloo Stay 4

SHIMLA- Manali Igloo Stay is the fresh tourist attraction not only in Himachal Pradesh, but in entire India. First-of-its- kind, made entirely of snow, the Igloo houses are owned by Kelinga Himalyan Adventures, a winter-sports and travel company that offers ski courses and treks. The company, that comprises of local youth Tashi and Vikas, had been looking for good snowfall to give the concept a try.  It’s eco-friendly, as it used no non-biodegradable material (snow), there would be no waste after it’ll meltdown.

Himachal Igloo hotel

This year, it snowed heavy and temperature was also favorable to build Igloo houses at Sethan village, near Prini. Each structure is made of compressed snow and measures 8×9 foot in width and 6.5 feet in height. The Igloos were opened at the end of the January, 2017. 

The igloos are built by Tashi and Vikas with their friends.

When we discussed this concept with our friends, they were so excited that they spent hours with us and even helped us build them,

the duo told to an English daily.

Igloo hotel himachal

The visitors are provided with bedding, table and lights. Accommodation is available only on a twin-sharing basis as there are only two structures. For sleeping, the visitors are given warm feather sleeping bags and a hot water bottle.
Manali Igloo Stay 2

The temperature is chilling outside, but apparently inside is comparatively warmer. The Igloos can sure save visitors from cold winds outside. So, the idea is quite practical.

Igloo Manali

The company hopes that the Igloos will stand for another month before it begins to meltdown with change in season. The rates vary from 4,500 to 7,000 depending upon different packages.
Manali Igloo Stay 3

Igloos are mainly found in colder parts of the world like Switzerland, Canada, Finland etc. Definitely, it would be entirely a unique experience to find out what it feels to live in an Igaloo. No need to say, these Igloos would be available only in winters, hardly for a couple of months.

That’s not all; visitor can try to build their own Igloo houses at a height of about 9,000 feet, somewhere near Hampta pass.

This year, we have introduced two igloos on a trial basis and it has been successful. Lower areas of Manali, including the town, are warmer than Sethan. We plan to to get this concept registered with the tourism department so that they (officials) can also help us promote it, especially in rural areas,

they said.

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