Himachal

HIGH COURT ISSUED NOTICES TO CHIEF SECRETARY, OTHERS IN A MATTER PERTAINING TO LITTERING NEAR THE ATAL TUNNEL

July 21, 2022 08:12 AM

Vijyender Sharma/Shimla 

The High Court of Himachal Pradesh, has issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal lPradesh, D.C Lahaul Spiti, Principal Secretary (Tourism), H.P. State Pollution Board, Boarder Road Organization and others in a matter pertaining to littering near the Atal Tunnel 

The Bench comprising the Chief Justice A.A. Sayed and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, passed these orders, on a writ petition taken up suo motu, as Public Interest Litigation, on the basis of a newspaper item that appeared in ‘The Tribune’ on 3rd July, 2022, wherein it was reported that Atal Tunnel is built under the Rohtang Pass in the eastern Pir Pangal range of the Himalayas on the Leh-Manali Highway in Himachal Pradesh, and was inaugurated on 3rd October, 2020.

The construction of Tunnel was completed by the Border Road Organization (BRO) under the Ministry of Defence. The news paper further reported that Atal Tunnel has emerged as a famous tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh and a large number of tourists visit Lahaul Valley after the opening of the Tunnel.The littering by the tourists near the Atal Tunnel has gone unchecked and there are heaps of garbage on the roadsides of the Tunnel. It appears that there is no adequate arrangement of dustbins near the Tunnel and there is also a dire need of washrooms for men and women.

The construction of Tunnel was completed by the Border Road Organization (BRO) under the Ministry of Defence. The news paper further reported that Atal Tunnel has emerged as a famous tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh and a large number of tourists visit Lahaul Valley after the opening of the Tunnel.

The littering by the tourists near the Atal Tunnel has gone unchecked and there are heaps of garbage on the roadsides of the Tunnel. It appears that there is no adequate arrangement of dustbins near the Tunnel and there is also a dire need of washrooms for men and women. 

The matter has been adjourned for 17.08.2022.

The Court has directed the respondents to file reply-affidavit to the following effect:      

*Set out the plan of action including special drives to be conducted alongwith dates to ensure that the garbage is cleared.

*Indicate the provision in law under which fines are imposed for littering and the amount of fines collected in the last one year.

Provisions made/to be made for:-

 a)    Warning display boards for imposing fine for littering.

 b)    Dustbins in the area.

 c)    Washrooms for men and women.

 d)    Measures to be taken to monitor the area to keep it clean.

 
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