Lahaul Spiti people express concern about development model in valley

Manali:   The recent havoc in Uttrakhand and Kinnaur that not only caused an unparalleled disaster but has forced few societies with similar geographical conditions to reconsider the development plans being pursued in their areas and the results that could follow.

Tribal people of Lahaul and Spiti, a tribal district of Himachal Pradesh, situated in Western Himalayan region have formed an organization named Lahul Spiti People Association and decided to act as a think tank for framing better policies for the safety of Lahaul Spiti’s future.

Potatoe Fields in Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh

The association at its meeting took a considered view about the reasons for the Uttrakhand disaster, which included unusually heavy rains, melting of glaciers, landslides because of the movement of heavy vehicles, unplanned growth of tourism, pilgrimage, construction activity of power projects and uncontrolled constructions and suspect that a similar fate could strike Lahaul Spiti, if corrective measures are not taken, Dr Chander Mohan a member of the association disclose.

He said that the association would not only bring intellectuals concerned about the future of Lahaul & Spiti together but would enable people and environmentalists to work towards preventing damages from any such natural calamity.

Photo by Prashant Sirkek
Photo by Prashant Sirkek

He added that the association had decided to constitute committees to study the pros and cons of upcoming power projects, the likely impact of Rohtang Tunnel on the social cultural environment and the developing model for sustainable tourism in the valley and comparing it with Bhutan model of development.

After the committees submit report, a vision document would be developed and submitted to the sate and central government. We are not in favour of following the Uttrakhand and Kinnaur model for Lahaul & Spiti, said Dr Chander Mohan.

He appealed to those people from Lahaul Spiti residing in other parts of the country to come together for protecting the cultural and natural beauty of the region.

The association has also decided to convene seminars and hold discussions in Chandigarh, Delhi and Kullu so as to incorporate views of all those concerned about Lahaul – Spiti, said Chander Mohan.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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  1. says: Ranbir Chauhan

    Himachal has no need of so many skills. It is only to pollute Himachal with Garbage Shadow Technology.
    I have 40 Years IT experience and my schooling was in Himachal Schools. I have worked in 3 Departments of HP.
    I am here in Australia Executive Digital Marketing.

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