The hill station of Manali in Himachal Pradesh undoubtedly has a special place in the hearts of Indian travellers. The snow-covered Himalayan mountain ranges, pure air and out-of-the-world vistas make Manali the sough-after tourist destination. Besides the beauty of nature, the hill station is a hotspot of adventure sports such as skydiving and scuba diving.
But the influx of tourists is putting the fragile ecosystem of Manali at risk. The environmental impact of tourism is manifold and rampant pollution is making the water bodies filthy. Unauthorized camping has started in many parts of Manali as tourists are flocking to the region. In a bid to curb this unlawful practice, the state government has asked travellers to take prior permission for camping. Hereafter, tourists have to get the nod of the forest department and state government before pitching tents in the region.
The administration has directed the authorities concerned to permanently remove unauthorized tents and stop illegal camping, and a special team has been constituted for this purpose. Various checkpoints have also been put in place to keep a close eye on the inflow of tourists and the first checkpoint is at the Hampta Pass Trek, which is Himachal’s busiest trekking region.
It is worth noting that the state forest department allows camping activities only at spots that are at least 25m away from rivers or other water bodies and camping without prior permission is banned in the region.