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Himachal Pradesh High Court Advocates for Sustainable Tourism through Waste Management Charges

Last Updated on March 31, 2024 by News Desk

Introduction:


In a recent development, the Himachal Pradesh High Court has proposed the imposition of solid waste management charges on tourists entering the state. This recommendation stems from a case titled Suleman And Others vs. Union Of India And Others. The Court, comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Sushil Kukreja, emphasized the necessity of such charges to ensure the sustainability of solid waste management services, particularly in the context of the hilly terrain. Drawing inspiration from Bhutan’s model, where tourists are subject to a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), the Court urged the state government to empower local bodies to levy these charges at entry points.

Issue:


The primary concern addressed by the Court is the lack of sustainable funding for solid waste management services in Himachal Pradesh. By suggesting the imposition of charges on tourists, the Court seeks to alleviate this issue and ensure the efficient management of waste in the state.

Rule:


The Court highlighted the need for legislative amendments to empower municipal authorities to enforce environmental laws effectively. It directed the State Chief Secretary to initiate immediate steps towards amending relevant laws, emphasizing compliance with Solid Waste Management Rules. Additionally, the Court underscored the importance of training for councillors on municipal and environmental laws to facilitate informed decision-making.

Analysis:


The Court’s directive reflects a proactive approach to address the shortcomings in waste management infrastructure and governance. By advocating for waste audits and training programs, the Court aims to enhance the capacity of municipal authorities and promote community engagement in waste management initiatives.

Conclusion:


In conclusion, the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s stance underscores the significance of sustainable waste management practices in preserving the state’s environmental integrity. Through its recommendations, the Court seeks to foster responsible tourism while ensuring the effective management of solid waste, thereby aspiring to transform Shimla into a model town in waste management.

Written by — Athi Venkatesh AVD

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