Monday July 23, 2018

NGT tells Himachal Govt to take steps to reduce noise pollution

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Shimla: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Himachal Pradesh government to take a slew of steps aimed at reducing air and noise pollution in the state capital.

The state has been ordered to impose Rs.500 as “green tax” on each vehicle emitting pollution on Shimla’s restricted roads, including the Mall Road.

The tribunal asked the government to consider implementing one-way traffic on the Cart Road, the circular road in the state capital.

“Definite steps are required to be taken at the earliest. If not taken now, the day is not far when ambient air quality of Shimla would deteriorate to an undesirable level, causing health hazards,” the NGT bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar observed.

“It’s a matter of common knowledge that air and noise pollution, particularly in Shimla, is increasing by the day. Traffic congestion is one of the major contributors to such excessive pollution,” the bench said.

The state was ordered to declare “silence zones” and display sign boards at conspicuous places in Shimla and ensure that no noise was produced by any process, including horns, in such zones.

The tribunal also directed to ensure no parking was allowed on the sealed roads, besides smooth traffic movement on the Cart Road.

The NGT asked the Himachal government to revisit all vehicle permits for sealed and restricted roads within three months, completely prohibiting or restricting vehicular traffic on such roads.

The 13-page order asked that the state government take immediate steps to strictly comply with the directions.

It said authorities had not complied with its earlier orders.

Favouring the practice of automobile-free zones, the Himachal Pradesh High Court had also sought status reports from the state as to how many vehicles were allowed to ply on the sealed roads of Shimla.

It also sought replies on the steps taken to implement the Shimla Road Users and Pedestrians (Public Safety and Convenience) Act of 2007.

Shimla has several automobile-free zones to facilitate unrestricted movement of pedestrians.(IANS)

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Tirthan Valley: Himachal Pradesh’s Hidden Paradise

The backdrop of Tirthan valley is the beautiful mountain range which seems to be touching the sky

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Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known travel destinations in india. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is one of the lesser known trekking destinations in india. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Tirthan Valley is an unexplored mountain valley in Himachal Pradesh
  • It has something for everyone
  • One can do activities like trekking, birdwatching and camping, etc. at Tirthan Valley

India is full of mountains and there is no dearth of trekking destinations. However, most of the trekking destinations in India have now become highly cliche and overcrowded. Wherever you go, you will find tourists loitering around.

India has many amazing hill stations. Wikimedia Commons
India has many amazing hill stations. Wikimedia Commons

Many people go on treks in search of peace and adventure, however, most of the popular trekking spots have now become highly commercial hubs where locals are trying to capitalise on their location. But, there is this one hidden gem in Himachal Pradesh which is still hugely unexplored. the Tirthan Valley.

Also Read: Lambasingi: A Snowfall Experience Like Never Before

Tirthan Valley in Himachal Pradesh is relatively unknown and has something for everyone. It offers activities like wildlife watching, trekking and fishing, etc.

Here is the list of few reasons as to why Tirthan Valley should be on your must-visit destinations list:

Beautiful River and Riverside Houses 

Tirthan Valley has really beautiful forests and through them flows the Tirthan River. The river is one of the reasons why Tirthan Valley looks so beautiful. Also, you can find riverside guest houses which don’t only look beautiful but are also incredibly cosy.

Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you'll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you’ll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons

Beautiful mountains surrounded by clouds

The backdrop of Tirthan valley is the beautiful mountain range which seems to be touching the sky, there are dense coniferous forests and sprawling alpine meadows which are perfect for sigh-seeing. Not only is it beautifully serene, but also it is one of the best places in Himachal Pradesh for bird watching.

Visit the Serolsar Lake

Tirthan valley doesn’t disappoint the lake-lovers either. There are two beautiful lakes which you can visit, the Serolsar Lake which is a 6 km trek from the Jalori Pass. This lake in the middle of rocks and snow is one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever see. There you can also visit a tiny temple devoted to Goddess Buddhi Nagin, the mother of the 60 Nag Devtas who are believed to reside in the lake.

Tirthan Valley is relatively unknown and that's what makes it so peaceful. Wikimedia Commons
Tirthan Valley is relatively unknown and that’s what makes it so peaceful. Wikimedia Commons

Experience the Chehni Kothi Charm 

While in Tirthan Valley, visit the charming 1500 years old castle, Chehni Kothi. It was once a 15 storeys high building but now only 10 storeys remain. Chehni Kothi is built in traditional style and is the tallest structure in the Western Himalayan region.

Hidden Waterfalls 

A hike from the Rolla village will lead you to the beautiful waterfall amidst the forested valley. The tiny waterfall is perfect for a small a picnic. Its clean and pristine water will surely make for a serene ambience.

Also Read: Rundown of 7 Mountains in India

Other than what all is mentioned above, one can camp under a starry night at the Tirthan valley. One can also witness the culture and tradition of the place. Tirthan valley is a beautiful place full of fresh energy which won’t disappoint you.