Ladakh, often called the roof of the world because of its high altitude and windswept plateaus, is getting a ‘BlackHOLE’ to swallow the mountains of trash rising in step with a surge in tourist arrivals.
The innovative waste disposal technology from the Tesla stable will form the backbone of a waste disposal system being rolled out as the tourism boom has set off alarm bells over the adverse impact on Ladakh’s fragile ecology.
Tourist arrivals have risen from 1.8 lakh in 2011 to 2.8 lakh and is expected to touch 3 lakh by the time the season ends around October. The spike in tourist inflow, mostly concentrated between the June-August peak season, is generating some 15-16 tonne of trash daily in a narrow arc covering the popular tourist haunts of Nubra valley in north-west Ladakh and Pangong-Tso and Tso-Moriri lakes in the east.
Garbage from Leh is dumped at Bomb Garh, an area near the town which was earlier used by the Army as an ammunition depot. But everywhere else in Ladakh, garbage is simply dumped in pits or by the mountainside and spreads through the windy plateau.
Lavasa plans to change this with primary segregation centres at Choglamsar near Leh, Diskit in Nubra and Nimmu, 35 kms south of Leh, to separate dry and wet waste which will be fed to the Leh processing plant. She has also banned construction within 150 metres of the Pangong Lake and stopped issuing new taxi permits.
At last, there’s some effort to give Ladakh a break.