These Destinations in India Should Put Restrictions on the Tourist Influx Immediately

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If you are not living under a rock, you must already be aware of the huge traffic fiasco that the popular Indian holiday destinations saw at the peak of this summer. Places such as Shimla, Nainital, Rishikesh and Manali were jam-packed with tourists and their vehicles. Many people were stuck in traffic for more than a day, and had to return from their trip before it even began. This is just the human side of the story.

As far as the environment is concerned, there is a lot of pollution around. Knowingly or unknowingly, humans come with their carbon footprint–there is plastic packaging, toiletries and other human necessities. The usage of these things can be minimised at the cost of our convenience, but as of now, it is extremely difficult to eliminate their overall usage.

So how do we ensure that our beautiful tourist destinations are left with some breathing space, and are given the opportunity to breathe?

Resorting to sustainability is a long-tailed process, but to provide immediate relief restrictions must be imposed to avoid visiting the few destinations they have been thronging to. These destinations in particular need to check the tourist influx immediately.

Post the movie 3 Idiots, the annual tourist footfall in Ladakh has risen exponentially. What has come along is a pool of trash from cities that welcomes you as soon as you enter the Leh city. Garbage disposal in high terrain is difficult, and there are no recycling plants in the region. A proper system should be put in place to restrict the weekly tourist movement in Ladakh during the peak season. Along with it, people should be taxed for generating plastic waste beyond a maximum limit.

Traffic Jam on the way to Ladakh (C) heavenridersindia

Photo of Ladakh by Kanj Saurav

Traffic Jam on the way to Ladakh (C) heavenridersindia

Photo of Ladakh by Kanj Saurav

Traffic in Shimla \ (C) Amar Ujala

Photo of Ladakh by Kanj Saurav

Traffic between Kullu and Manali \ (C) Hillpost

Photo of Ladakh by Kanj Saurav

Traffic in Nainital \ (C) Jagran

Photo of Ladakh by Kanj Saurav

Choked Darjeeling \ (C) The Darjeeling Chronicles

Photo of Ladakh by Kanj Saurav

Having enjoyed its status as the favourite hill station of Indians for many decades, Shimla is now a highly populated city struggling for drinking water. The narrow roads built in the 19th century are not meant for the number of people who casually drive in here for a weekend relaxation. It is high time that Shimla comes up with a policy on entry of non-state vehicles in the city, and advance booking of hotels for all tourists entering the city.

Traffic in Shimla \ (C) Amar Ujala

Photo of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kanj Saurav

Manali sees influx of two categories of tourists – the ones who have come to Manali, and the ones who are going further to Ladakh or Spiti. An alternative pit stop can be developed for the tourists going beyond Manali, so that the pressure on Manali is released. That said, all activity-based vacations in Manali should be government registered to keep a check on the tourist footfall.

Traffic between Kullu and Manali \ (C) Hillpost

Photo of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India by Kanj Saurav

It is sad to see a beautiful town turn into a cacophonous bazaar. The plight of Nainital might not have become a thumbstopper on your phone screen, but the city is choking with the rise in the population of casual tourists who come in here to enjoy their weekends. However, if the number of tourists is kept under check, people could actually enjoy the aesthetics of the city more.

Traffic in Nainital \ (C) Jagran

Photo of Nainital, Uttarakhand, India by Kanj Saurav

The adventure capital of India sees heavy influx of adrenaline junkies in peak season. The state has already initiated a check on the number of tourists registering for adventure activities. However, the charm of this destination can be brought back if such restrictions are imposed on the entry of vehicles too in areas close to the river bank.

The most popular hill station in eastern India is now choked with thousands of tourists who come throughout the year. Litter is prominent around the city, and makes it look really bad. It is high time that apart from tourist inflow, construction is also curbed in this city, because only that would help the city keep up with its colonial infrastructure.

Choked Darjeeling \ (C) The Darjeeling Chronicles

Photo of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Kanj Saurav

Yes, Spiti is not already crowded or dirty. But the trends suggest that it is soon going to be the most visited off-beat destination in India. And much before the damage is done, it would be great if the government begins registering the movement of people in this region.

Places where there is a check on tourist movement in India:

These northeastern states require a prior Inner Line Permit before entering. The reasons are environmental as well as political.

Lakshadweep and parts of the Andaman are well protected with efficiently placed restrictions on entry on many islands that require environmental protection.

Limiting the number of tourists visiting popular places in India, may sound a bit harsh to the traveller community. However, there are many alternative destinations that can be explored in India. Travelling to these destinations will not just lighten the burden on popular places but also help in developing tourism in lesser known places. Here is a list of alternate travel destinations in India where you may considering travelling to.

Have you faced difficulties in touristy destinations? Tell us in the comments below.

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