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Sikkim village says no to mineral water bottles

By Correspondent

GANGTOK, Feb 3 � On the occasion of World Wetlands Day on February 2, the Lachen Dzumsa consisting of the Pipons, Gyambos, Chultimpa (representative of Lamas), along with the public of Lachen has decided to ban mineral water bottles in the village of Lachen and higher areas from the upcoming tourist season.

This decision has been made as an initiative for conservation of the holy lake of Gurudongmar situated at 5,183 metres, which over the years has been growing as a tourist destination in the State. The lake area is a biodiversity hotspot.

Receiving more than 15,000 visitors annually in the form of pilgrims and tourists, one of the major threats to the holy lake is from garbage disposal.

This was clearly indicated during the cleanliness campaign organised jointly by WWF-India and Lachen Tourism Development Committee in collaboration with the Lachen Dzumsa around the lake side, on the occasion of World Environment Day last year. Thirty big sacks of tins, and plastics of which a large part was mineral water bottles were collected during the drive.

Understanding the need for having a proper garbage management and regulation process in place, Lachen Dzumsa, with assistance from LTDC and WWF will develop a strategy for monitoring of the garbage that goes up to the lake, and ensuring that it is brought back to Lachen. A proposal for construction of a garbage segregation chamber at Lachen is also in the pipeline.

Tourists will be sensitised on the matter so that they come to realise that natural mountain water is safer and healthier than those packaged and sold in plastic bottles. With the decision, Lachen becomes the first village in Sikkim to ban the use and sale of bottled water.

The model will look into possibility of complete ban on the use of bottled water in Lachen and Gurudongmar Lake with promotion of filtered water for the tourists at these villages.

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Sikkim village says no to mineral water bottles

GANGTOK, Feb 3 � On the occasion of World Wetlands Day on February 2, the Lachen Dzumsa consisting of the Pipons, Gyambos, Chultimpa (representative of Lamas), along with the public of Lachen has decided to ban mineral water bottles in the village of Lachen and higher areas from the upcoming tourist season.

This decision has been made as an initiative for conservation of the holy lake of Gurudongmar situated at 5,183 metres, which over the years has been growing as a tourist destination in the State. The lake area is a biodiversity hotspot.

Receiving more than 15,000 visitors annually in the form of pilgrims and tourists, one of the major threats to the holy lake is from garbage disposal.

This was clearly indicated during the cleanliness campaign organised jointly by WWF-India and Lachen Tourism Development Committee in collaboration with the Lachen Dzumsa around the lake side, on the occasion of World Environment Day last year. Thirty big sacks of tins, and plastics of which a large part was mineral water bottles were collected during the drive.

Understanding the need for having a proper garbage management and regulation process in place, Lachen Dzumsa, with assistance from LTDC and WWF will develop a strategy for monitoring of the garbage that goes up to the lake, and ensuring that it is brought back to Lachen. A proposal for construction of a garbage segregation chamber at Lachen is also in the pipeline.

Tourists will be sensitised on the matter so that they come to realise that natural mountain water is safer and healthier than those packaged and sold in plastic bottles. With the decision, Lachen becomes the first village in Sikkim to ban the use and sale of bottled water.

The model will look into possibility of complete ban on the use of bottled water in Lachen and Gurudongmar Lake with promotion of filtered water for the tourists at these villages.