Umiam sports complex victim of littering

‘Community participation’ necessary

SHILLONG: Littering is a major problem at popular tourist sites in and around the city and the situation at the water sports complex of the Umiam Lake, which records hundreds of tourist footfall every day, is no different.
Though the peripheral areas of the complex are well-maintained, the interior remains dotted with plastic wrappers, food packets, juice bottles and tetra-packs.
Several tourists who The Shillong Times spoke to were of the view that while the State Government is aggressively pushing for tourism growth, it is ignoring the cleanliness factor.
However, the onus is also on tourists because a section of them litters despite dustbins inside the complex.
When asked about the matter, R.G Lyngdoh, founding chairman of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum (MTDF), which involves all stakeholders in the tourism industry, said authorities managing the complex may have some issues for which the place is not maintained properly.
Lyngdoh stressed on community participation in managing the tourist spots because “such initiatives, besides boosting the tourism sector, will also provide livelihood opportunities to the local people”.
Giving an example of Elephant Falls, he said earlier people rarely visited the waterfall.
“Today the situation has changed and hundreds of tourists are visiting the place and the community is doing well in managing the Elephant Falls, which is now a major tourist spot in the State,” he added.

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