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Manali winter carnival gets national festival status

Manali, January 23
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today upgraded the five-day-long Manali winter carnival to a national-level festival and made a fervent appeal to residents and tourists to pool in their efforts to make the “valley of gods pollution-free”. He also announced that The Mall would wear a fresh look of international standards the next year as Rs 2 crore beautification project be completed in a year’s time.

Addressing a festive gathering of residents and tourists after inaugurating a ropeway project at the Solang ski resort uphill this tourist town, the Chief Minister said the winter carnival’s popularity had increased at the national level and thus the state government had declared this carnival a national-level festival. “It will go a long way promoting tourism in the valley as troupes from all over the country have come here for festival”, he added.

The Manali carnival will now attract troupes from across the country, who will give their performance during the five-day-long festival. The carnival will get more grants from Centre.

Dhumal made an appeal to schoolchildren, residents, the nagar panchayat samiti and other member of the panchayati raj institutions to make this valley pollution-free. “We also urged tourists to shun the use of the packaged food materials, plastic bottles, wrappers and bags and dispose of wastes in the waste bins”, he said.

He further cautioned them that those found littering plastics and other waste materials would be fined Rs 500 for which a head constable and pradhan had been delegated power to punish the offenders. “We do not want tourists, who come for enjoyment, be fined with Rs 500 for littering plastic. I found two plastic wrappers on The Mall whereas these should have been disposed of safely in the bin”.

Recalling his last year’s promise, he said his government had sanctioned Rs 2 crore for beautification of The Mall and work would start soon after the conclusion of the carnival as tender was already awarded. “The Mall will be a vehicle-free zone for pedestrians with international standard of which former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had once dreamt of, along the lines The Mall, Shimla, in the next season, he asserted.

Dhumal, who also had a ropeway ride, said the ropeways would promote tourism. “The work on the ropeways was started in 2008 when his government came to power”, he claimed.

Dhumal also upgraded the community health centre to civil hospital and said the hospital would have latest equipments.

The Chief Minister reiterated that he had taken up the Bilaspur-Mandi-Manali-Leh railway line with the Centre on a priority basis. The heli-taxi services being stared from this month-end would further promote tourism in the state, he added.

Kullu MLA Givind Thakur, who recounted the achievements of the government, Manali carnival president-cum-SDM Rajeshwar Goel, nagar panchayat president Rup Singh Negi, BJP president Khimi Ram, DC Kullu BM Nanta and SP Kullu Abhishek Dular were present on the occasion.

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Author: ih

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