No, Darjeeling Is Not Your Trash Can


There used to be a time, when “Clean Darjeeling, Green Darjeeling” was the mantra. These days, it seems to have been replaced by “Dirty Darjeeling, Grimy Darjeeling.” Leading the “make Darjeeling dirty” brigade are our own people, who don’t seem to have any sense of belonging attached to the place. Most are happy cleaning their homes and messing up our beautiful hills.

Waste collected by Volunteers in Darjeeling’s famous tourist spot Tiger Hill

Take for example Tiger Hill – one of the most popular tourist spots. Almost every three months, one group or another of environmentally conscious youths head there to clean up the place, and they collect tonnes of garbage and bring it down. The Tiger Hill mandir committee and volunteers from Jorebungla and nearby places clean up the entire premise twice a year – during Ram Navami and during Durga puja.

Yet, day in and day out  the tourists head to Tiger Hill, they bring with them chips, bhuja, beer, rum and after consuming all those, they dump it where ever they are standing. There is no sense in them to seek a dustbin.

Waste Collected Tiger Hill

But the greater responsibilities lie with the local drivers who ferry these tourists. Can’t they inform the tourists, not to dump their waste jaa payo tyai? Can’t they take some responsibility and help keep our place clean, by asking tourists to bring down all their left over wrappers and bottles, and dump it in proper designated places?

Waste Collected at Tiger Hill

Responsibility also lies with those who sell Tea and Coffee up there. They should inform the tourists not to dump their empty cups everywhere, rather show them a place where all the garbage can be collected. The only way we can keep our environment clean is by taking the responsibility of keeping it so, ourselves.

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In Mirik, there is this gorgeous place – “Kaule Dara” it’s equally as beautiful as Tiger Hill when it comes to seeing the sunrise. One can see the Kanchenjunga from there, and a beautiful sunrise. Many locals head there to see the sunrise, but look at how they have left the place. This pic is from the 1st of Jan’2019.

Waste in Mirik Sunrise Point

While we all decry the general filthiness of our place, it is our own people who have done this. Shouldn’t we be ashamed, of our actions?

Darjeeling Municipality has started a door-step collection of waste. This has helped reduce the visible waste in Darjeeling town. But there are places, where shopkeepers, have continued to throw their waste out in the open. Their love, it seems is confined to earning from Darjeeling, but not contributing towards is upkeep.

These pics from Ghoom is a testament to how, despite Darjeeling Municipality providing door-step collection of waste facilities, the shop keepers continue to dump waste out in the open, making our place look filthier.

What is most disheartening about this whole thing is that, only recently students from Ghoom Girls Higher Secondary School had cleaned up the place, made filthy by these irresponsible people, and they had collected a truck full of such wastes.

Cleaning Ghoom

This year, can we win back the natural beauty of our place from all those who seem to be hell-bent on destroying its beauty? Some out of ignorance, some out of habit, some out of sheer malice towards the place and its people, are recklessly making our place filthy.

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