Leh, Apr 29: Regional Transport Office, Ladakh in collaboration with LAHDC Leh, Royal Enfield, Snow Leopard Conservancy-India Trust (SLC-IT), and All Ladakh Taxi Operators Union, Leh have organised a three-day training for the commercial vehicle (taxi) drivers of Leh, Ladakh themed ‘Responsible Travel’ from 28th to 30th April. The taxi drivers were provided with kits containing a cap, water bottle, head-rest cover and a garbage bag to manage the waste generated during travel.
The Chairman/CEC, LAHDC Leh, Adv. Tashi Gyalson presided over the inaugural event yesterday. Regional Transport Officer Ladakh, ACD Rural Development Department Leh, ARTO Leh, officials of SLC-IT & Royal Enfield, commercial drivers of Leh led by President, Taxi Union and Tempo Traveller Union, Leh attended the function.
While addressing the gathering, CEC Tashi Gyalson termed local taxi drivers as the ambassador of behavioural change among themselves and the visiting tourists by advocating for good practices such as ensuring reduction of waste generation as well as proper disposal of waste. He also highlighted the steps taken by the Hill Council and District Administration Leh towards the management of solid waste in the district through the ‘Project-Tsangda’ initiative. He added that the government is aiming toward making Ladakh a ‘zero-waste’ region and the commercial drivers have a huge role to play in the said initiative.
CEC Gyalson directed ACD Leh to record the collections from individual drivers at Project Tsangda centres so that the administration would encourage them by rewarding them. He further added that the Hill Council, Leh is planning to set up a Deposit Return System (DRS) for the management of solid waste in the district with a pilot project soon.
Around 3000 Taxi drivers are being trained and familiarised with the concept of waste management, principles of responsible travel, the need for conserving flora and fauna, etc. They are also being informed of the ill effects of indiscriminate feeding of wild animals, especially along the Leh – Pangong Lake route. In addition to it, they would also be trained in tackling Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and various other soft skills during travelling in the mountain terrains with clients.