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Meghalaya state police issues cleanliness guidelines for tourists

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Tourists visiting Meghalaya could land themselves in jail if they are found littering the roads or tourists spots, according to an advisory from the state police. Citizens are to keep order on public roads, streets and all the tourist spots and desist from causing obstruction, injury or annoyance to passersby, or cause pollution and littering in any public roads and tourist spot, East Khasi Hills district superintendent of police Davis N R Marak said in a statement. He said that any person not obeying the orders is liable to be arrested under sections of Meghalaya Police Act, 2010 and on conviction by a court of law will be liable to be fined INR 5,000.

The advisory is being enforced by the state police in East Khasi Hills district, which attracts major tourist inflow in the state. Tourists visiting the tourist spots are also advised to carry garbage bags in their vehicles to throw wrappers of food materials and water bottles and finally dump them in appropriate bins, it said.

Tourists footfall in the state has doubled in the last 10 years according to the tourism department and the amount of trash being dumped by visitors could create trouble for the hill state. In 2006, a little over four lakh domestic tourists visited the state while in 2016, there were 8.3 lakh of them. During the period the number of foreigner tourists increased from a little over 4,000 to nearly 8,500 till December last year.

A tourism official said that there was steady increase of about 50,000 tourists in Meghalaya every year and going by the current rate their number is likely to double within the next five years.