The rising tourist footfall in Ladakh has brought a serious waste management issue in the region. Meanwhile, the tourist flow has gone up exponentially from 1.8 lakh in 2011 to 3 lakh, recently. However, at the end of the peak season of July-August, the tourist footfall this year touched 2.8 lakh, bringing in approximately 15-16 tonne of trash per day. Popular tourist spots like the Nubra Valley in the Northwest to the famous lakes of Pangong-Tso and Tso-Moriri in the east are suffering from this mountain of trash.
In a bid to protect the region’s fragile eco-system, the district administration in Leh under Deputy Commissioner Avny Lavasa has taken the step of approaching US multinational Tesla to buy their unique waste disposal machine called the ‘BlackHOLE’ to swallow up the region’s trash.
How this work?
Using something called super plasma heat decomposition technology, the BlackHOLE turns non-biodegradable waste into ceramic ash, which one can use for building roads and houses, without any requirement for fuel and power. It can process up to 1 tonne of garbage a day, and moreover, it’s low maintenance and can be operated by any layperson. The disposal and transfer of trash to the plains from Ladakh is both uneconomical and nearly impossible in the winters when the roads shut down. Except for glass, the BlackHOLE can process all that waste without any need for electricity or fuel into ceramic ash. Most of the trash, particularly of the non-biodegradable variety, in the Leh district area, comes from tourists. For the past two decades, the local administration has been sitting on the problem.