Hampi’s locals urges for E-auto usage in UNESCO heritage site

Hampi, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage site, is grappling with a significant issue stemming from the constant movement of heavy vehicles, which are inflicting harm upon its ancient landmarks. Consequently, concerned citizens are fervently urging the government to implement alternatives to heavy vehicles, proposing the introduction of electric autos for the dual benefits of environmental conservation and the creation of employment opportunities.

Prominent monuments in Hampi, such as the Hare Shankara Dwara and the entrance to the Sri Krishna Temple, are bearing the brunt of damage caused by tourist buses and oversized vehicles. The younger generation of locals is advocating for the adoption of eco-friendly electric autos as a means of safeguarding these historical treasures and concurrently addressing the pressing need for job opportunities.

In 2002, the United Nations intervened when the Hare Shankara entrance gate at Talwar Ghat faced severe damage. They prompted the Central Archaeology Department to take measures to protect these invaluable monuments. Despite efforts that included reinforcing with iron rods and stationing guards, vehicular traffic around these heritage sites continues to pose persistent challenges.

To combat these issues and ensure the preservation of these cherished monuments, the Hampi Development Authority has introduced battery-powered vehicles between Gejjala Mandapam and the Vijaya Vitthala Temple. This initiative aims to curb monument damage and offer eco-conscious travel options to tourists.

KM Santhosh, the leader of the CITU Amalgamated Auto Drivers Association in Hospet, emphasized, “It is imperative to permit LPG and electric autos to operate between Gejjala Mandapam and Vijaya Vitthala Temple in Hampi. This move not only serves the interests of tourists but also provides gainful employment opportunities for auto drivers within the tourism sector.”

Moreover, there is a concerted effort to advocate for the operation of LPG and electric autos in Hampi, specifically along the route from Gejjala Mandapam to the Vijaya Vitthala Temple. Supported by the Regional Transport Office (RTO), this proposition seeks to enhance the tourist experience, generate employment opportunities for the local youth, preserve the environment, and bolster tourism. Simultaneously, it endeavors to shield the beloved Hampi monuments from the potential harm inflicted by heavy vehicular traffic.

Chandru and Naveen, residents of Kamalapur, emphasized, “The relentless influx of heavy vehicles has become a grave concern for Hampi. Therefore, the introduction of eco-friendly autos stands to benefit not only the unemployed youth but also the overall tourism industry. Presently, the operation of autos near the Vijaya Vitthala temple memorial is prohibited. Enabling eco-friendly autos to ply this route could significantly contribute to employment opportunities within the tourism sector.”

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