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UNIDO to launch pilot project to eco-label hotels in Shimla

Shimla, Tue, 08 Nov 2011 ANI

Shimla, Nov. 8 (ANI): The United Nation's Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will launch its pilot project to eco-label hotels in the hill town of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, with an aim to protect the environment and make people aware about the steps that need to be taken to conserve energy.


Shimla, which became the second city after Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, was selected by the UNIDO where it had launched the project. The project in Tirupati was launched in 2010 and is in its final stages.


A team consisting of officials from Shimla civic authorities, UNIDO, the environment ministry, technical experts on sustainable development from a German company named Gesellschaft International, and Austrian organisation named Stenum would work in close coordination, as they would suggest the measures that should be taken to preserve energy.


The Coordinator from Stenum, Markus Moeller, after conducting a survey in hotels on Monday said: "We carried out a project where we look for resource efficiency which means every hotel uses electricity. Some kind of heat, water and we try now to figure out where our options to reduce at least this usage of these resources. We can call this a world cleaner protection."


Officials' conducting the survey for the project said that primary objective of the project is to protect the environment and at the same time ensure that the tourism industry receives an impetus.


"We started this Shimla because there were only two cities which were chosen by the government of India, Ministry of Environment, for this project which was absolutely funded. It's a pilot programme, there is no fee for the hotels and everything you know is taken care by UNIDO, Ministry of Environment and GIZ. So these were the only two cities in India," said Lalit Sharma, Project Officer of Gesellschaft International.


About 15 hotels in Shimla town have been selected for the project.


Sharma further said that the project, which was launched in Shimla in May this year, ran into rough weather owing to the apprehensions expressed by the locals.


However, the people responded positively after they were explained about the advantages of energy preservation.


Sharma also said that the project has entered the second phase and added that they are optimistic that they would complete the project by early next year.


Moeller was seen interacting with hotel staff and described ways in which they could help tourism industry in an eco-friendly way.


Moeller said that they are hopeful that the project would be successful as more and more hoteliers would work towards the efficient utilisation of energy resources and ensure that minimum damage is caused to the environment.


"The green tourism starts already in the hotel where the people or the owner of the hotel takes care on these resources and this is at least at the end of such a project label called eco profit," he added.


Millions of people visit Shimla every year, which is one of the most important tourist destinations in the country. By Hemant Chauhan (ANI)


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