Bahang /Manali: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh promised people of Kullu and Manali to take up the Rohtang Pass issue with National Green Tribunal (NGT). Blaming global warming for climate change, octogenarian leader claimed that vehicular traffic can’t be blamed for it.
Singh said the NGT orders to reduce traffic congestion have affected those who earn their livelihood from small kiosks and dhabas en-route Rohtang, besides the taxi operators for whom their bread and butter was the taxi business carrying tourists to the Rohtang Pass.
The Chief Minister, though agreed to control and minimize the traffic on Rohtang Pass route, but concerned not to stop it altogether. Seeking BJP leaders’ support, Virbhadra Singh urged the BJP leaders to cooperate with the government for resolving this issue, and asked not to politicize for petty political benefit.
Virbhadra Singh also promised to take up the Palchan-Rohtang Ropeway with NGT on priority to resolve in an effective manner. He said that he’s personally also not in favour of ropeway, but veteran leader vowed to work on some amicable solution under the directions of NGT.
Villagers of upper Manali are opposing the Rohtang pass ropeway project, and even formed a committee ‘Nau Gaaon Committee’ to oppose the project and resuming the tourism activities that were banned by NGT.
Covered with thick layer of snow for over six months a year, once open for vehicular traffic the Rohtang Pass wrapped with full of filth and dirt. Thousands of vehicles including cars, with hundreds of taxis, from small cars to SUVs, used to carry tourists to the Rohtang and resulted in polluting the place and also damages the delicate ecological balance that existed in and around the pass.
To somehow control the extent of damage, the NGT has taken suo motu cognizance of the nuisance and has been trying to find a solution, and restricted the uncontrolled movement of vehicles. Latest in August the green court had even ruled to even control the movement of single taxis to the Rohtang Pass.