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| Last Updated:20/01/2021

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Notification banning diesel, petrol vehicles in Rohtang Pass issued

MANALI: The Kullu district administration on Sunday imposed a ban on plying of diesel and petrol-driven vehicles in Rohtang Pass in compliance with the orders of National green Tribunal (NGT).

A notification to this effect was issued today by Kullu Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Kanwar. It cited the May 5 orders of NGT banning all vehicles except those run by CNG/electric to the 3,978-metre Rohtang Pass.

Meanwhile, this sudden decision of the Himachal Pradesh government has sent shock waves among the people engaged in tourism industry and other stakeholders.

The local tourism stakeholders, especially taxi unions and hotel associations, have termed the decision as "most unfortunate".

Makardhwaj Sharma, General Secretary of Manali Taxi Union, said, "Thousands of families dependent on taxis have no clues about their livelihood in the aftermath of this ban."

When contacted, Manali SDM Jyoti Rana was tight-lipped about alternative arrangements to take thousands of tourists coming to visit Rohtang Pass from tomorrow onwards.

The hotel association and other stakeholders had moved the Supreme Court against the NGT order but did not get any relief and NGT also declined to revise its orders.

The government had already conducted trial run of CNG buses to Rohtang and the trial has been successful but it required Rs 100 crore for plying buses to Rohtang.

Further, Rohtang Pass is the gateway to tribal Lahaul valley and the ban would also hit the passenger and goods transportation to tribal areas. The farmers would be badly hit if diesel and petrol driven heavy vehicles are not allowed to cross the Rohtang pass and transportation of crops would be a big challenge, said a potato grower from Keylong.