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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Ban on plying of old taxis: Travel Agent Union to file review petition

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, June 30, 2013
First Published: 21:24 IST(30/6/2013) | Last Updated: 21:25 IST(30/6/2013)

Disappointed over ban of entry of over four-year-old taxis to Rohtang Pass, the Travel Agent Union of Shimla has decided to file a review petition in the high court.

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Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday, union president Naveen Pal said the high court decision for ban of entry of old taxis would affect the tourism industry and employment in the state. Their union has decided to come out in support of the all taxi unions and hotel unions, who have strongly opposed the decision and have demanded for review of the decision.

“This decision would also affect more than 18,000 taxis operating in the state and the equivalent number of families who are being supported by this business as Rohtang Pass is the most sought after tourist destination in the state,” said Pal.

The union said they would meet the chief justice of the Himachal Pradesh high court and the chief minister and appeal to them to provide relief to the taxi operators and also those associated with the tourism industry.

Most of the vehicles being run as taxis meets Euro II standards that regulates emission of gases that pollute the environment and the imposition of four-year-old ban was not of relevance as other factors too contribute to pollution at Rohtang Pass that should be considered like widening of roads that lead to traffic bottlenecks for hours together and level of road condition as vehicles climbing uphill on first gear emits pollutants.

“If nothing conducive approach is adopted, our union will be forced to knock the doors of the Supreme Court and join hands with the taxi operators, hotelier associations across the state and resort to protest,” said Pal.

A taxi owner said, “I am struggling to pay off my bank loan for five years and this stricture would have a severe affect on his earnings as taxi would not be able ferry tourist to Rohtang Pass.”


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