Amid strong resistance by dhaba owners to protect their means of livelihood, the forest department has swung into action to remove the existing dhabas along the 37-km stretch of Manali-Leh border road between Kothi and Rohtang Pass following orders from the Himachal Pradesh high court.
So far, dhabas remained closed at Marhi on Tuesday.
As shopkeepers were not ready to vacate the encroached land, the forest department has served them notice to vacate the land voluntarily by May 16, failing which the department would forcibly remove the dhabas, Kullu divisional forest officer BL Negi said.
Meanwhile, a Kullu administration team, including the deputy commissioner, surveyed Rohtang area to prepare a strategy for eco-friendly tourism. The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) would construct food stalls between Gulaba and Marhi, while mobile vans would deliver hygienic food at Rohtang daily. After setting up the food stalls, HPTDC would sublet them to existing shopkeepers, district tourism development officer Vinay Dhiman said, clarifying that no dhaba would be allowed beyond Kothi, 15 km from Manali.