NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to modify the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order that restricts the number of vehicles going to Rohtang Pass, saying that vehicular exhausts have “adverse impacts” on glaciers.
A vacation bench of justice PC Pant and justice DY Chandrachud, however, asked taxi operators who have challenged the NGT order to submit a data or study in support of their plea that vehicular emission is not the only cause of pollution in the eco-sensitive area, a favourite tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh.
As per the order, 1,200 vehicles are allowed to drive up to the glacier; of these, only 400 diesel-run ones are permitted at Rohtang Pass. Taxi operators challenged the NGT direction on the ground that it hurts them financially. They want the number of vehicles increased to 2,000.
The bench told operators that a line had to be drawn somewhere. “They say 1,200 vehicles and you say 2,000. Give us some data in support of your claim,” it said.
“Vehicular exhausts have adverse impact son glacier san dina way, your livelihood is also dependent on glaciers,” it said, asking parties, including Himachal Pradesh, to respond to the affidavit filed by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas. It did not grant interim relief to them and said the case will be taken up two weeks later.