The Kullu district administration in Himachal Pradesh has started issuing online permits for the vehicles-private or hired-to travel to Rohtang Pass.
“There were a lot of complaints from the tourists and the locals about hassles in procuring the permits to visit or pass through Rohtang Pass. So we have started issuing online vehicle permits,” deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar told IANS.
He said a motorist could procure the permit up to a week in advance. Kanwar said strict action would be initiated against the motorists who are found visiting the Rohtang Pass, located at an altitude of 13,050 feet, on the pretext of visiting Lahaul-Spiti or Ladakh.
Earlier, the permits were available at the Gulaba barrier, between Manali and Rohtang Pass, and from the office of the district tourism officer in Manali.
The motorists can log on to himachal.nic.in or hpkullu.nic.in to get the permit.
The National Green Tribunal has limited the passing of vehicles on the Rohtang Pass, located 52 km from Manali and much frequented by tourists, to check environmental degradation.
Initially, the tribunal had banned all types of tourist vehicles.
Later, it relaxed its order till November 30, limiting the entry of diesel and petrol tourist vehicles to the Rohtang Pass to 1,000 per day.
The green tribunal, in its order, observed that the ice mass on the Rohtang Pass is reducing rapidly due to vehicular pollution and may vanish altogether in the next 20 to 25 years.