With the ban on commercial activities at the Rohtang Pass imposed on July 6, an estimated 4,000 families residing in the area who were directly or indirectly involved in tourism related services have lost their livelihoods.
For the past many years many locals were engaged - legally or illegally - in providing snow scooter, ATV, horse riding and paragliding services besides running 'dhabas' (makeshift roadside eateries) to tourists at various places like Solang, Marhi, Vashishth and the Rohtang Pass. They have now been forced look for other ways to earn a living.
Several area residents told this reporter the state government should urge the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to review its decision to impose the blanket ban. After horticulture and farming, tourism provides the largest employment in Kullu district.
Local BJP MLA Govind Thakur said the state government should apprise the tribunal about the plight of jobless residents to persuade it to provide some relief. "I"ll take up the issue with the central government as this is a matter of survival of hundreds of families in Kullu district who have been directly affected with the ban of commercial activities in the region, " he added.