The National Green Tribunal's orders to ply CNG buses on the Manali-Rohtang road will be enforced from May 6.
The state government has been directed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to take some concrete steps for the conservation of the environment around Rohtang Pass.
Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar informed this at a review meeting with local stakeholders of Manali for conservation of environment in Rohtang and its nearby areas.
People of Manali were apprised of directions passed by the NGT and were told that any individual, organisation or group of people who may not be party in the case and want further clarification or modification in the directions can approach the NGT within three months.
The NGT on February 6 directed the state government to enforce the orders within three months, disclosed Kanwar.
He said: “Adhering to the directions, we are going to enforce the tribunal's orders from May 6. Whoever crosses Rohtang Pass in their vehicles, including residents of Lahaul, will have to take permission from the administration. We are reviewing all aspects and feasibility and a report would be forwarded for tribunal's consideration.”
He added that the direction was also to look into the possibility for CNG and electric vehicles which shall ply on the Manali- Rohtang road. But as such a facility did not exist, the administration would bring this fact to the notice of the state government. He said the tribunal has suggested that a barrier be installed near Vashisht village on the Manali-Rohtang highway and environment fee of `20 per person be collected from people going towards Rohtang on the Manali-Leh border road.
As Manali is already charging green tax from all non-Himachali vehicles entering the town, Kanwar said the government would be requested not to impose double tax on tourists as it was not in favour of tourism. No commercial activity will be allowed beyond the Vishisht village. The tourism department will set up an eco-friendly market at Marhi. Also, the forest department has been directed to ensure the green cover in this sector. The district administration has been directed to build more toilets for the tourists and collect the garbage with the help from the civic authorities.
Petrol or diesel-run snow scooters will not be allowed and all vehicles older than 10 years will not be allowed to ply on the Manali-Rohtang border road, including surrounding areas of Manali. Only CNG fuel or electric-operated vehicles or vehicles of BS-4 Standard, BS-3 diesel vehicle with soot collector and petrol vehicle with catalytic converter will be allowed to ply on the Manali-Rohtang border road, including surroundings of Manali town.