To comply with the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday, the Kullu district administration run a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-operated bus having 27-seater capacity on trial basis towards the Rohtang Pass. As many as 27 persons were on board and the trial is said to be successful.
Talking to HT, sub divisional magistrate (SDM) Manali Jyoti Rana on Tuesday morning said the CNG bus moved towards the Rohtang Pass. As many as 27 persons were on board and around 9.40 am, the bus arrived at the pass, while the driver halted it near Marhi for around 15 minutes.
"At Rohtang Pass, the driver stopped the bus for about an hour to check its temperature. He then drove down to Manali from Rohtang, starting at 10.45 am. The bus arrived in Manali town at 12.45 pm," she added.
According to the SDM, the bus trial was successful and there was no problem during the journey on the 51-km-long tough terrain.
Hoteliers association president Kullu-Manali Anup Thakur expressed his apprehensions, saying it should not be considered final. Such a trial should be conducted during winter, when the temperature plummets below -15°C, which may decide its feasibility in the region.
"People associated with the tourism industry will be happy if operation of CNG buses is successful in the region. It will definitely help reduce pollution in the area," he added.
To reduce environment pollution in Rohtang Pass region, the NGT had directed the state government to run CNG-operated buses for tourism purpose from Manali towards Rohtang Pass and neighbouring areas, where a heavy influx of tourists vehicles has been observed in the peak tourist season during summer and winter every year. It choked the road for hours while carbon emission gases emanating from petrol and diesel-run vehicles have been degrading the area's ecology.