The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday said all vehicles passing through the eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass area would have to pay Rs 500 at the time of applying for permit for entering the 13,050 feet pass.
“All vehicles, which are entering Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes, shall pay Rs 500 at the time of applying for the permit. The pay order shall be issued in the name of transport department, Himachal Pradesh. Only those vehicles will be permitted to pass through Rohtang who have paid the amount,” a bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The green panel passed the directions after taking into account the submissions made by various stakeholders in a chamber meeting held on December 14.
Maintaining its prohibitory orders on commercial activity at Rohtang Pass, it also refused to allow paragliding in the eco-sensitive area. “You have to identify places where to fly. You can’t fly all over Rohtang,” the bench said.
Reiterating its ban on plastic material in the area, the tribunal said: “There shall be no use of plastic from Marhi to Rohtang.”
It directed the Himachal Pradesh government to ensure cleanliness in the Rohtang Pass area and maintain public toilets.
The green bench had allowed entry of 500 petrol vehicles in the area after conceding to demands of taxi associations and local residents that their livelihood was being affected.
The tribunal had banned tourism and commercial activities in the Rohtang Pass area to check environmental degradation and melting of glaciers which were receding at the rate of 20 metres a year since 1986.