Himachal to move SC against green tribunal’s ban at Rohtang
The Himachal Pradesh government will move the Supreme Court against the recent National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to ban commercial activity near Rohtang Pass.
“We will challenge the matter (ban on commercial activity at Rohtang Pass) in the Supreme Court,” chief minister Virbhadra Singh told Hindustan Times on his return from Delhi on Tuesday.
In a veiled reference to the NGT, he said: “Unreasonable steps should be reconsidered. There is no glacier at Rohtang Pass and the preservation of the ecology has been my government’s priority.”
Reiterating his concern for the environment, Virbhadra said: “It was my government that led the fight against the forest mafia and banned felling. All saw mills in the state were closed down. My government introduced cardboard cartons in place of wooden ones to package apples and other fruits.”
He went on to say: “Rohtang Pass is not the end of Himachal Pradesh. It’s en route to strategic roads that connect Leh and Ladakh besides other frontier areas.”
The NGT had banned commercial activity, including horse riding, snow biking, paragliding, tyre-tube gaming and snow scooters at Rohtang, Solang and Marhi, earlier this month and had issued a show-cause notice to the Himachal government, to check environmental degradation and melting of the glacier that has been receding at the rate of 20 metres a year since 1986.
Refusing to relax its ban on commercial activity on July 16, the NGT principal bench, comprising Justice Swatanter Kumar and expert member Devendra K Agrawal, directed the Himachal Pradesh government to submit a plan for the rehabilitation of families whose livelihood had been affected by the ban.
The tribunal also asked the government to hold consultations with stakeholders before compiling its report.
The bench expressed its annoyance over the non-compliance of its ban order while cautioning state government officers that no effort to undermine the NGT’s authority would be tolerated.
The bench issued notices for non-compliance of its order to the secretary, environment; director, tourism; conservator, forests; member secretary, state environment pollution control board; and the authorities of the Gobind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Kullu.
Rakesh Sachan, a cabinet minister in the Yogi Adityanath government surrendered before the court on Monday a day after police launched a probe into his disappearance from . Sachan was held guilty two days ago in an Arms Act case lodged against him on August 13 1991 for possessing an illegal rifle. The additional chief metropolitan magistrate court's reader, Kamini, had filed a complaint with police alleging Sachan had taken away the file while fleeing.
Twenty four students scored a 100 percentile in the second session of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-Mains), results for which were announced on Monday morning. 17-year-old Shrenik Sakala from Amravati topped Maharashtra in the second JEE Mains session. Jahnabi Roy (17), with 99.9 percentile in the exam, was the girl topper from Maharashtra in the exam.
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Rajyavardhan Rathore on Monday launched a scathing attack on Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and alleged that the rise of extremist elements in the state - like the Popular Front India - had his 'blessing'. "Rise of elements including PFI in Rajasthan has the blessing of the CM... Rajasthan number one for rapes in the country," the BJP leader claimed.
Ranjeeta Koli, BJP MP from Rajasthan's Bharatpur, was allegedly attacked by mining mafia late on Sunday night in Kaman area of the district. No one was injured in the incident, police said. Additional Superintendent of Police, Raghuvir Kaviya said the MP in her complaint stated she was coming from Delhi on Sunday night. BJP leader Rajyavardhan Rathore also expressed his anger at the lack of action by the state government on the mining mafia.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena on Monday opened a new front in the battle with rival camp Eknath Shinde after reports emerged that former minister Abdul Sattar's two children were among the 7,800 candidates accused of allegedly manipulating the results of the Teachers Eligibility Test. The Maharashtra State Council of Examination disqualified 7,880 candidates after evidence emerged that the marks of these candidates were tampered with. Sattar denied the allegations.