Over 40,000 taxis go off road in Himachal

Over 40,000 taxis went off the road in Himachal Pradesh on Friday in protest against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order restricting the entry of vehicles to the Rohtang Pass, overlooking picturesque destination of Manali, and the imposition of a heavy cess.
Updated on May 29, 2015 02:51 PM IST
Copy Link
IANS | By, Shimla/manali

Over 40,000 taxis went off the road in Himachal Pradesh on Friday in protest against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order restricting the entry of vehicles to the Rohtang Pass, overlooking picturesque destination of Manali, and the imposition of a heavy cess.

"All taxi, maxi-cab and auto operator unions in the state have joined the day-long strike call of the Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union of Manali," commercial vehicle joint action committee chairman Jeet Ram Sharma told IANS.

He said the strike will continue till midnight of May 29.

Thousands of tourists who are holidaying in the hills to escape the scorching heat of the plains have been inconvenienced by the strike.

"It was a really harrowing experience on reaching Shimla this (Friday) morning. There was no taxi and the potters were demanding exorbitant fare. The government should make transportation arrangements," Priya Joseph, a tourist from Delhi, said.

On an average, about 10,000 tourists arrive in Shimla and Manali and other popular destination on a single day during the peak tourist season.

Meanwhile, the indefinite strike by Manali-based Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union has entered the eleventh day on Friday.

P.C. Thakur, president of the Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union, told IANS that the NGT decision would severely hit the livelihood of over 1,500 taxi drivers and those associated with the hospitality business.

He said all business establishments in Manali town have also joined the strike on Friday.

The NGT has allowed restricted movement of 1,000 vehicles, including 600 petrol-driven, for three months from May 15 across the Rohtang Pass, some 52 km from Manali.

Each vehicle allowed to the Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes would pay an environmental cess at the rate of Rs.1,000 for petrol vehicles per visit. For diesel vehicles, the cess is Rs.2,500.

The picturesque Rohtang Pass is a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists.

Refraining from extending any relief from its order, the NGT on Thursday asked the state government to file a reply on how it would address the grievances of tourist vehicle operators. It was hearing a review petition of the Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union.

The NGT bench, while listing the case for the next hearing on May 29, headed by judicial member U.D. Salvi observed that its only concern was to protect the environment and it has taken a measured approach.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A view of Dhan Mill Compound at 100 Feet Road, Chhatarpur, in New Delhi, India, on Saturday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times)

    Delhi: From a granary to creative business street

    For the uninitiated, Dhan Mill Compound, a former granary and a cluster of warehouses, has morphed into the city’s modish food, fashion, design and lifestyle destination. Its streets are lined with art cafes, home décor outlets, ateliers, art galleries, pottery studios, dance halls and high-end boutiques, whose facades and interiors are as interesting and experimental as the wares they deal in. Interestingly, all of these fancy establishments are housed in re-purposed warehouse buildings, which still have metal roofs.

  • Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia. (Twitter/@AAPDelhi)

    Over a million got jobs on Rozgar Bazaar: Delhi govt

    According to a Delhi government official, a break-up of the total jobs, including the list of employers and the number of people they hired, will be shared “in a couple of days”. Notably, the government portal was launched by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on July 27, 2020, to help entry-level and blue-collar job seekers connect with employers at a time when the Covid-19 induced lockdown left many people unemployed.

  • Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai. (ANI)

    Govt to urge Centre to reduce tax for SUP options: Delhi minister

    “Manufactures, and start-ups which are working on alternatives to single-use plastic have to pay more GST for raw material. Hence, the Delhi government will write to the Centre and request a reduction in GST rates,” Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said.

  • A view of Humayun's Tomb on a rainy day in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, July 3, 2022. (Photo by Sanchit Khanna/Hindustan Times)

    Delhi weather: Yellow alert issued till Tuesday

    Safdarjung, Delhi’s base weather station, recorded 0.1mm of rainfall between 8:30am and 5:30pm on Sunday. The Capital recorded 1.9mm of rainfall on Saturday and 117.2mm on Friday, making the monthly total 119.2mm so far. The normal monthly average for July is 210.6mm, said weather experts.

  • Monsoon turns Hauz Khas monument into an archipelago of stony islands.

    Delhiwale: Six shades of monsoon

    Monsoon elevates Adam Khan’s tomb into an emergency sanctuary for passersby (and dogs) speared by sudden showers. Perched atop a Mehrauli hillock, the monument overlooks the Qutub Minar, which appears totally bechara and defenceless in the heavy rain.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, July 04, 2022