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Rohtang Pass: SC to hear Taxi union's plea against NGT order

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A taxi union today moved Supreme Court against a green tribunal order banning the entry of all diesel and petrol tourist vehicles in Rohtang pass till August 14 and limiting the number of vehicles entering the area in Himachal Pradesh to 1,000 per day.

The petition was mentioned before a vacation bench of justices A K Sikri and U U Lalit which said the matter would be heard on May 25.

Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union approached the apex court against the environmental cess of Rs 2,500 on diesel vehicles and Rs 1,000 on petrol vehicles for each trip between Manali and Rohtang Pass.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in its order had restricted the number of vehicles to pass through Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes to 600 petrol vehicles and 400 diesel per day on first-come, first-serve basis and had directed that each vehicle allowed would pay an environmental cess.

The NGT had said the amount collected shall be kept in the account under a separate head by the state government and utilised only for the purpose of restoring ecology and environment.

It had also directed the state government to post a team of police, transport and other departments at Vashist and Gulaba areas between Manali and Rohtang with complete infrastructure and machinery.

The green panel had said that all these vehicles would be subjected to pollution check and qualify for issuance of certificates at the check post for complying with BS-IV standards.

Each vehicle, which carries more than six passengers, would be liable to pay compensation of Rs 5000 as environmental compensation for single entry.

NGT had also directed the state to take all requisite steps and call a meeting of manufacturers and suppliers for supplying CNG vehicles to ensure that there was least pollution in the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang Pass.

Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali and connects Kullu Valley with the remote district of Lahaul and Spiti.

First Published: Wed, May 20 2015. 20:32 IST