Blaming the Opposition BJP to harm the livelihood of a large number of people owing to National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to restrict the movement of vehicular traffic on Manali-Rohtang Road, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh assured the local taxi operators and other people affected by the order to take up the issue with the NGT.
Addressing a public meeting at Bahang in Manali today he said that his Government would take up the issue with NGT on behalf of the people of the area. Mr. Singh commented about National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to reduce traffic congestion terming it against those who earn their livelihood from small kiosks and dhabas en-route Rohtang, besides the taxi operators for whom their bread and butter was the taxi business carrying tourists to the Rohtang pass.
The climate change is due to Global warming and not because of vehicular traffic, I think, said the Chief Minister. He said that the Government will help the local people in resolving the issue with NGT and will take up the matter with NGT on priority. Unnecessarily the BJP local MLA and other like minded leaders were agitating that the climate of Rohtang was being affected, the glaciers were melting, the electric buses should ply etc. forgetting that there was no such glacier on Rohtang pass, they were below or on either side of it.
He said that it was due to global warming that the glaciers were melting and not because of vehicles. There has been vehicular movement since ages as the people stay on another side of Rohtang pass. The Rohtang pass is a gateway to Lahaul and Spiti and the road leads to Leh-Ladakh, said the Chief Minister. He said that Kullu-Manali was known worldwide for its tourism potential and the government was committed to exploiting the vast tourism potential but I personally feel that not at the cost of those who were likely to suffer because of National Green Tribunal orders. I do agree that the traffic should be minimised but not stopped at all, he said, if the environment is the issue, but I personally feel that this was not going to make much difference as the people residing on another side of the mighty 13050 feet pass also have the right to move, he added.