Cab operators to move SC against NGT order

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By:Himvani

Himachal Taxi Operators have decided to move Supreme Court against National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to cut down number of tourist vehicles plying on Manali-Rohtang highway.

Union Leader Mr. Puran Chand revealed that the livelihood is likely to be marred by the NGT decisions as heavy entry fee and congestion charges have imposed on all light and mid-size taxis.

We are likely to move to the apex court soon as all its members are contributing Rupees 1,500 and Rupees 2,000 respectively to hire a lawyer in order to move against NGT order soon. In its order passed on May 5, 2015 NGT had restricted number of tourist vehicles to 1000 per day and imposing high levy to compensate on environmental degradation on the tax operators.

Principle bench of NGT allowed the tourist vehicles to ply on the 13050 feet high Rohtang pass on the condition after depositing Rupees 1,000 for petrol vehicle, Rupees 2,500 for diesel light vehicles and Rupees 5,000 for other diesel vehicle having seating capacity of more than six. The decisions would force them to bear this heavy congestion and entry fee entirely as most of tourists visit this tourist resort and book their tour in advance and now they would not be forced to pay extra charges.

Cab operators are also worried of the NGT decision as vehicles meet BS-4 (Bharat State Emission) criteria to be allowed to ply on the snowy pass. The Taxi Operators Union is the largest taxi operators’ union of the state having fleet of more than 2,500 cabs and taxis. More than 500 taxis in Manali are not registered with this union and nearly 120 large size cabs (tempo travelers) have separate union. NGT orders also burden other thousands of taxis operator who go Manali during tourist season from Shimla, Dharamshala, Chamba, Mandi, Kangra and other districts

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