One imprudent decision of charging exorbitant environmental compensation from all types of vehicles going to Rohtang Pass, the National Green Tribunal has given a fatal blow to the tourism industry of Himachal Pradesh.
This has touched off widespread resentment among various sections of society. Leaders of all parties have condemned the decision of the NGT as “unwise, unjust and dictatorial” in a democratic country.
Local MLA of Manali, Gobind Singh Thakur, has urged the Prime Minister, Narinder Modi and Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, to intervene and save the tourism industry which is dying due to the uncalled-for imposition of heavy environmental compensation. Entire economy of the state had been brought on the brink of peril, he has pointed out.
As a protest against this decision all the transport unions have gone on an indefinite strike at Manali and the tourists coming from home and abroad are undergoing untold hardships. According to hotel unions the occupancy has fallen down alarmingly and tourists who had to spend a week or two in Manali are running back with their bag and baggage. The hoteliers are also receiving cancellations of bookings.
Legal experts contend that time has come when the government should immediately take an initiative to rationalize the unfettered powers of institutions like the NGT by defining the role of three wings of administration -legislation, executive and the judiciary without any ambiguity.
They have expressed shock and surprise over the trend of intrusion in the domain of the executive, which is a cause of deep concern for the jurists and legal experts in and outside country.
They stressed that this unhealthy development must be nipped in the bud without further delay. Much has been debated in the columns of the journals of the country and electronic media about judicial activism.
The local administration and the state government seemed helpless due to the imprudent decision of the NGT and the people are urging the government to take this matter to apex court of the country. Hoteliers, and tea stall owners and others related to the tourism industry are under panic due to fear of losses and starvation.