Supreme Court has today refused to stay National Green Tribunal order limiting the number of tourists vehicles passing through Rotang pass to 1000 per day.
A division bench of apex court comprising Mr. Justice A.K Sikri and Mr. Justice U.U Lalit turned down the plea of tourist operator association for stay of NGT . The bench asked the association to approach the NGT for modification of order.
The tourism industry especially local private taxi and cab operators in Himachal Pradesh were opposing the cutting down of vehicular traffic on Rotang Pass which is also the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti district. The petitioners moved apex court recently to allow the normal traffic on the snowy pass seeking quashing of NCT order. Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union moving against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order filed SLP before the Supreme Court alleging that restriction on the vehicular traffic and green fee levied is not only affecting the vocation of local taxi operators but also the middle-class tourists.
The union challenging NGT order said that it was done during peak summer tourism season when most of tourists eagerly wait to see snow Points. However worst sufferers of NGT order are those tourists who cannot not afford vacation in foreign countries.
Border Road Organization (BRO) threw open this road for vehicular traffic after clearing snowfall on May 15, 2015 and regular bus services were also plying to Lahaul valley after a gap of five months. Meanwhile Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation deployed 34 buses to Rotang after charging about Rupees 600 per passenger to visit Rohtang daily however HRTC was paying Rupees 5000 per bus as congestion fee to the administration to help tourists in wake of NGT order. Apart from that two Buses of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) were also going to Rohang daily.