Tourist flow to the world famous tourists resort of Manali has alarmingly come down after the imprudent imposition of heavy environmental charges imposed by the National Green Tribunal on the Rotang bound vehicles.
This alleged dictatorial order of the NGT decision has left all those related to tourism industry in lurch. Small tea venders and Dhaba owners, who had been waiting over the year for the 45-day tourism season are on the verge of starvation, says CPM leader and a senior Advotate Desh Raj.
He said the general impression among the common people was that the legal system adopted from the British rulers was pro-rich and anti-poor.. Such a practice, he warned is definitely bound to generate revolt and resentment and cautioned that at times the wrath of the lamb had proved disastrous in the history of mankind.
It may be recalled that leaders of all parties including former union minister, Shanta Kumar and former chief minister, Prem kumar Dhumal and Manali MLA, Gobind Singh Thakur had also expressed their anguish over the unwise dictates of the NGT at such a crucial juncture when the tourists season was at its peak. It is a tragedy, they had said, that a large number of tourists from home and abroad were departing from Manali.
Hotel Associations of Manali, Kullu and Mandi had been hard-hit and lament that their business has been virtually ruined this year for the first time since 1947. The cries of the affected persons by this imprudent step of the NGT seemed to have fallen on the deaf ears, they said.
Legal experts are worried to note that of the four pillars of democracy – Legislation, Executive, Judiciary and Press- one pillar is tilting to fall as was evident from the alleged insensibility of the NGT towards the pangs of poor people of Kulu Valley who eked out a bare living during the tourists season.
It may be recalled that Manali had been a favorite abode of Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru and Atal Behari Vajpayee, the former Prime Ministers of India. It was here that Nehru had quoted the famous lines of a poet : “Woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep. Miles to travel, before I sleep” and Mr. Vajpayee has made a small house at Prini near Manali where he used to come every year.
However, the unprecedented strike by Autos, Taxies and all commercial and luxury vehicles is still continuing, as NGT’s decision has come on them like a bolt from the blue. BJP leaders have expressed surprise over the manner in which the promotion of tourism in the panoramic hill state has been hit hard by unwanted meddling by bureaucratic and other agencies with a free functioning of the tourism industry and imposing imprudent restrictions on the movements of the tourists coming to the hill state from home and abroad. Nowhere in the world such anti-tourism policies are allowed to be pursued they argue.
BJP leaders say that on one hand Prime Minister, Narender Modi, was conceiving to convert Manali into the Switzerland of India but on the other hand some negative elements seemed to be out to decimate the tourism industry of Himachal Pradesh.