In an important development the Principle Bench of National Green Tribunal has permitted the movement of diesel and petrol run tourist vehicles on Rohtang Pass till 30th November 2015 extending the imposed blanket ban that came into force on 14th August 2015.
Hearing the matter the Chairperson of NGT Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar and expert member Dr. D.K. Aggarwal decided to extend the permission to ply the vehicular traffic with certain restrictions till 30th November 2015.
Earlier the state of Himachal pleaded before the bench that it was making efforts to implement the directions passed by the tribunal particularly in relation to plying of CNG buses from Vashishtha to Rohtang Pass. The state stated that it was following the earlier orders of NGT to ban diesel and petrol fuel vehicles to ensure that there is no vehicular pollution in the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang Pass.
The state also demanded that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to give CNG loan vehicles so that it could place the entire system in furtherance to the directions of the Tribunal in place before the next year tourist season. However NGT said in its order that it was happy to note that state is appearing for the DMRC and latter had provided two CNG buses to it on loan or charged basis.
“Since there is no CNG fuel filling station in the state so it has to depend upon Ambala based Indraprastha Gas Limited to ensure supply of CNG to these two vehicles for a period of one month being incurred by the state from its own kitty” as told by counsel for the state.
Since two buses are going to ply on a regular basis, therefore the Green Tribunal has directed the state to proportionately reduce the vehicular traffic to Rohtang Pass in terms of its order of 5th May 2015 which has banned all tourist activity on the Rohtang pass as it was polluting its ecosystem.
“We permit the period to be extended up to 30th November 2015 and however which also makes it clear that in the coming tourist season no other vehicle would be permitted to go to Rohtang Pass unless specifically directed by the Tribunal” as confirmed by the green bench.
It also directed the state pollution control board to participate, cooperate and if necessary even contribute funds for implementation of this project and also the bench has listed the matter for 17th September 2015 to come before circuit bench at Shimla.