Local NGOs opposes move of massive green felling for Rohtang Ropeway construction

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A Local NGO belonging to district Kullu opposed the move of massive green felling by a firm engaged in construction of Rope way for 13050ft High Rohtang Pass also called the gateway to the Lahaul Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh.

The convener of ‘Yatan’ a local NGO of Kullu district, Mr. Gaurab Bhardwaj alleged in a press statement issued on Monday that despite blanket ban by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on all sorts of tourist activities in the tourist resort Manali upto Rohtang to stop damaging fragile ecology, massive green felling proposed for construction of Rope Way is unrealistic and selfish move. However the firm have yet to get nod for the feasibility reports.

The NGOs alleged that the firm and department identified green felling of around one thousands green trees as feasibility report alone mentioned green felling of 500 trees. It would be mockery of NGT orders to stop Tourists activities in the region if the department and firm allowed this massive green felling.

If the Rope way project amounts to such a massive green felling as the work of identification of more tree is still on, the government should have look the alternate way to avoid degradation to the environment. The Chief Conservator of Forest also apprise by the NGO about alleged development and a memorandum to be hand over to Deputy Commissioner concerned to also bring up the issue to logical conclusion, NGO alleged.

We may knock the door of State High Court if the government did not reconsider the alleged move of green felling in the future, Mr. Bhardwaj warned. On July 7, 2015 the National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned all commercial activities at the Rohtang Pass and stopped horse riding, snow biking, paragliding, tyre-tube gaming and snow scooters at Rohtang, Solang and Marhi.

A six-member Bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar had issued a show-cause notice to the Himachal Government, holding out the threat of a “complete ban on tourism activity” in the Rohtang Pass and glaciers to check environmental degradation and melting of the glaciers which were receding at the rate of 20 metres a year since 1986.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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