The Rohtang Pass, a little distance up from Manali in Himachal Pradesh, is a beautiful place, covered in snow, but also, now, full of filth and dirt. Vehicular pollution has made the area polluted and the delicate ecological balance that existed in and around the pass is lost.
The major pollutant in the area has been cars, with hundreds of taxis, from small cars to SUVs, climbing the distance with tourists who, then, leave more garbage in the area.
To somehow control the extent of damage, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has taken suo motu cognizance of the nuisance and has been trying to find a solution. On Wednesday (August 30), following hearings, the court ordered that Himachal Pradesh taxi drivers can make a maximum of three trips in a week to Rohtang Pass. This rate cannot be reduced, because it is a matter of survival for the drivers.
On Wednesday, the counsel for Himachal Pradesh government submitted that there are 3,041 taxies in Manali, Kullu and Kasaul, of which 2,430 are in Manali.
The state’s advocate general submitted, “We will submit whole details on the next date. We allow 800 taxies in three days and if driver wants to make more than one trip, he can make that after three days from the first application for permit in the week. Nobody is applying, so how can we permit them?”
The next date of hearing is September 6.
—India legal Bureau