Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has asked the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to reconsider its order banning diesel-operated tourist vehicles at the Rohtang Pass — a popular tourist destination.
The CM said since the NGT orders are interim in nature and not a final judgment, the state cannot appeal to the Supreme Court. He said it was up to the tribunal to take a balanced view of the situation as the ban could adversely affect livelihoods of locals.
“It is a question of livelihood of taxi operators, dhaba owners and others engaged in the business during the tourist season. NGT should reconsider the ban orders,” he said. “Nobody can say the environment should not be protected or no measures be invoked to stop environmental degradation. But a middle course needs to be adopted.”
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In its order, the NGT had fixed the number of diesel and petrol tourist vehicles allowed to ply to Rohtang pass, besides levying a fee of Rs 2,500 and Rs 1,000 on diesel and petrol vehicles respectively.