In an unusual move, the district administration on Tuesday imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 in the popular hill station of Manali to deal with protests threatened by local taxi drivers who have been banned from plying their vehicles to Rohtang Pass.
The move comes a day after taxi operators went on a mass protest in the town on Monday, resulting in a complete chaos at a time the town is flooded with tourists. The protesters want withdrawal of an order blacklisting taxis and their drivers flouting the ban.
Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus confirmed prohibitory orders had been imposed to maintain law and order in Manali area and ensure no obstruction or inconvenience was caused to the summer guests by the taxi operators.
“The action relating to blacklisting of vehicles and their drivers was taken as per orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Now, since some people had tried to create problems relating to law and order, we have decided to promulgate the prohibitory orders,” Yunus said.
In the past 10 days, more than 300 vehicles, mostly taxis, have been banned by the administration. Some hoteliers alleged taxi operators had been resorting to malpractices and fleecing the tourists, using illegal means to ferry tourists to Rohtang Pass by overcharging, sometimes up to Rs 6,500 to 8000 per trip.