In a major reprieve for the tourism industry in Manali, the National Green Tribunal has allowed its relaxation — on movement of tourists vehicles to Rohtang Pass — to continue till November 15 or till the Pass is officially closed for winter.
The order was passed on a review petition filed by the government after Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar had stopped issuing permits to tourists vehicles for Rohtang Pass on August 16. Though it had completely banned tourists vehicles on Rohtang Pass, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had allowed a three-month relaxation for tourist vehicles which ended on August 15.
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Only 1,000 vehicles will be allowed to Rohtang Pass, of which 600 will be petrol vehicles and the remaining 400 diesel. There are, however, no restrictions on vehicles moving to Keylong, Leh and Jammu and Kashmir while Army vehicles are also exempt.
Hailing the move, Anup Thakur, the president of the Manali Hoteliers’ Association, said a bandh call given by stake holders — Beopar Mandal, taxi operators and hoteliers — for August 21 has been called off because of the NGT’s fresh order allowing the relaxations till the end of November 2015.
The government generally closes movement of vehicles to Rohtang Pass after the winter snowfall till April-May the next year.
Kanwar said he was awaiting a copy of the NGT order, but has been told by lawyers about the restrictions having been relaxed.