Exactly two years after Cabinet nod overruling objections by ministers and bureaucrats, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Monday took a U-turn on the upcoming Rs 450-core Palchan-Rohtang Pass ropeway project, that was being pushed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to reduce traffic congestion at Rohtang Pass .
The project, which was vehemently opposed by local panchayats, is sure to meet the fate of the ambitious Rs 1600-crore Himalayan ski village project, proposed by the earlier Congress government but abandoned by the BJP government.
In Manali to launch major development projects, at least 39, theCM said, “I am personally opposed to the Rohtang ropeway project. Thus, the government will certainly take up the matter with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on priority basis so that the issues raised by the local panchayats can be resolved in an effective manner.” More than half a dozen panchatats have opposed the project and announced not to give No-Objection certificate (NOC) to the private company executing the project .If the government still decided to go ahead, we will move to the Supreme Court,” said Palchan panchayat head Sunder Thakur. Earlier in 2013, the Cabinet had scrapped the project but later, it was revived without inviting fresh bids and allotted to a company, which already had one ropeway project at Solong Nullah. Today, the villagers voiced their opposition to the project and also its adverse impact on their levelihoods due to restrictions imposed by the National Green Tribunal on Rohtang pass.