CNG buses, ropeway to Rohtang opposed
The Manali Hoteliers Association (MHA) and tourism stakeholders of Manali have opposed the proposed CNG buses and ropeway to Rohtang Pass.
They have urged Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh to plead the case of people of Kullu and Manali with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to restart the tourism activities in the area when the NGT hears the case here on September 30.
The government has acted as directed by the NGT. The rehabilitation plan is ready. The administration is not allowing more than 1,000 vehicles - 600 diesel and 400 petrol - to Rohtang Pass a day. The government should plead with the NGT to restore all tourism activities, demanded AR Thakur, president, MHA, after he submitted a charter of 15 demands to the Chief Minister here.
He said, “The Chief Minister has assured us that the government will plead the case of hoteliers and other stakeholders with the NGT soon to get relief as the ban has deprived the people of their sources of livelihoods”.
The ban and plying of CNG buses and ropeway will rob the villagers of their livelihood, he said. “We instead propose to allot the Palchan-Rohtang ropeway project to be built by the cooperative sector on private-public participation basis (PPP).
The abrupt shift to CNG or electric transport will render hundreds of taxi operators jobless. “We welcome the NGT order to decongest Rohtang. But Bhrigu Lake, Hamta Pass, Patalsu, Bijli Mahadev Peak, Ranisui Lake, Loma Dugh, Gautam Shila, Pandu Ropa in the Allain Duhangan valley should be opened for tourists”, said Thakur.
These spots can be developed for paragliding and trekking, he said, adding “Villagers are ready to take to afforestation as proposed by the NGT but tourism activities which will be regulated by government agencies should be allowed”, he said.