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NGT dismisses plea to allow more vehicles to Rohtang Pass

NGT dismisses plea to allow more vehicles to Rohtang Pass

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday rejected the petition filed by it to increase the number of vehicles going to the Rohtang Pass from Manali, HP. The Central govt had sought permission to raise the cap on vehicles to go from Manali to Rohtang Pass from 1,200 to 5,000.

The union had filed a petition in the Apex Court for modification of the orders passed in the years 2016 and 2017 by the NGT. The apex court had transferred the matter to the NGT.

It was pleaded before the Hon'ble Court that due to increased tourism activities, the number of vehicles permitted to go to Rohtang Pass by the tribunal was insufficient. The number is now required to be increased to 5,000 vehicles per day.

Rejecting the union’s application, the tribunal said the movement of more vehicles cannot be allowed due to adverse impacts on glaciers, climate change and the environment.

The orders said that the carrying capacity of the area did not permit relaxation. Data on air quality was better merely because of the restricted number of vehicles.

A bench of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal and Dr A Senthil Veil while rejecting a plea said that this cannot be a ground to presume that an increased number of vehicles would be sustainable.

However, the NGT determined that the opinion of the expert relied upon could not be treated as conclusive enough as it had passed the order prescribing the existing cap based on a lot of material based on reports of other experts. Hence, it rejected the plea.

Advocate Bhakti Pasrija represented the taxi operators union.

 

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