Tourists flout NGT orders, booked

by chitrkunwar

MANALI: Having spent thousands of rupees on their holiday trip, just to see snow on Rohtang Pass, thousands of tourists, who are not being allowed to visit Rohtang, are angry with local authorities and National Green Tribunal.

“NGT orders cannot stop us from visiting Rohtang Pass. Courts and laws are for the welfare of its citizens, not to restrict or stop them from visiting any civil area in their own country,” shouted a group of tourists at the barrier in Gulaba on Sunday. Following NGT order, police stopped tourist vehicles beyond the permissible limit. Tourists were not in a mood to return and wanted to see snow at any cost. The group allegedly scuffled with police.

Manali deputy superintendent of police Puran Thukral said some tourists gathered at Gulaba barrier at 2pm on Sunday and refused to obey NGT order. “They obstructed the highway and said they won’t obey NGT orders. They also used filthy language. A case has been registered and we are investigating the matter,” he said.

Now 1,000 permits to visit Rohtang Pass are being given in advance from tourism office and Manali taxi union on first come first serve basis. Tourists are still managing to reach Gulaba check post hoping that they will get permission to visit Rohtang in their vehicles. On Saturday and Sunday, a large number of tourists had reached Gulaba in the evening and slept in their vehicles hoping that they will get the permit at the barrier that opens at 6am.

Tourists are making all efforts possible to get the permit. According to police, some of them are even offering bribe to the police at the barrier. Throughout the day, hundreds of tourists visit sub-divisional magistrate office to get permission.

On Monday, nearly 100 tourists gathered at magistrate office and gheraoed sub-divisional magistrate and asked her to give them special permission to visit Rohtang Pass. According to sources, thousands of tourists, especially those who are coming in their own vehicles, are returning without seeing snow at Rohtang Pass.

Govt to favour rights of locals before NGT: Bali

Manali: Transport minister GS Bali on Monday said all departments in state have been asked to submit their report that would be compiled and presented before NGT.

“We have to preserve our environment. But government will also take all possible efforts to protect the rights of the local people as we know enforcement of NGT order is affecting their livelihood,” Bali added.

He requested all people linked to tourism and also tourists not to litter Manali and help keep the mountains beautiful and in their natural state. Bali further added that Rs 50 lakh would be spent on the renovation of the existing bus stand and new bus stand with vehicle capacity of 500 will also be constructed soon

TNN | Jun 2, 2015, 06.00 AM IST

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