Manali: Differing with the interim orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), chief minister Virbhadra Singh stated forth that while the state government was in favour of environment protection, but the problems of the residents would also be considered before enforcing or passing any order.
Where NGT is attempting to restrict control of petrol and diesel vehicles plying to Rohtang Pass and asking for introduction of CNG vehicles, the chief minister said here, “the proposal to ply CNG buses on the Manali-Rohtang route was not feasible as Rohtang was not the dead end of the highway. Moreover environment concern was not the problem at only Rohtang Pass.
“The same route further connects Lahaul, Spiti, Pangi and Ladakh valleys that will also have significant impact of running CNG buses till Rohtang,” said Virbhadra Singh.
The chief minister was speaking to a delegation of hotel owners, taxi operators, tourism entrepreneurs and the residents of Manali who have sought intervention of the state government for obtaining them relief from the orders passed by the National Green Tribunal.
The Tribunal is pushing the state government to run CNG operated buses on the Manali-Rohtang route so as to cause minimal environment damage to the high altitude eco-system.
On the other hand, thousands of residents, who are dependent on tourism for their livelihood, are opposing both introduction of CNG buses and construction of the ropeway project.
The chief minister said that the ropeway project to Rohtang would be considered only if it is in the interest of both environment and public.
“We shall take up the matter with the NGT, the Centre and if need arises also with Supreme Court,” said Virbhadra Singh.