Taxi operators in Manali on strike, oppose NGT’s Rohtang limited access order

Manali: Opposed to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders about limiting the per day number of vehicles permitted to goto Rohtang Pass at 1,000, taxi operators in and around Manali struck work today and gone on an indefinite strike.

“No taxi will offer its service to any tourists from Tuesday,” said Puran Chand, president of Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union. He added, “Service will be also discontinued on all local and long routes. Strike will continue until all taxis are allowed to go towards Rohtang. We are forced to take this step as it is about our livelihood.”

Traffi blocked
Taxi operators block traffic

All  taxis of Manali, including tempo travellers, have supported the strike call. Many tourists staying in Manali, who are dependent upon taxi services for outdoor sightseeing, would be impacted at a time when the summer tourist season has just picked up in this resort township.

Speaking to Hill Post, Puran Chand said “taxis were not allowed to go towards Rohtang beyond Kothi today and thousands of tourists who had already left for Rohtang were harassed. “Rohtang is the major tourist destination of Manali. If we are not allowed to go to Rohtang, we cannot earn our livelihood. We shall fight for our rights,” he said.

Manali strike

After the taxis were not allowed to go towards Rohtang, taxi operators and tourists scuffled with police. Later local men and women from nearby villages jammed the road. Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar had a hard time in trying to convince the residents that justice would be done by the courts and local rights would be protected.

Julli, a tourist from Mumbai said they had spent thousands of rupees for their tour only to see the snow at Rohtang and now they were being stopped without proper notification. “We shall never come back to Manali. Tourists visit this place mainly to see snow and stopping tourists mid-way with out prior information is gross injustice,” she said.

Lockout
Lockeout at Taxi operators office

Kullu deputy commissioner Rakesh Kanwar speaking with Hillpost said the administration will comply with the orders of the NGT and only 1,000 vehicles a day would be allowed to move to Rohtang.

“We today visited Rohtang pass to check all preparations. Rohtang top would be opened for tourists after two weeks. Till then tourists can see snow at Marhi and Beas Nullah,” said Kanwar.

Photos by Sanjay Dutta

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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7 Comments

  1. says: Rahul

    Sir kindly keep the forum uodated about all the latest develoupments . Also can the tourists be picked Up from Volvo bus stand in hotel vehicles ??

  2. says: Balaji

    Hi,
    We have booked our travel to manali on 22nd to 24th of this month.
    Are other state vehicles allowed to Rohtang or all vehicles are stopped to Rohtang because of strike ?
    Is there any other place in Manali/Kullu to see snow ?

  3. says: Divyaraj Vasa

    We have arrived manali on 18th night n will be leaving on 21st early morning. We have booked a cab from Delhi but sitting in the hotel rooms since we came here as this strike is on…… this very bad as we have spent lot of money for this trip n doing nothing after coming here. What ever the issues it should be resolved either before tourist season starts or after it ends…I suggest not to visit manali as there are other good tourist destinations. This visit of ours is just waste of money n time. Don’t visit manali.

  4. says: navneet

    We are happy to pay the cace since 4 days we spend hear but no one help .
    Only we come hear to show the snow to our children we are living without seeing .
    Its too bad I hope local people have to respect the order witch will help them in future to save there nature & business.
    Good by
    Manali
    Navneet kasera

  5. says: Ravishanker

    Last two day we are here in manali the total trip is waste we are not able to roam around. Even Local taxi are in strike. After 25th result from supreme court we want to wait

  6. says: RK

    Pl. cancel your visit to manali as taxi operator strike is going on. All local people,Hotels supports strike. No body is supporting tourist. So Pl. cancel your tour.

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