LAHAUL-SPITI RAISED THEIR VOICE AGAINST ADMINISTRATION

Manali: The resident of Lahaul and spiti and hoteliers have raise their voice against the Kullu management for treating as “strangers” in the name of implementing the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order.

They are asked to show the proof of their individuality at the Gulaba barrier to cross the Rohtang Pass to go to their motherland.LAHAUL-SPITI RAISED THEIR VOICE AGAINST ADMINISTRATION

Pilgrims and tourists seeking to visit Lahaul-Spiti, which is Buddhist circuit of the state and the hub of monasteries, are not being allowed despite the fact that Rohtang Pass has been opened on April 17, said Bir Singh Thomas, president, Lahaul-Spiti Hoteliers Association.

He added “We are writing to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into their grievances as people have to show the proof while going to their homeland,”.

Bir further said, “No tourist is allowed to visit Lahaul-Spiti from the Gulaba barrier onward near Manali. He pointed out that hoteliers have taken loans to start small guest houses that cater to tourists and pilgrims. But none has come this season so far and we are in arrears”.

Bir Singh said they had raised the issue with the Chief Minister last year when he had come to Lahaul. But the things worsen as the Kullu district administration has imposed fresh restrictions on the movement of people, hotel employees and tourists going to Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh, citing NGT order.

After getting the ID proof, the vehicles. which carry Lahaul-Spiti number plates, are allowed, disclosed Vonod Larjee of tandi. “But the hotel staff, which come from other parts of Himachal and from other states, are not allowed to cross Rohtang Pass without ID proof of the Lahaul and spiti,”.

Whereas Bir Singh said the NGT had not issued any order on the movement of people of Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh crossing the Rohtang Pass. “People are feeling that they are treated foreigner and not part of India as we have to show proof at the Gulaba barrier to restrict tourist traffic to Rohtang Pass,Moreover they have made country in country” added Tashi , a resident of Keylong.

Even the movement of public utility vehicles carrying essential commodities fertilisers, seeds, diesel and other supplies to Lahaul has been hit by the NGT order. “The SDM office at Manali opens at 10 am and it is difficult to get passes during holidays,” he added.

DC Kullu Hansraj Chauhan said they had implemented the NGT order to ensure that not more than 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles go to Rohtang Pass. “If we are sure that travellers are locals, we allow them to cross Rohtang Pass without ID proof. But we have to check the movement of fake operators going to Rohtang Pass in the name of Lahaul for which we need ID proof.”

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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