NGT Directs Himachal To Redo Gulaba-Manali Tourist Barrier

Gulaba-Manali (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)
Gulaba-Manali (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia)

Manali: National Green Tribunal has directed Himachal Pradesh government to redesign the barrier at Gulaba near Manali within a week and install requisite equipment for ensuring proper management of the tourists.

The NGT has also directed the state authorities to manage mobile toilets units at Gulaba and other places hygienically and have in place an effective waste disposal system.

“We issue directions to the State of Himachal Pradesh that the barrier at Gulaba should be re-designed and manned properly. It should have all the relevant equipment and computerized system to ensure proper managements of the tourists pressure during the season, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar ordered.

“The mobile toilet units at Gulaba and other places should be properly managed and there should be proper waste disposal system. The sign boards put up should be preferably in a permanent material rather than flex and should be in both English and Hindi,” the NGT chairperson directed.

He also asked the local commissioners to conduct surprise inspections at different locations en route to Rohtang Pass and submit the report within a week.

“They would be within their right to conduct surprise inspection or conduct inspection after informing the authority concerned. In either of the events the State Authority, including the police and Kullu DC shall provide all help and assistance to the local commissioners to comply with the directions issued by the tribunal” the tribunal ordered before posting the matter for 14 July..

In its May 9, 2016 order the tribunal had said no activities like paragliding and snow scooters would be permitted at Rohtang Pass as is an “extremely eco-sensitive area.”

However, the tribunal allowed the activity of people involved in providing local dresses for photography purposes at Rohtang, Solang, Gulaba and Marhi.

The tribunal had asked the state government to submit a comprehensive report on various aspects, including installing of a ropeway, starting of CNG and electric buses, status with regard to afforestation and establishment of eco-friendly market at Marhi.

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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