India: Rohtang pass restrictions to stay
May 28 (TravelAndy): India’s top court has agreed with the National Green Tribunal restrictions on tourist vehicles heading to the popular Rohtang la (pass) in Himahal Pradesh, a north Indian state nestled in the Himalayas, reports said.
Only a thousand vehicles can cross Rohtang each day, on a first-come first-serve basis, till August 14.
Petrol-run private vehicles will have to pay an environmental tax of INR1000, whereas diesel-run vehicles will have to shell out INR2000.
Protecting the environment is more important than tourism, the Supreme Court said.
The National Green Tribunal has directed that all vehicles passing through the Rohtang pass would have to be BS-IV compliant. This would ensure that the vehicles were are not emitting pollutants above the permissive limits.
The Rohtang pass connects Lahaul and Spiti valley, the route which go on to the breathtaking Ladakh.
Taxi operators fear that this would hit the local tourism industry.