The National Green Tribunal has refused to modify its Order restricting the number of vehicles to 1000 on the road from Manali to Rohtang pass in Himachal Pradesh. The Tribunal had passed the Order considering expert reports about adverse impact on glacier, air quality, climate change and flora and fauna on fragile eco system of the area.

“Opinion of some expert relied upon can not be treated as conclusive to revisit the orders passed on consideration of entirety of material based on reports of experts and on due consideration…”, the Tribunal held while dismissing the application seeking modification.

The applicant-Taxi Union had sought modification of the impugned Order on the ground of completion of Rohtang/Atal Tunnel and availability of more parking spaces at Gulaba, Marhi and Rohtang pass. It was stated that due to increased tourism activities, the number of vehicles permitted by the Tribunal was inadequate and was required to be increased to 5000 vehicles per day between Manali and Rohtang for tourism.

The applicant had also approached the Apex Court seeking modification of NGT’s Order, the Court asked them to approach NGT.

“Data of air quality merely because of restricted number of vehicles situation is better cannot be ground to presume that increased number of vehicles will be sustainable. The opening of Atal Tunnel or availability of parking space does not change the situation which led to passing of earlier orders by this Tribunal.”, held NGT bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Chairperson Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Dr. A. Senthil Vel, Expert Member.

Accordingly, the plea was dismissed.

We thus, do not find any reason to accept the prayers in the Misc. Application. The application is dismissed”, the Tribunal ordered.

Cause Title- Court on its own Motion v. State of H.P. & Ors.

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