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CM: Will take up Rohtang ropeway issue with NGT

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said he was with those who were opposing the Rohtang ropeway project and the state government would raise issue with the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Virbhadra, who is on his two-day visit to Kullu-Manali, laid foundation stones and inaugurated 16 projects. Addressing a public gathering at Bahang, near here, he assured people that the government respected the public sentiments and would talk to the NGT.

However, the inaugurations and assurance made by CM are being viewed as an attempt to woo villagers ahead of the Assembly elections.While the NGT has directed the government to expedite the Rohtang ropeway project in a bid to reduce vehicular emissions to the ecologically fragile Rohtang Pass, the locals requested the CM to cancel the project for the welfare of thousands of people.

The Palchan panchayat is not issuing NOC to the ropeway project. “I agree with the fact that the traffic congestion to Rohtang should be decreased but it cannot be stopped completely as civilization lives beyond Rohtang Pass too and they have rights to use transportation,” he said. Talking about the root cause of so many problems in Rohtang, the CM said everybody knew that Rohtang had no glaciers. He said if glaciers close to Rohtang were receding, this was due to global warming and not because of the vehicles. Global warming was a global issue, he said. He further added that electric vehicles and ropeways were the future. But they had to make a balance among environment, employment and local rights, he said. The CM upgraded the Civil Hospital, Manali, to 75-bedded hospital and announced to open a fire station at Patlikuhal. Former Member of Parliament Pratibha Singh and Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes were also present.

Tribunal directives

  • The Chief Minister assured people that the government respected public sentiments and would talk to the NGT.
  • The NGT has directed the government to expedite the Rohtang ropeway project in a bid to reduce vehicular emissions to the ecologically fragile Rohtang Pass
  • The Palchan panchayat is not issuing NOC to the ropeway project
  • He said a balance was needed among environment, employment and local rights
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