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Old 28th April 2015, 11:37   #31
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
The other irony is that the HP government has inexplicably abandoned the proposed Vashisht-Rohtang ropeway. That could've catered to the tourists and simply killed the whole traffic problem in a fell swoop.
^^This
A ropeway can solve these issues in one swoop. But it will also impact revenues of taxi union since nobody will take the bone jarring ride just to see some snow at Rohtang Top.

This one project can be completed in less than two years, and cut down the Rohtang Traffic to 10% of what it is. No jams, no idling cars and no pollution issues.
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Old 6th May 2015, 09:45   #32
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

NGT allowed the movement of Bharat Stage-IV and 1,000 vehicles, including 600 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles, in the eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass every day. However, petrol vehicles had to pay a congestion charge of Rs 1,000 and diesel vehicle Rs 2,500 and all commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of more than six had to pay Rs 5,000

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/him...-sc/76739.html
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Old 9th May 2015, 18:09   #33
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1. Agree on the ropeway idea

2. Medium capacity tourist vehicles with nominal fee which should run on petrol for efficient runs and not prone to turbo lag etc. CNG may not have enough power.

3. Premium govt fee diesel vehicles for 5 years - to be phased out
4. Sissu U-turn to Manali should have premium charge once open.
5. Cheaper helicopter rides to see the area and drops to Rohtang.
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Old 26th May 2015, 16:11   #34
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

Update on the same which came in TOI.
Seems like the appeal against the order got rejected by SC.

News article.
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Old 27th May 2015, 19:22   #35
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
NGT allowed the movement of Bharat Stage-IV and 1,000 vehicles, including 600 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles, in the eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass every day. However, petrol vehicles had to pay a congestion charge of Rs 1,000 and diesel vehicle Rs 2,500 and all commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of more than six had to pay Rs 5,000

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/him...-sc/76739.html
Can somebody please clarify if this is also applicable for vehicles coming from Kaza via Kunzum La.
I was planing a trip around the Kinnaur-Lahaup-Spiti Circuit mid june. We are planning to take Dzire petrol.
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Old 30th May 2015, 15:53   #36
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

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Originally Posted by dinesha View Post
Can somebody please clarify if this is also applicable for vehicles coming from Kaza via Kunzum La.
I was planing a trip around the Kinnaur-Lahaup-Spiti Circuit mid june. We are planning to take Dzire petrol.
You will not have trouble with NGT regs, which apply neither to your car or route, BUT if the road is open at all, it will be in completely unsuitable condition for a sedan that early in the season. Very ill-advised. See my (inadvertently controversial) thread re: the Scorpio vlx 4x4 out there last year. We saw people in a Swift then having an absolutely terrible time, most likely damaging their vehicle badly, and only getting through with the continual help of the Fortuner that their travel companions were driving. Lots of deep, swiftly flowing water, big (sometimes invisible) stones beneath and elsewhere, even driving over glaciers that were breaking up from below - both traction and ground clearance (and water-tightness?) are major difficulties. If you insist on trying it, well, it would be an adventure, but not likely memorable for much but the distractions of pains and troubles. Later in the season, when snow melt is reduced, glaciers are no longer covering the road, and some semblence of actual clearing / maintenance has taken place, local Spitians manage in Altos and other small cars - but these generally have less overhang, more ground clearance, shorter wheelbase than sedans. And even then, they sometimes break oil chambers and get into various sorts of trouble.

NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass-dsc02787.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Update on the same which came in TOI.
Seems like the appeal against the order got rejected by SC.
As of today taxis are back in service after a long strike. SC apparently struck down the BS-IV requirement, but referred all other concerns back to the NGT for review / discussion, the latter agreeing to temporary relief in the form of a delay of implementation till July.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
A ropeway can solve these issues in one swoop. But it will also impact revenues of taxi union since nobody will take the bone jarring ride just to see some snow at Rohtang Top. This one project can be completed in less than two years, and cut down the Rohtang Traffic to 10% of what it is. No jams, no idling cars and no pollution issues.
I think of Zermatt, the pristine village at the base of Switzerland's Matterhorn, where this solution has worked brilliantly. I also think of Shimla, where taxis and in fact all non-essential traffic has been long banned from the main town / mall area entirely, making it a much better place to live and, despite inconveniences not worse than traffic jams, to visit as well. Residents are healthier because they walk more and because they're not assaulted with noise and air pollution all day.

I'm wondering how the government handled what must have been the similar shrill protests of taxi operators in Shimla's case, and despite whatever pains it may cause, I can't help think Manali would be a lot better off planning to move more towards the reduction/elimination of taxis (and maybe all tourist vehicles, following the Shimla/Zermatt model) rather than their accommodation.

NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass-dsc02835.jpg

Our wonderful Manali taxi union has made its members relatively wealthy over the years with extremely little consideration for the quality of its services. Some operators are (relatively) honest and hard-working people, but (for example): 90% commissions (to the driver) are the norm for snow-suit rentals. Taxi rides to Manali's Clubhouse (Old Manali) are encouraged, knowing well that passengers will sit for hours in a traffic jam when they could've walked there in 20 minutes through a pristine maintained forest on a paved path (via upper Van Vihar). Strikes and release from police custody have been demanded more than once for drivers arrested in cases of clear wrongdoing. Last week, one of their goondas intimidated a locally-based Delhi-ite friend of mine, while he was helping place his elderly mother and her luggage into his personal car; "We are bigger than the police" he was told. When the union's doomsday assertions of financial ruin re: the cess were largely disproven by outside operators with carloads of tourists quite willing to pay the 2,500/5,000 to ascend, the union responded by calling for a bandh for ALL vehicles, and the whole market (including eateries) besides. Great. Take away food from the children of those who support your livelihood. Just how much can they tolerate for the sake of your own selfish interests? Are you not beginning to deserve their resentment / hatred?

If the police / government cannot control these sorts of anti-social elements, then perhaps tourists' attitudes towards them and their industry ultimately will.

Having said that, a lot of the drivers, many of them I'd consider friends, seem to be a lot nicer than the image their union projects as a whole, and are truly dependent on this line of work, at least in the short-term. Why doesn't their union take initiatives themselves for cleaning up the trash / preventing the throwing of trash from union vehicles? For safe driving practices? For the elimination of bad, traffic-jam-inducing (even life-threatening, re: the non-access of emergency vehicles) habits like double (or triple) laning? For the polite treatment of passengers? For the proper maintenance (incl. ACTUAL checking at the PUC certification centers) of their vehicles? Lacking this, they project an ugly image that is likely to be increasingly avoided in the future by tourists with alternatives, and on the other side are likely to be increasingly restricted (sometimes at great cost) by legal means, where they could've voluntarily done it themselves.

NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass-dsc02876.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renjith_Mani View Post
I feel the whole idea a Tuglak reform. The ecology is not more affected by littering the place and ill-behaving tourists. Steps I consider better are
1. Make traffic one way only. Say- in morning hours 5 am to 1 pm towards Leh side and afterwards towards Manali. This should apply even for bus and army trucks.
2. No parking on side of the road,That is what causes the jam. Make some designated parking spots at view points so that tourists may park there, get down and take pictures.
3. Impose heavy fines on those who litter the place
4. Improve the condition of the spiti valley route so that people get a better alternative than Rohtang
This will help reduce the pollution and rush on the pass.
Steps like banning diesel cars altogether can affect the tourism revenue of the state.
Fully agreed except #4, as Spiti is way beyond the scope of day-trippers and moreover is probably one of the few truly un-tame-able and largely un-improve-able stretches of road in the country, due to the looseness of the rock, the continual ravages of glaciers and glacier-fed waters, the remoteness of the area, etc.

While I have little sympathy for the goondas of Manali's union-wallahs (obviously), those observing it at the ground level here cannot help but conclude that the whole thing has been very ill-assessed and ill-handled by the NGT. To begin with, diesel emissions are certainly higher in terms of particulates, but generally lower otherwise. They are not responsible any more than petrol cars are for melting glaciers (the claimed justification for the rulings); Moreover, the fact of glaciers receding in the most remote and untouched parts of the Himalayas (and the world) is proof enough that it is not a local problem, nor an issue caused primarily by local activities. These are extremely basic, elementary facts, and that the NGT seems to be ignoring such realities hardly helps instill confidence and trust re: their competence and purity of motive. Might mention that the story on the street here since sometime last year is that one of the NGT justices had visited Rohtang last season, and having been personally badly treated (allegedly requiring police intervention) by his driver and seen all the mayhem and mess and shameless cheating going on up there besides, had left town saying, "You'll see me again". I wonder. If the story is true, it suggests that in the targeting of Rohtang there is more than meets the eye; If false, it AT LEAST suggests that the locals who fabricated it both: 1) acknowledge that bad behavior on the part of operators is common (which makes me suspect it is NOT a fabrication); and 2) that there is little trust towards the NGT.

NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass-dscf4798.jpg

Delhi's focus on diesels has to due with that region's own problems with unacceptably high particulate readings. But Delhi's problems are not Rohtang's, and handing down identical "solutions" can only be deemed ridiculous and shoddy. The people - and Rohtang - deserve better.

Moreover, the NGT doesn't seem able to make up their own minds re: what is appropriate in this context. First 10+ year-olds were banned. Then, within a month or two, all diesels. Then all sub-BSIV vehicles. This not only betrays a lack of clear intention / planning on their part, but it makes it extremely difficult for local operators to adjust or invest for the future, or to in any way feel as though they're participants / contributors in the effort, rather than victims.

The BS/EU/EPA norms are clearly phased directives with implementations scheduled very clearly for decades into the future. We see nothing like that from the NGT here:

1) What was the point of banning 10+ year olds, when taxi registrations are only valid for ten years anyway? There would not have been any benefit whatsoever. So who, seemingly lacking even basic information or analysis, ignorantly handed down THAT directive???

2) Please do explain just how diesels melt glaciers more than petrol cars.

3) In the midst of all this I saw drums burning, billowing tar smoke in old-school road-paving operations, LITERALLY in the shadow of signboards (Manali bus stand area) declaring the NGT's latest vehicular bans. Thousands of vehicles' worth of pollution from this source (and countless others like it) daily, and government-sponsored at that. Government should set the example long before putting the burden on the common man.

4) Has no consideration been given to the likely reality that with completion of the tunnel slated for a few years from now, Rohtang will be, to both residents of these valleys and to the Army, completely superfluous and likely to be abandoned? That is to say, that the problem is likely to be resolved on its own, without need for difficult NGT interventions?

The Pass is admittedly a sad mess, the traffic being only one reason among many for its degradation, as has been mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

And yes, it deserves better consideration and treatment, both from the NGT, the taxi Union, and the common tourist (would you PLEASE stop throwing open, fully soiled diapers from the car window???!!!) - NOT because glaciers are melting in the greater region, NOT because the taxi-union has generally positioned itself beyond reasonable limits and deserves to be punished, but BECAUSE the Pass is potentially a pristine place of particular natural beauty, which, as all such places do, has the ability to point us to something (or Someone) higher than ourselves, teaching us something of the Divine wisdom and Supreme aesthetic sense that went into the formation of this world. In a word, it was formed to be breathtaking, and should be corrupted and treated as though it is anything less. Its maintenance will require careful study, assessment, monitoring, and the cooperation of all who enjoy it and have a long term interest (whether they realize it or not) in its preservation. There is no place here for the careless exercise of power or the careless machinations of greed.

It deserves our best. Let's all do our part to grant it that. If what I've conveyed would seem to make me the enemy of any group of people, it should be understood that it is my desire to be a friend of the Pass that has compelled me. It's not about government power, it's not about special interest groups. Whatever we do, we should be doing it for the sake of the natural grandeur that the Pass so well represents, and ultimately (even if unknowingly) for her Maker.

-Eric

NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass-dsc02458.jpg

Last edited by ringoism : 30th May 2015 at 16:12.
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Old 30th May 2015, 17:25   #37
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

That line in the second-to-last paragraph should've read: "In a word, it was formed to be breathtaking, and should NOT be corrupted and treated as though it is anything less."

Just to be clear... Regret the typo.
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Old 16th July 2015, 12:05   #38
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Default Re: NGT gives a blanket ban to commercial diesel vehicles on Rohtang Pass

Well, how about this?

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/i...w/48061611.cms
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