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SC backs NGT restriction against petrol-run vehicles in Rohtang

SC backs NGT restriction against petrol-run vehicles in Rohtang
The Supreme Court on Monday said there was nothing wrong with the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directive to restrict the entry of petrol-run vehicles in the eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass area and the order was in the interest of ecology and environment.

A Bench, headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur, refused to grant an immediate relief to the taxi operators’ union, which has challenged the NGT’s order, restricting entry to 500 petrol vehicles only on the 13,050 feet pass.

The Apex Court, however, sought the assistance of Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar in assessing various orders of the NGT as the counsel for the taxi operators’ union alleged that some orders were not in sync with the previous ones.

The counsel, Vibha Dutt Makhija, said the subsequent orders were being made without clarifying the status of earlier orders which are a bit conflicting.

After a brief hearing, the Bench said: “You can’t deny the fact there is vehicular pollution, which is affecting the environment in Rohtang. Roads are narrow and (higher) traffic will cause further complications. People can’t go there to see black snow. What is wrong with the NGT order? It is in the interest of ecology and environment. You go to a place for enjoying the beauty of the place.”

“You (Solicitor General) look into all orders passed by the NGT. Every third day the NGT is passing orders. We want to know what do they have in mind. These orders may be well-meaning and righteous orders. You look into them and give us an idea about it,” said the Bench, which also comprised Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit.
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