NEW DELHI: Heeding to Himachal Pradesh government's submission that it would curb vehicular pollution in the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang Pass, the National Green tribunal today extended its stay on banning the entry of all diesel and petrol tourist vehicles till November 30.
The Tribunal had restricted the number of vehicles to 1000 vehicles (600 petrol and 400 diesel) per day on first come, first serve basis.
"The extended period lapsed on August 14. We permit the period to be extended upto November 30, 2015. We make it clear that in the coming season, no other vehicle would be permitted to go Rohtang Pass unless specifically directed by the Tribunal," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The direction came after Additional Advocate General (AAG) Surya Narayana Singh, appearing for the state, told the Tribunal that it was making every effort to implement the directions passed by the green panel.
He also assured the NGT that the state would expeditiously place orders for CNG buses and ensure that there is no vehicular pollution in the eco-sensitive area.
During the hearing, the AAG sought permission from the bench that the state government be permitted to take vehicles from Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) so that they run CNG buses before next year's tourist season begins.
The counsel appearing for DMRC told the green bench that although they have shortage of buses for trial purposes, they could provide two buses to Himachal Pradesh at nominal rates of Rs 70,000 per vehicle for a week.
DMRC further said that it would charge Rs 23,000 as security of buses, which would be refundable.
The bench directed Indraprastha Gas Limited to ensure supply of CNG gas to these two vehicles for a period of one month at its own costs.
"Since two buses are going to ply on regular basis, we direct the State of Himachal Pradesh to proportionately reduce the vehicular traffic to Rohtang Pass in terms of our order dated May 5, 2015," the bench said.