MANALI, JUNE 6
The Manali administration today imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in the town after local taxi operators held a chakka jam on the Manali-Chandigarh National Highway. The section will remain in force for the next two months.
Hundreds of operators had blocked the highway in the town at 6 pm yesterday, which continued till 3am. The police tried to find a middle way to resolve the issue, but taxi operators failed to budge. Operators resumed traffic after SDM, Manali, Hem Raj Bairwa gave a letter that the administration would fulfil their major demands. After this, the SDM ordered that Section 144 of the CrPC would be imposed in the town.
The taxi union, luxury coach union and hoteliers met today to discuss the future strategy. Everybody said the situation should be dealt peacefully so that tourists don’t face any trouble.
The SDM wrote that he received a report from the police that the taxi union agitated and blocked the national highway in Manali for 8-9 hours. He said he had sufficient grounds to proceed under Section 144. He said no person except those on duty would obstruct the traffic. The order was imposed with immediate effect.
The SDM said the order was meant only for the smooth plying of traffic and to stop creating any nuisance, which could create problem to the public. Section 144 will be applicable if anybody tries to block traffic and cause problem to tourists.
He said all genuine demands of the taxi operators would be fulfilled, adding that the process of removing vehicles from the blacklist was underway. He said the administration was in talks with the Border Roads Organisation regarding allowing tourists to Rohtang even on Tuesdays in June. The matter of issuance of permits in single slot was being discussed with the DC, he said.
Local commissioner for NGT, Rakeshwar Lal Sood, visited Rohtang and discussed the matter with local stakeholders. He asked taxi operators and hoteliers to comply with the NGT order. Everything returned to normalcy after two days of tension in the town.
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