Tribune News Service
Mandi, October 7
The Taxi Operators Union Manali is opposing the decision of the state government to set up a ropeway to the Rohtang Pass from Kothi, near Manali, for tourist activity. The government has entrusted the project to a private company, Ski Himalayas Limited. The ropeway will be 9-km long and will be set up in three phases.
According to sources, Ski Himalayas Limited is expected to start the construction of the project soon as all official formalities have been completed in this regard.
Meanwhile, the taxi operators of Manali are apprehensive that the ropeway will directly affect their livelihood. The Rohtang Pass situated at a height of 13,058 feet is a famous tourist destination, near Manali, in Kullu district. It attracts a large number of domestic and foreign tourists round the year because of the panoramic natural view. The pass remains under heavy snow cover till mid-June and during the winter, it receives snowfall early mid-October or in November, attracting tourists.
In the absence of a ropeway to reach the Rohtang Pass, the tourists have to take taxis from Manali to visit the place. People associated with the tourism industry in Manali say that the ropeway will destroy their livelihood.
Gupat Ram, president of the Him Anchal Taxi Operators Union Manali, said, “The decision of the government to set up a ropeway to the Rohtang Pass is against the interests of the taxi operators of Manali. The ropeway will directly affect our livelihood. Earlier when the Congress was in power in the state, Manali MLA and present Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur had opposed the ropeway project but now he is silent over the issue”.
“We are sure that other small entrepreneurs of the area to be affected by it will join us in opposing the decision of the government,” he said.
Anup Thakur, president of the Hoteliers Association Manali, said, “When the BJP was in the opposition, it had opposed the ropeway project during the Congress rule but now it is in a hurry to complete it.”
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