Tribune News Service
Mandi, June 13
The hoteliers and taxi operators of Manali have opposed the setting up of the ropeway to Rohtang Pass. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had on Friday asked the state government to speed up work on the Rohtang ropeway project, which has left the hoteliers as well taxi operators of Manali worried.
Reacting about the ropeway project, Gupt Ram, a taxi operator in Manali, said, “The ropeway to Rohtang Pass from Palchan near Manali will affect the livelihood of taxi operators. A majority of taxi operators run their taxis to Rohtang Pass from Manali during tourist season to make some earning. After the ropeway is set up, taxi operators will lose their livelihood.”
“A meeting of taxi operators will be held soon to discuss the issue and chalk out a future strategy. The issue will be raised with the state government,” Puran Chand, president of Taxi Operators Union at Manali, said.
Right from the beginning, the taxi operators of Manali have been against the ropeway project and have urged the state government to give up the project.
Similarly, the Hoteliers of Manali are also against this ropeway. They have urged the state government to set up ropeways at those tourist destinations in Kullu district which are not accessible because of poor road connectivity or any other mode of transportation.
Anup Thakur, president of Hoteliers Association, Manali, said “Rohtang Pass is connected with road facility from both sides — from via Atal tunnel and from the Gulaba side. A majority of people as well as tourists are traveling to Lahaul Spiti and Leh from Manali via Atal tunnel. So, the influx of tourist vehicles toward Rohtang Pass has been reduced considerably since the inauguration of the Atal tunnel.”
“The setting up of the ropeway to Rohtang will benefit only one person, the entrepreneur of the project, while it will deprive the taxi operators and other local people of their livelihood. Instead of setting up ropeway to Rohtang pass, the state government should focus on setting up ropeways to Chanderkhani Pass, Bhrigu lake area and other scenic places in Kullu district, which lack road connectivity,” he remarked.
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