New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant immediate relief to the taxi owners, who have challenged the National Green Tribunal's order restricting the entry of all diesel and petrol tourist vehicles in Rohtang Pass.
"This (NGT) order was in the interest of environment and ecology, the ecology must remain beautiful. What is the use if it gets destroyed?... We cannot deny that vehicular pollution will not affect the snow," said the apex court.
The Taxi Association had asked for relaxation of current restrictions to allow for more taxis to go up to Rohtang Pass.
The apex court also asked the Solicitor General to assist it in determining cumulative effect of NGT orders which restricted vehicles going to the Rohtang Pass.
The Himachal Taxi Owners Association had approached the apex challenging the NGT order, which currently allows a total of only 500 petrol and CNG vehicles to go up to Rohtang every day.
Taxi owners say this is the only big earning period on account of peak tourism season, adding they are suffering as they have to wait in queue for a long period for customers and CNG.
The matter will be next heard on April 25.
The NGT had in its order restricted the number of vehicles to pass through Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes to 600 petrol vehicles and 400 diesel per day on first-come, first-serve basis and had directed that each vehicle allowed would pay an environmental cess.
Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, around 51 km from Manali, and connects Kullu Valley with the remote district of Lahaul and Spiti.