The National Green Tribunal wants installation of a CNG station at Manali by January 2016 and has directed the Centre and all the departments concerned of the state to extend their full cooperation for the project to protect the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang.
The green panel has said that the CNG project needs to be dealt expeditiously in order to protect the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang which is one of the most beautiful part of the state.
“The counsel appearing for the different authorities, companies, state government and central government have agreed to a proposal to make it possible to supply the CNG gas at Manali. They have placed on record a note to ensure execution of the issues decided.
“The GAIL Gas Ltd shall be responsible for execution of the project. However, all other authority present before the tribunal would fully cooperate with them and do not unnecessarily put obstruction in grant of permission and facilitating the compliance of the order of the tribunal,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board argued before the bench that GAIL was yet to make any formal application for grant of NOC and it has only given expression of interest to the board.
“Oh, common, the state government is before you. They are not private parties that you need such formalities. There has to be a positive approach from your side. There is a larger issue of environment involved. Issue them a provisional consent for the time being. Don’t delay the project. We want the project to be completed by January, next year,” the bench said.
The tribunal also made it clear that all its earlier orders including cap of number of vehicles being allowed to ply on Manali-Rohtang route would continue to remain in force.
In a step aimed at minimising pollution in the Rohtang pass area, the tribunal had cleared the decks for plying of CNG buses on the 51-km-long Manali-Rohtang highway.
The tribunal’s nod to run CNG buses came after Himachal Pradesh government told a bench that trial run was successful and the state has planned to introduce CNG buses for regular operation from Vashist to Rohtang pass.
( Source – PTI )