The Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh’s scenic Kullu Valley was today opened for vehicular traffic and tourists after remaining closed for almost five months. The state’s main tourist attraction at 13,050 feet, the pass connects Kullu to the tribal-district of Lahaul and can be accessed by obtaining a permit.
“Arrangements for issuing online permits are in place, and vehicles can get the permit without any delays,” Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yonus Khan said. He said the permit system was put in place as per directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which took serious note of the vehicular pollution in the area.
Now, only, 800 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles are allowed per day at the pass, the officer said. The administration charges Rs 500 as permit fee and Rs 50 as congestion fee. The online system has been introduced to avoid irregularities in granting permits, which are issued on first-come-first-serve basis, Khan said.
The system was put in place after authorities received complaints about irregularities and misuse of permits by the operators in connivance with the administration, he said. Cases were also registered by the police against the president of the taxi union last year after it came to the notice that the same permit was being used repeatedly, the deputy commissioner said.