Rohtang-Pass glacier melting faster

Rohtang glacier melting faster than previous years, snow turn black again despite NGT ban: Report

He had claimed that the black layer on snow is not harmful carbon. However, the study has said that high carbon emission due to increased traffic is polluting the area, including snow, and speeding up melting of snow at Rohtang.

SHIMLA- The ignorance of Himachal Pradesh Government toward rising emissions in Rohtang is costing the state a lot. Despite taking strong steps, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has failed to stop fast melting of snow and it turning black at Rohtang Pass this year. It appears, the damage is almost irreversible now. However, the government is still ignoring rising emission in rest of the state, especially Capital city Shimla.

In Rohtang, the snow at 13,050ft high mountain pass is not only melting faster than the previous years, it has also turned black again.

Watch: Unchecked Vehicular Emission in Shimla

According to sources, Rohtang used to remain completely covered with snow for entire June and it used to melt away in July. But, this year the snow has almost disappeared from the mountain pass and only few patches of snow are left which might melt away in the next 10 to 15 days. All available snow has turned black which has increased the speed of its melting.

Watch: Vehicular Emission in Shimla

The NGT had cited high rush of tourists, movement of unlimited vehicles and unregulated tourism activities for increasing pollution at Rohtang area. Saying that horse riding, skiing, dhabas, snow scooters and all-terrain vehicles were making snow black and were polluting the region, the tribunal had imposed a complete ban on all commercial activities in the area.

Watch: Vehicular Emission in Shimla

The NGT had asked the Himachal government to prepare a master plan and regulate all the activities. It had also limited the number of vehicles going to Rohtang in an effort to preserve the fragile ecology of the area.

Also Read: Major cause of Air Pollution in Shimla

Local resident Bhag Chand Thakur, who is in 80s, said,

I think it will be for the first time when Rohtang will become snowless in June. Now few vehicles are allowed to reach Rohtang and all tourism activities are banned. Dhabas have been demolished and few tourists reach Rohtang. Even then, the snow is melting fast and remaining snow has turned black. Who is responsible for this now?

Also Read: Save Shimla from Air Pollution, Speak Up!

Last year, the snow was available till July end at Rohtang. Similarly, the snow had lasted till July in the last 10 years. Though, Rohtang experienced little less snowfall this year, the prolonged winter season made the snow accumulation up to 20 to 30ft.

Also Read: Welcome to ‪Shimla‬ – Queen of Hills once known for quality and purity of breathable air

Rohtang opened for vehicular traffic in mid-April and it opened for tourists on May 21 when Rohtang had 5ft to 10ft of snow.

Also Read: Control of HP Pollution Control Board over air pollution in Shimla City ?

Now a layer of dark dust has covered the snow.

Also Read: Who’s responsibility is it to put a check on polluting vehicles?

A study conducted by professor of glacial geomorphology with Jawaharlal Nehru University Dr Milap Dhand Sharma had claimed that no glacier existed close to Rohtang for the last 15,000 years and the snow has no carbon.

Also Read: Another blunder by Shimla MC to which Pollution Control Board has turned a blind eye

He had claimed that the black layer on snow is not harmful carbon. However, the study has said that high carbon emission due to increased traffic is polluting the area, including snow, and speeding up melting of snow at Rohtang.

Also Read: Along with ecology, Shimla‘s traffic cops worst hit by vehicular emissions while apathy of HP Govt. and Police Department continue

Photo: Robin Moulik Blog/Representational image

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