If you own an old vehicle and were planning to take it to Leh, there is bad news for you. Green Tribunal has denied passage across Rohtang Pass in a recent order to any vehicle that is 10 years or older. Order was passed to preserve the environment against fumes coming out of the exhaust pipes of these old vehicles. Effectively immediately, 10 years old vehicles banned at Rohtang Pass; which means that in order to reach Leh, on an old vehicle; you will either need to take the Srinagar Leh route or reach Keylong from Chamba, crossing Sach Pass. This order is only applied to vehicles approaching from Manali. Vehicles coming from Leh or Spiti are not being stopped as of now.
This actually should not make much of a difference to motorcyclists except for someone who owns a Royal Enfield. I doubt that any other motorcycle that has aged 10 years or more will anyways be able to complete the journey across Rohtang to Leh or Spiti. However this does come as a bad news for four wheeler owners; specially drivers operating cab and taxi services to Leh or Spiti from Manali. For people who own an old Royal Enfield with pride, well; bad luck but you can always try the alternate routes.
NGT has been taking several other steps in order to control pollution like limiting the number of vehicles going towards Rohtang, especially Diesel run vehicles. A permit requirement has also been implemented for everyone going towards Rohtang Pass. Click on the link below to read in detail about current restrictions that are in place to control number of tourists going towards the mighty pass.
10 Years Old Vehicles Banned at Rohtang Pass : Conclusion
I am not really sure whether it is a good or bad decision; that only time will tell but I believe that after the much anticipated Rohtang tunnel becomes operational; after which the number of vehicles plying on Rohtang La highway will drastically come down; making all these restrictions obsolete. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask at our Community Forum or in comments section below and I will be glad to answer.