Amid the tussle between rental bike operators from Leh and those from Manali, a high-level meeting was held by senior officials with the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Ladakh in which the demand to ban rental bikes from Himachal was raised.
Ladakh shares its boundary with parts of Himachal Pradesh. Tourists coming from different states often hire bikes from Manali to reach Leh.
However, the rental bike operators here have often claimed that it impacts their business. The issue turned hostile recently when residents of Leh vandalised 15 bikes and a pick-up truck which were rented from Manali.
Ladakh Bike Rental Cooperative Limited and the Bikers Association of Manali are in the midst of the tussle as they have accused each other in the past of violating an agreement. After the outbreak of Covid and due to restrictions on tourist movement, the issue had gone into the cold storage. The issue has again erupted with the onset of the tourist season.
In a meeting with L-G Brig BD Mishra (retd), Chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Tashi Gyalson stated that law and order issues were arising due to the conflict between the two bike associations.
Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Ladakh, Satish Khandare and Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Ladakh, Mohd Nazir Sheikh were also present at the meeting.
An official said that the L-G was apprised about the need to restrict the inter-state movement of motorcycles from Himachal into Ladakh.
Tashi Gyalson, during the meeting, mentioned about the Motor Vehicles Act, which permits a cab under the Rent-a-Cab scheme 1989 but not a motorcycle registered under Rent-a-Motor Cycle Scheme, 1987 to operate in another region.
“Except as may be otherwise prescribed, a permit granted by the Regional Transport Authority of any one region shall not be valid in any other region, unless the permit has been countersigned by the Regional Transport Authority of that other region,” Gyalson said.
“The L-G told the officials to wait for the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ ruling as per the order passed by the High Court of Himachal Pradesh so that appropriate measures could be taken to ensure that the livelihood of Ladakhi youth engaged in rental bikes business is not affected,” an official informed.
Pact between two sides
- Bikes from Leh were allowed only to pick up clients from Keylong
- Manali rental bikes were not allowed to go to Pangong and Nubra
- In 2019, both parties accused each other of breaking the pact