Himachal Pradesh Current Affairs

India’s first electric bus service launched in Himachal Pradesh

India’s first electric bus service was launched at Rohtang Pass area in Himachal Pradesh. It is first of its kind electric bus service for tourist spot in India and first in world at an altitude of 13,000 feet.

The electric bus service will ply between Manali and Rohtang and there will be 10 electric buses in fleet. It was launched amid concern over environment degradation in Rohtang Pass area due to plying of diesel taxis. The initiative aims to curb carbon emission which is resulting in melting of glaciers in Himalayas.

Background

Himachal Pradesh Government was forced to introduce zero-emission transportation facility in ecologically fragile areas after National Green Tribunal (NGT) had taken stringent step of imposing restriction on entry of vehicles to Rohtang Pass. The NGT had shown concern over melting of glaciers in Rohtang Pass area as they were receding at an alarming rate of 19-20 meters per year. The entry of vehicles were restricted to 1,000 vehicles per day, including both diesel and petrol vehicles, however, electric and CNG vehicles are exempted.

Rohtang Pass

Rohtang Pass (elevation 3,978 m) is high mountain pass on eastern Pir Panjal Range of Himalayas around 51 km from Manali. It connects the Kullu Valley with Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh.

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Indo-Thai joint military exercise Maitree 2017 begins in Himachal Pradesh  

A joint military training exercise Maitree 2017 between Indian Army and Royal Thailand Army commenced at Bakloh in Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh.

The aim of 14 day long exercise is to build and promote closer relations while exchanging skills and experiences between the two armies.

Key Facts

The Maitree series of bilateral exercises has been one of the major defence cooperation initiatives between India and Thailand. It is an annual event. The previous edition of the exercise was held at Krabi in Thailand in 2016.

Exercise Maitree 2017 is a continuation of a series of joint exercises between the Indian Army and the Royal Thailand Army. It will be conducted in a manner such that both contingents will get to acquaint with each other`s operating procedures in the backdrop of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment.

Approximately 50 troops from Royal Thailand Army and an equal number of Indian soldiers from the Northern Command are participating in the exercise. They will jointly plan and execute a series of drills for the neutralisation of likely threats that may be encountered in counter terrorism environment.

Earlier, a joint training exercise between the Indian Army and the Royal Army of Oman, named Al Nagah-II 2017, was held at Bakloh in March 2017.

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