Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

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Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Wed May 06, 2015 7:52 am

The confusion of ban on Diesel vehicles running over Rohtang Pass continues with another new order by the NGT last day against which local Taxi operators and hoteliers in Manali move to SC. I am starting this thread to track the updates on this yet another confusing set of instructions overhauling route of Manali - Leh up to Rohtang Pass since past few years.

Some key points of recent order:
  • NGT has imposed very a high congestion charge of Rs 1000 on petrol, Rs 2500 on diesel and Rs 5000 on vehicles with seating more than 6.
  • Total number of Bharat Stage-IV vehicles allowed per day to be restricted to 1000 with 600 of petrol and 400 of diesel
  • In its order passed on April 15, the NGT had directed the state government not to allow diesel-run vehicles for tourism purpose to Rohtang Pass from May 1. Later, the NGT had stayed the ban till May 5. However, Army vehicles, HRTC buses, private vehicles and vehicles of Lahaul residents had been exempted in the earlier order.

Read More Below:
Manali, May 5 2015: Taxi operators and hoteliers have decided to move the Supreme Court against the high congestion charges imposed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on vehicles going to Rohtang Pass in Kullu district.
In its orders today, the NGT allowed the movement of Bharat Stage-IV and 1,000 vehicles, including 600 petrol and 400 diesel vehicles, in the eco-sensitive Rohtang Pass every day.
However, petrol vehicles had to pay a congestion charge of Rs 1,000 and diesel vehicle Rs 2,500 and all commercial vehicles with a seating capacity of more than six had to pay Rs 5,000.
Him-Anchal Taxi Operators’ Union, Manali, president Puran Chand said they were left with no option but to file an appeal in the Supreme Court against high-congestion charges imposed by the NGT.
It would hit the business of taxi operators hard as the tourists would not be able pay such high charges, he said.
Manali Hoteliers’ Association president AR Thakur said it would severely affect the tourism industry not only in Manali but in the entire state.
They would request the CM to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the NGT order, he said, adding that nobody would promote tourism from his or her pocket.
The high congestion charges would deprive thousands of people of their livelihood in the area, he said.
Before implementing the orders, the government should have found some alternative for the livelihood of thousands of people, he said.
The NGT had earlier banned diesel-run commercial vehicles in the eco-sensitive Rohtang region from May 1, but later stayed the ban till May 5.
Him-Anchal Taxi Operators’ Union secretary MD Sharma said there were nearly 2,300 taxis registered with the union and nearly 80 per cent of these were running on diesel.
Tourists would find it difficult to pay such high charges and this would ultimately not only affect the taxi business but the entire tourism industry, he said.
In its order passed on April 15, the NGT had directed the state government not to allow diesel-run vehicles for tourism purpose to Rohtang Pass from May 1. Later, the NGT had stayed the ban till May 5. However, Army vehicles, HRTC buses, private vehicles and vehicles of Lahaul residents had been exempted in the earlier order.
The state government had recently held a meeting with officials of the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and representatives from automobile companies for starting CNG buses in area so that environment-friendly buses could be plied to Rohtang Pass.
External Source: National Green Tribunal imposes high congestion charges on Rohtang-bound vehicles


EDIT: Update on 17th August 2015
The upper cap relaxation has been banned now for Rohtang Pass and now no vehicles including petrol and diesel are banned to go to Rohtang Pass from Manali for tourist activities. Now, tourists can only visit Rohtang Pass from Manali in state run public and tourist buses as they will only be allowed to travel to Rohtang Pass from Manali. Lahaul - Spiti and Leh - Ladakh based vehicles are exempted from this rule and should continue to follow the permit process as defined for them. Along with the vehicles, the NGT tribunal has also banned horse-riding, snow-biking, paragliding and plying of snow scooters at Rohtang, Solang and Marhi and also ordered closure of eateries and kiosks.

You can read the news article at: http://devilonwheels.com/india/travel-news-updates-f33/diesel-vehicles-ban-rohtang-pass-t2548-40.html#p25443
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby Shivendra009 » Fri May 08, 2015 10:44 am

New Delhi: Noting that tourist season in Rohtang Pass would commence shortly, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has extended its stay on its order banning entry of all diesel and petrol tourist vehicles till August 14 while limiting the number of vehicles entering the popular area to 1,000 per day.


"The ban on diesel and petrol tourist vehicles would be kept in abeyance for the period of three months from May 15, 2015 to August 15, 2015 as prayed, however, subject to strict compliance...," a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

Restricting the number of vehicles, which will pass through Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes, to 1000 vehicles (600 petrol while 400 would be diesel) per day on first come and first serve basis, the tribunal directed that each vehicle allowed to the region would pay an environmental cess.

"Each vehicle which is permitted to Rohtang Pass for tourism purpose shall pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs 1000 for petrol vehicle and Rs 2500 for diesel vehicle.

"Amount so collected shall be kept in the account under a separate head by the state government and shall be utilised only for the purpose of restoration of ecology and environment in the said eco-sensitive area as per the directions of the Tribunal," the bench said.

It also directed the state government to post a team of Transport Department, police and other departments concerned at Vashist and Gulaba with complete infrastructure and machinery.

"Every vehicle passing through either of these check posts would be subjected to online pollution check which shall be in any case computerised at the site itself.

"The vehicle permitted to pass through Rohtang Pass to ultimate destination and beyond, shall satisfy emission standards prescribed and it shall not be permitted to carry load in excess of permissible load. Entry records in this regard shall be online and computerised and same shall be produced before the tribunal," it said.

The green panel said that all these vehicles would be subjected to pollution check and would qualify for issuance of a certificate at the check post for compliance of BS-IV standards.

"If emissions are found to be beyond the aforesaid permissible limits such vehicle will not be permitted to go to Rohtang Pass," the bench said.

The tribunal also said that each vehicle which carries more than six passengers would be liable to pay compensation of Rs 5000 as environmental compensation and these charges are payable for single entry.

It directed state government to make proper arrangement and deploy appropriate staff en route Vashist to Rohtang Pass to ensure that there is no traffic congestion.

"We direct state of Himachal Pradesh to take up the issue of devising methodology for providing BS-IV fuel in the state of Himachal Pradesh with Ministry of Petroleum.

"We issue these directions to Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh, Director General of Police, Collector of Kullu, Superintendent of Police and Director Tourism and they shall be personally responsible for carrying out these directions," the tribunal said.

The green panel directed the state to take all requisite steps and call upon meeting of manufacturers and suppliers of vehicles for supplying CNG vehicles to ensure that there is least pollution in the eco-sensitive area of Rohtang Pass.

Rohtang Pass is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas around 51 km from Manali and connects Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh.

Source: PTI
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Mon May 11, 2015 10:14 am

More updates on the rule as below:

MANALI: As National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered to limit the number of tourist vehicles plying Manali-Rohtang highway to 1,000 a day, Manali taxi operators have knocked at the Supreme Court's doors to avert the orders.

"In this time of trouble when our livelihood is on stake, all light and mid-size taxi drivers are requested to deposit amount of Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 respectively so that we could move to the Supreme Court," said Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators' Union president Puran Chand.

"Union will not charge its members till June 30. But we are in dire need of money to take the case to Supreme Court. Existence of union is only if Rohtang is open for us," general secretary of the union Makar Dhwaj Sharma said. "We are on way to Delhi. We shall meet our lawyer on Monday. Now, we are bound to put our all resources, our money at stake to settle this issue."

Operators say not only NGT has restricted the number of tourist vehicles to only 1,000 but has also ordered to impose extremely high environmental compensation. "The charges of Rs 1,000 per petrol vehicle, Rs 2,500 per diesel vehicle and Rs 5,000 per diesel vehicle having seating capacity more than six are equal or more than the actual fare to Rohtang pass. Most of the tourists who have booked their tours in advance are refusing to pay these extra charges. It is extra burden on tourists. If drivers have to pay this from their pocket, then why would he drive to Rohtang?" asked Sharma.

Allowing of only 1,000 tourist vehicles is not the only issue of concern for taxi operators but another concern is that these 1,000 vehicles too will have to meet the BS-4 (Bharat Stage Emission) standards. And according to operators, only few of their vehicles meet this criteria.

Him-Aanchal Taxi Operators Union is the largest taxi operators' union of the state having more than 2,500 taxis. Over 500 taxis in Manali are not registered with the union and nearly 120 large size cabs (tempo travellers) have their separate union. Thousands of more taxis from Shimla, Dharamshala, Chamba, Mandi, Kangra and other districts come here for seasonal business.

External Source: Manali cabbies knock at SC's door against NGT order
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Mon May 11, 2015 10:18 am

Read more on it

From 5,000 to 1,000 vehicles per day. Rohtang Pass can finally breathe easy with the National Green Tribunal's order to restrict number of vehicles coming into effect last week. But what about those who depend on tourism for livelihood? If tourists stay away, hoteliers, tour operators, taxi drivers and eateries, etc. will be at the receiving end. Lack of alternate tourist destinations will break their backbones.

With the annual arrival of over 33 lakh tourists in Manali, of them nearly 20 lakh at Rohtang alone, this ecologically-fragile mountain pass is overcrowded throughout the year. The NGT's move to regulate tourism activities in Rohtang area, which restricts number of tourist vehicles plying on Manali-Rohtang highway, will ease congestion, but will also hit tourism in Manali. The option only seems to lie in exploring new tourist destinations similar to Rohtang, where beauty abounds and snow is never out of sight. However, even as the NGT has intervened, development of alternate avenues seems nowhere on Himachal government's mind. Locals are feeling threatened.

No, they do not see a solution in the proposed ropeway to Rohtang, but feel it is high time the government started promoting new tourist destinations to tourists Manali and, this time, provide tourism activities in an eco-friendly and controlled manner.

Save the hills

Anup Thakur, president of Manali Hoteliers' Association, says they have marked a few destinations, including Bhrigu Lake, Hamta Pass and Chanderkhani, which can be developed as tourist destinations.

"We have forwarded a proposal to the state government and the entire tourism fraternity is in favour of building a rope-way to connect new destinations rather than getting one for Rohtang Pass, which is already well-connected. If we develop a new destination, it will decongest Rohtang Pass. We need to understand that it has become mandatory to develop new tourist spots in Manali. Otherwise, people will start losing interest in the region in the wake of so many restrictions," he warns.

But how do you ensure that the newer avenues don't meet Rohtang Pass' fate?

Unplanned human activities and crowds may lead to degradation of an ecologically-fragile mountainous area," says J C Kuniyal, a senior scientist with GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development in Kullu.

For him, proper planning is important for eco-friendly tourism. "Eco-friendly structures, limited activities, limited number of vehicles and limited number of tourists can help prevent environment degradation. Carbon emission should be minimized and tourists should be taught to act wisely and be nature-friendly for better and green tourism."

Bhrigu Lake

Surrounded by vast meadows and colourful flowers, Bhrigu lake is a popular destination among foreigner trekkers. Situated about 20km north east of Manali, it is parallel to Rohtang pass. Bhrigu is a local pilgrimage site having snow almost round the year. Visitors unanimously call it more beautiful than Rohtang pass, but it is accessible only after six to eight hours of trekking from Vashisht or Gulaba. A large lake on the hill top at an altitude of 14,100ft and deep valleys in two sides make it a perfect tourist destination. Chief minister Virbhadra Singh had a-year-and-a-half ago announced to open Mathivan and Pandu Ropa, lower parts of Bhrigu, for tourists by maintaining the old forest road and making it jeepable, but there is no progress in this regard. Once connected by road, Bhrigu will surely give a tough competition to Rohtang pass.

Hamta pass

Abundant in snow, greenery and scenic views, Hamta pass with traditional meadows of low-lying settlements, is one of the most beautiful places in Himachal. At an altitude of 14,000ft, about 1,000ft higher than Rohtang pass, Hamta is gateway to the dry Spiti valley. Efforts to develop it as a tourist destination had stated long back and a private hydel project that constructed a road till halfway from Prini—former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's village—makes it most feasible for the government to open it for tourists. Sources with the tourism department say chances are the region would be opened for tourists this year, but the number of vehicles would be limited to 200 every day.

Dhundi

At an altitude of 10,500ft west of Rohtang pass and 8km north of Solang valley, Dhundi is base camp site to many popular climbing expeditions, including Hanuman Tibba and Friendship Peak. It is close to Beas Kund, source of Beas river. Falling en route Rohtang tunnel, Dhundi is well-connected by road, but has not been opened for tourists so far. It is popular for its cool climes round the year and tourists can reach here after an hour's drive from Manali. It has the potential to attract lakhs of tourists if basic amenities such as toilets, parking and drinking water facilities are developed. However, sources say that keeping in mind security of under-construction Rohtang tunnel, Dhundi is not being opened for tourism purposes yet. However, tourists can visit the place after obtaining permission from Border Roads Organization or Manali administration.

Rani Sui Lake

Perched on a hill top at an altitude of 11,000ft, Rani Sui lake is very close to Manali town. It can be called a flower valley as vast pastures around the lake remain covered with varieties of flowers between May and September. The area remains snowbound for seven months, while shady mountain face s hide snow for 8-9 months a year. Rani Sui lake is south west of Manali with aerial distance not more than 5km. A small ropeway from Kanyal village can open this gateway to heaven for tourists. Close to Rani Sui lake is an amazing stone formation, similar to the base of a bridge and is believed to have built by Pandavas during Mahabharata kaal. It is also a midway halt for shepherds enroute Kangra valley.

Chanderkhani and Malana

Chanderkhani pass, at altitude of 12,005ft from sea level, is another beautiful destination accessible only for trekkers enroute ancient Malana village. Chanderkhani is above Naggar, the ancient capital of Kullu. There was a lot of clamour to connect Chanderkhani with a ropeway for its promotion as tourist destination. The project was also under consideration with Himachal government, but nobody bothered to even make prefeasibility report of the project. Beyond Chanderkhani is the ancient village of Malana, which is believed to be the world's oldest democracy. The road head is just about 1 km from Malana and can be easily promoted as a tourist destination.

External Source: The Other Rohtangs
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby bhupender78 » Mon May 11, 2015 2:42 pm

Dear Friends great to hear that Srinagar-Leh is open for traffic. V are travelling from leh to manali in our own car (New Scorpio and Figo). Is this ban & NGT order effects travelers from leh to manali also????
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Mon May 11, 2015 5:44 pm

Most likely it should not impact but real situation we will come to know when the manali - leh opens mid of next month
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Fri May 15, 2015 8:30 am

More updates on the rules, some more clarity but still not 100% :D :D ... But, still some key facts to note are given below though it again does not talk about vehicles going beyond Rohtang Pass towards Leh or Lahaul / Spiti:

  • Only 1000 vehicles to ply per day on Manali to Rohtang Pass road.
  • Congestion charges are to be collected from all commercial vehicles, so this means private vehicles are out of this rule as it appears as of now. But, not sure what happens to congestion charges for them if people are going beyond Rohang Pass to Spiti and Leh or Lahaul.
  • 60% for commercial vehicles and 40% for tourists vehicle to be allowed on the pass. Out of those 60% commercial vehicles 10% to be from Himachal Pradesh only. It would allow 60% petrol driven and 40% diesel vehicle and in case diesel vehicles remains below 400 on any given day then in that case petrol vehicles could be replaced on the pass not exceeding 1000.
  • Among the tourists vehicle administration has decided to allow 50% vehicles from Kullu district and 10% from other districts of Himachal Pradesh and 30% from other states.
  • Tourist vehicles could ply from 0600 hrs to 1200 hrs from Gulaba check-post toward Rohtang Pass however no tourist vehicle could stay after 1600 hrs on the pass.
  • The petrol vehicles are to be charged a congestion charge of Rupees 1000, Diesel Rupees 2500 per vehicle and Rupees 5000 for vehicles having more than six seating capacity.
  • permit to Rohtang to be issued at SDM office Manali or at Gulaba check post. Local taxi operators and tourists could obtain the permit directly from SDM office at Manali. All the vehicles including non-tourists to be mandatorily register at Gulaba check post so that the actual number of vehicles plying on the pass could be calculated.
  • Violators will be charged four times the congestion charges

Read More Below:
District Kullu Administration today notified National Green Tribunal’s recent order to cut down the number of vehicle to 1000 on environmentally sensitive zone Rohtang Pass from today onward. Moreover it had decided to slap four times congestion charges from those who would violate this notification.

Mr. Rakesh Kawnar, Deputy Commissioner Kullu said in a notification issued today that the congestion charges are to be collected from all commercial vehicles. It has also confirmed to strictly enforce the NGT order high vigil would be keep on tourists, commercial and non tourists vehicles every day.

Not a single vehicle would be allowed from stipulated 1000 on the snow pass every day as administration has fixed a quota of convey of 60% for commercial vehicles and 40% for tourists vehicle to be allowed on the pass. Out of those 60% commercial vehicles 10% to be from Himachal Pradesh only. It would allow 60% petrol driven and 40% diesel vehicle and in case diesel vehicles remains below 400 on any given day then in that case petrol vehicles could be replaced on the pass not exceeding 1000.

Among the tourists vehicle administration has decided to allow 50% vehicles from Kullu district and 10% from other districts of Himachal Pradesh and 30% from other states. Tourist vehicles could ply from 0600 hrs to 1200 hrs from Gulaba check-post toward Rohtang Pass however no tourist vehicle could stay after 1600 hrs on the pass. The petrol vehicles are to be charged a congestion charge of Rupees 1000, Diesel Rupees 2500 per vehicle and Rupees 5000 for vehicles having more than six seating capacity.

Mr. Rakesh Kanwar has also informed that permit to Rohtang to be issued at SDM office Manali or at Gulaba check post. Local taxi operators and tourists could obtain the permit directly from SDM office at Manali. All the vehicles including non-tourists to be mandatorily register at Gulaba check post so that the actual number of vehicles plying on the pass could be calculated.

External Source:1000 vehicles to ply on Rohtang Pass
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Fri May 15, 2015 7:24 pm

More info on both the order as mentioned in the Rulings of NGT (@getpackingvinod, bhai please add to this list if I missed something and please upload the links too of the orders here)

Key Points from February Order
1. Irrespective of the fact that the vehicles are in possession of PUC, still at the barrier, they shall be subjected to random pollution checks. If any vehicle is not adhering to the prescribed emission norms, it shall not be permitted to ply on that road. This will equally apply to Government and private vehicles.
2. No other vehicle – public or private or Government, including two wheelers – shall be permitted to ply between Vashishta and Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes.
3. The petrol driven vehicles plying in Manali and other surrounding areas of Rohtang Pass should have catalytic convertors in all types of vehicles. Preferably even the diesel driven vehicles should 33 be provided with soot collector system to reduce carbon soot pollution. This could be checked at the time of issuing of PUC.
4. Thus, we direct that the vehicles which are more than 10 years’ old and plying on this route, shall be phased out and should not be permitted to operate or ply on the route to Rohtang Pass from Vashishta.
5. The public transport, army vehicles, Government vehicles, which have to cross Rohtang Pass and en route to their destination ahead of Rohtang Pass will be issued permits by the Deputy Commissioner/SDM/Director of Transport/ Commanding Officer for grant of permission to such vehicles to pass through Rohtang Pass. Issuance of such permit will not entitle these vehicles to station at Rohtang Pass glacier. Even the individuals who are living across Rohtang Pass would also be issued such permits. The vehicles which are granted such permits shall be BS-III and shall be 35 compliant of the prescribed pollution standards.
6. Carrying and/or use of any kind of plastic bags, packaging material of food or other items at Rohtang Pass is strictly prohibited. Littering of any kind in, around and also en route Rohtang Pass is also strictly prohibited.
7. The persons who are travelling by public or private vehicles to the glacier of Rohtang Pass must pay a very reasonable sum of money as contribution on the principle of ‘Polluter Pays’. Thus, we direct that every truck, bus and vehicle of any kind which passes through the route ahead of Vashishta and Rohtang Pass shall be liable to pay a sum of Rs.100/- for heavy vehicles and Rs.50/- for light vehicles. The passengers travelling through the CNG or electric buses to Rohtang Pass as tourists shall be liable to pay a sum of Rs.20/- per head, which shall form part of the ticket for the bus.

Key Points from May Order
1. On behalf of state of Himachal Pradesh it is submitted that tourist season in relation to Rohtang Pass would commence in time i.e. on 15th May, 2015 and the order of the Tribunal banning vehicles for entry to Rohtang Pass for tourism may therefore, be deferred on short term basis (3 months) and upon expiry of 3 months temporary ban as contained herein and specifically ordered, the order 6th February, 2014 shall come in force.
2. The ban on Diesel and Petrol Tourist Vehicles would be kept in abeyance for the period of three months from 15th May, 2015 to 14th August, 2015 as prayed, however, subject to strict compliance with all the directions contained hereinafter
3. Every vehicle passing through either of these check posts would be subjected to online pollution check which shall be in any case computerized at the site itself. The vehicle permitted to pass through Rohtang Pass to ultimate destination and beyond, shall satisfy emission standards prescribed and it shall not be permitted to carry load in excess of permissible load. Entry records in this regard shall be online and computerised and same shall be produced before the Tribunal
4. Number of vehicles allowed to go to Rohtang Pass for tourism purposes shall be restricted to 1000 vehicles per day on first come and first serve basis.
5. Out of 1000 vehicles allowed to pass every day as afore-indicated, 600 would be Petrol while 400 would be Diesel Vehicles.
6. All these vehicles would be subjected to pollution check and would qualify for issuance of a certificate at the check post for compliance of BS-IV standards. If emissions are found to be beyond the aforesaid permissible limits such vehicle will not be permitted to go to Rohtang Pass.
7. Each of vehicle which is permitted to Rohtang Pass for tourism purpose shall pay environmental compensation at the rate of Rs. 1000/- for Petrol vehicle and Rs. 2500/- for Diesel vehicle. Amount so collected shall be kept in the account under a separate head by the State Government and shall be utilized only for the purpose of restoration of ecology and environment in the said eco-sensitive area as per the directions of the Tribunal.
8. Each vehicle which carries more than six passengers would be liable to pay compensation of Rs. 5000/- as environmental compensation. These charges are payable for single entry.
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby getpackingvinod » Sat May 16, 2015 2:59 pm

Yes these are right. Also, we need to note that February order is of February 2014 (i.e, last year) and much progress has happened since that date. May 2015 is the latest order available excerpt from which has already been put up above. I am preparing a table showing progress of the case and related orders , will put that up shortly.
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Re: Updates on Diesel Vehicles Ban on Rohtang Pass

Postby dheerajsharma14 » Sun May 17, 2015 1:12 pm

Next date is I guess 22 or 25 May I believe :)
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