The timeserver horse owners at Rohtang pass are taking advantage of restraints of tourists trapped between landslides every day. They are charging them unexpectedly very high in exchange for transporting them to safe place.
They are charging between Rs 1,000 to Rs 6,000 from tourists only for a 20 minute ride. They are also scaring them that the horse ride is the only way to save life there; otherwise they may have to spend all night without food and warm clothes. A medium size taxi from Manali charges Rs 1,700 for a whole day trip to Rohtang pass but horse owners are compelling people to pay many times higher than this only for few minutes. Sometime they fix a rent with tourists before starting a ride but later they demand more money showing unnecessarily excuses.
When Discover Kullu Manali asked a group of tourists from Chennai about the charges they paid, they said they had fixed a rent of Rs 500 per horse from Rohtang to Rahni Nullah but when they finished, owner started quarreling with them and took Rs 800 per horse. “This is impossible. The horse owner was very nice to us all the way. But when we reached our destination after around 15 minutes, he changed his mood and started quarrel with us and seized Rs 4,800 instead of Rs 3,000,” one of the tourists Chandra Sekhar said.
A couple from Vadodara, Aashman and Anjika said they enjoyed uphill horse riding from Rahni Nullah to a place one km short of Rohtang and they paid Rs 6,000. Aashman said, “We have no problem with high charges. We enjoyed the ride. Earlier he was asking us to pay Rs 7,500 but we bargained lot and paid him only 6,000. We are happy.” The couple was happy but they did not realize that the actual tariff for their ride was not more than Rs 200.
Most of the tourists from plains are unfamiliar with mountains and they cannot walk uphill or downhill. If they try to do so, they slip and fall and get injuries. This is what the horse owners wait for. Looking good opportunity they convince them for horse riding.
When the matter of atrocities being committed on tourists was brought to the tourism development officer Balbir Thakur, he assured of strict action against the offenders. He said, “I’m going to check the activities of horse owners at Rohtang pass. Parameters would be prepared for all horse owners giving their services at Rohtang, Solang valley and elsewhere in Manali. Those who dupe and trouble tourists, would not be spared.”