Delay in opening Rohtang Pass may hit voter turnout in Lahaul-Spiti
The delay in opening the Rohtang pass to traffic might lower voter turnout in Lahaul-Spiti in the parliamentary polls. The bad weather for the past one month has become a major obstacle for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to speed up snow clearance operations.punjab Updated: Apr 12, 2014 23:20 IST
The delay in opening the Rohtang pass to traffic might lower voter turnout in Lahaul-Spiti in the parliamentary polls. The bad weather for the past one month has become a major obstacle for the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to speed up snow clearance operations.
Area residents said the delay in clearing the road of snow was likely to affect voting. “One-fifth of the population lives in other districts and if the authorities fail to make the Rohtang Pass roadworthy on time it would definitely hinder many people to go out and cast their vote,” said Gyalchhan and Shamsher Singh, two of the locals. “This may become a big problem for the elderly not residing in the district who are unable to walk a long distance in the rough weather,” he added.
BRO commander Col Yogesh Nair, who is in charge of the operation, told HT the hostile weather was holding up efforts to clear the Rohtang Pass. “Normally it takes only 40 to 50 days to clear it to traffic and this year our team began the operation in March, but the weather has proved a spoilsport”, he noted.
The BRO team, which has been working overtime to make the pass accessible from both sides, has so far cleared a 32 km stretch leading to Manali and reached Beas Nullah, and the fact that the area is ptesently under 60 feet of snow has made its task all the more daunting.
Lahaul and Spiti deputy commissioner Beer Singh Thakur said, “The administration is doing its best to make things as easy as possible for people to vote. If required senior citizens and women living outside the district will be airlifted to polling booths.
The BRO top brass has also been asked to put snow clearance operations in the area on the fast track”.