Fresh snowfall at Rohtang halts traffic, cuts off Lahaul-Spiti

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kullu
  • Updated: Nov 10, 2015 18:31 IST
A file photo of Rohtang Pass in Himachal Pradesh. (HT Photo)

Fresh snowfall at the 13,050-feet high Rohtang Pass on Tuesday, once again halted traffic towards it, cutting off the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti from the rest of the world.

Border Roads Organization (BRO) has deployed men and machinery to clear the road to resume movement of traffic.

Kullu district also received downpour throughout the day, disrupting normal life.

Earlier on November 4, Rohtang Pass received around 30cm snowfall, stranding several tourist vehicles for hours and forcing the district administration to lead a rescue operation.

The road was opened only two days later by the BRO.

Manali sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Jyoti Rana said traffic towards Rohtang Pass had been halted keeping commuters’ safety in view, as snowfall had been witnessed even near Gulaba.

Besides, officials concerned had been directed not to allow commuters beyond Marhi, where there was sufficient snow for tourists’ leisure.

She urged tourists to refrain from venturing out in snowbound areas to avoid danger, adding that movement of traffic on the Manali-Leh highway in the coming days would depend on weather conditions.

The weather at the Rohtang Pass, a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists and located 52 km from Manali, is harsh. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions.

The BRO, which maintains the pass, starts withdrawing its men and machinery deployed at various locations along the pass by November 15 every year. Thereafter, the Kullu administration establishes check-posts to assist pedestrians willing to cross the pass.

The pass, which remains closed for more than five months owing to heavy snowfall, also plays an important role in the movement of armed forces in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

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