Patients among 46 stranded as snow clearing ops stall at Rohtang Pass

As temperatures dropped to -10°C at Rohtang, it became difficult to operate machines.

cities Updated: Nov 22, 2017 22:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Snow,Rohtang Pass,order Road Organisation
BRO officials said the route will be opened for vehicular traffic on Thursday.(HT Photo)

With a continuous spell of sub-zero temperatures at the 13,500-ft high Rohtang Pass, the Border Road Organisation’s (BRO) snow clearance operations to rescue more than 40 people stranded on the other side of the pass were hit yet again on Wednesday.

BRO officials have, however, said snow has been cleared in the area and the route will be opened for vehicular traffic on Thursday. “Braving extreme cold and snow, BRO has opened the Rohtang Pass. Keeping in view the safety of commuters only, one-way traffic will be allowed from Kellong to Manali on November 23. From November 24, one-way traffic will be allowed from Manali to Keylong,” 38 Border Road Task Force commander AK Awasthi told media persons.

Traffic on the Manali-Leh highway came to a standstill following heavy snowfall at the Rohtang pass on Saturday.

At least 46 people, including several patients, were lodged at Kokhsar village, 70 km uphill from Manali. Around 50 vehicles coming from the Leh-Ladakh side are also reportedly stuck in snow.

Border Road Organization’s machinery clearing snow on Rohtang pass. (HT Photo)

The BRO pressed its machinery into service on Monday, but intermittent snow continued to hinder its operations.

“It’s risky plying vehicles on the roads. The weather office has predicted a clear sky on Thursday and sunshine will further melt frozen roads,” Awasthi added.

Lahaul & Spiti district police chief Gaurav Singh, meanwhile, said, “The temperature has dropped to -10°C at Rohtang and it is difficult to operate machines. Till the time we get a green signal from BRO, traffic will not be allowed to ply on the road.”

Shimla meteorological centre has predicted dry weather for the next few days.

First Published: Nov 22, 2017 22:23 IST