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46 stranded at Rohtang Pass rescued

They were lodged at Kokhsar village, 70 km uphill from Manali.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2017 20:21 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Rohtang Pass,Manali,Border Road Organisation
Border Road Task Force commander AK Awasthi said that the snow clearing operations were a great challenge(HT Photo)

Over 300 people, including 46 stranded at a camp, were rescued on Thursday and moved to Manali, a week after heavy snowfall cut off the 13,000-ft high Rohtang Pass.

Rohtang Pass was closed and traffic on the Manali-Leh highway had come to a standstill following heavy snowfall on November 17. At least 46 persons, including patients and defence personnel, were lodged at Kokhsar village, 70 km uphill from Manali.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, 38 Border Road Task Force commander AK Awasthi said, “The Border Road Organisation (BRO) had on Wednesday completed snow clearance operation on Rohtang Pass, but did not allow movement of traffic due to ice on roads. The pass was thrown open for traffic on Thursday morning.”

Saying that clearing operations were a great challenge, Awasthi said, “80-member work force worked 12 hours while sub-zero temperature affected efficiency of machines. High-velocity winds in the area also made snow clearance more difficult,” he said.

Marriage party rescued

As many as 35 members of a marriage party, who were trapped in snow, were brought to Udaipur, 60 km from Keylong on Thursday. The marriage party, which had left for Miyarh valley on November 15 from Kullu, was caught in snow while returning on November 18. “They all have been taken to a rest house in Udaipur,” said Udaipur naib tehsildhar Karam Chand.

The marriage party comprised 14 women, four children and 11 male members.

Meanwhile, the district administration in Lahaul & Spiti has also sought help from the army asking it allow the use of under construction strategic tunnel in Rohtang . “We have requested the defence authorities to allow us to use tunnel in case of medical emergencies,”said deputy commissioner Lahaul & Spiti Dewa Singh Negi.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 20:20 IST