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Fresh snowfall at Rohtang cuts off Lahaul and Spiti, govt issues advisory to restrict vehicles

The 13,050 feet Rohtang pass and 16,040 feet Baralacha pass in Zanskar mountain range connecting Lahaul &Spiti to Ladakh was closed for traffic following heavy snowfall.

india Updated: Oct 11, 2018 13:55 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
snowfall at Rohtang,Lahaul and Spiti,Himachal Pradesh
(HT Photo)

Higher altitudes in Himachal Pradesh experienced fresh snowfall on Thursday, aggravating cold conditions and temperatures dropping due to overcast skies.

The 13,050 feet Rohtang pass and 16,040 feet Baralacha pass in Zanskar mountain range connecting Lahaul &Spiti to Ladakh was closed for traffic following heavy snowfall.

Indian Army’s Border Road Organisation (BRO) has issued an advisory urging the civil administration to restrict movement of vehicles on Manali-Leh national highway.

“There are a lot of tourists in town, who are keen on visiting Rohtang pass. However, we are not allowing vehicles beyond Gulaba,” said Manali sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Rama Garhsanghi.

“Rohtang pass is experiencing intermittent snowfall since Thursday morning. There is around three-inches of snow accumulation there,” the SDM said.

Fresh snowfall in Keylong of Lahaul and Spiti district. (HT Photo)

Keylong, the district headquarter of Lahaul and Spiti experienced around six inches of snow leading to a drop in the day temperature recorded 0.1 degree Celsius.

Two weeks ago, Lahaul and Spiti district had experienced sudden snowfall, which wreaked havoc in the region. Untimely snow caused heavy damage to apple orchards, besides destroying agricultural crops.

Scores of tourist were stranded on the road and the state government had sought the help of Air Force to evacuate them. Electricity supply in the district was also snapped for two weeks.

“A large number of tourist vehicles are still parked along the highway. The road from Kaza to Darcha is still blocked. Vehicle owners keep inquiring about the road conditions “said Keylong SDM Amar Singh Negi.

Shimla and other low lying areas including Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra district were lashed by rain on Thursday.

Shimla recorded a minimum 11.21 degree Celsius temperature and Kufri recorded 3.9 degree Celsius. Manali recorded a minimum 6.6 degree Celsius and Dharamshala 14.2 degree Celsius.

Lok Sabha member from Mandi Ramswaroop Sharma who was on a two day visit to Udaipur in Lahaul and Spiti was also stranded due to snowfall.

Govt renews efforts to evacuate shepherds from Barabhangal

The state government on Thursday renewed efforts to rescue around 150 shepherds, who are caught in Bharabhangal since last two weeks following untimely snowfall in Thamsar pass in Dhauladhar mountain ranges of Kangra and Chamba district. They are stranded with nearly 15,000 livestock.

Shepherds from the gaddi community migrate to high altitude areas in summer for grazing and move to low lying areas in winters.

“We are ready to evacuate the shepherds but they are not ready to leave their livestock behind,” a government official said.

The Barabhangal district administration will be sending a team to help evacuate the shepherds.

First Published: Oct 11, 2018 13:55 IST