SHIMLA The fresh bout of snowfall at the 13,500-feet Rohtang Pass has suspended the road connectivity to the tribal district of Lahaul and Spiti and around 50 people, including patients and locals, have been left stranded. The inclement weather conditions have also hampered the snow-clearance exercise. “Rohtang has received more than two feet of snow. Its clearance might take some time,” Border Road Organisation’s 38th task force commander Col AK Awasthi told Hindustan Times in a telephonic conversation. More than 40 persons have been grounded at Kokhsar alone and around 50 vehicles coming from the Leh-Ladakh side are stuck in snow.Border Road Organisation had shot off a letter to the district administrations in Lahaul and Spiti and Kullu to close the Rohtang Pass officially for vehicles on November 15.These also include around 12 defence vehicles carrying jawans of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). Besides trapped vehicles, over 200 people — majority of them being natives of Lahaul and Spiti — are grounded in Manali and Sissu. Moreover, nearly six patients requiring medical attention have also been caught up in the snow-bound villages. Those stranded have been lodged at a rescue hut in Kokhsar,” Awasthi said. He, however, expected the road to be thrown open for traffic by Tuesday morning.“We are waiting for the road to be cleared. In case of any delay in that, we will ask the government to deploy chopper to airlift those stranded on both sides of the Rohtang Pass,” said deputy commissioner Dewa Singh Negi. The Border Road Organisation (BRO) had shot off a letter to the district administrations in Lahaul and Spiti and Kullu to close the Rohtang Pass officially for vehicles on November 15. But the administration insisted to allow traffic to pass till snow accumulated. However, the posts on both sides of Rohtang Pass at Marhi and Kokhsar have been instructed not to allow movement of tourist vehicles. “Road conditions are quite slippery and plying of vehicles will only add to the risk,” Negi said. The 16,040-feet-high Baralacha Pass in J&K’s Zanskar range was closed for traffic on October 15. However vehicles on the pass connecting Lahaul to the Valley continued to ply.