Rohtang Pass reopens after 6 months

MANALI: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) on Sunday opened the Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti valley, after a gap of six months.

A large number of Lahaul residents, living in the Kullu-Manali area had a sigh of relief as one has to travel through the Rohtang Pass to commute between Kullu and Lahaul valley.

Meanwhile, the district administration has restricted the movement of tourist vehicles towards the Rohtang Pass for safety reasons. They have been allowed to go up to Gulaba.

“We are allowing the movement of Lahaul-Spiti residents towards Lahaul from the Manali side. The tourists can go up to Gulaba only for snow-related activities,” Manali sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ashwani Kumar said.

According to the BRO, they opened the road despite several challenges in sub-zero temperature.

A BRO official said despite all odds like heavy snowfall, landslides and rough weather, the BRO has been able to connect Lahaul valley with Manali through the Rohtang Pass around 4 am.

As the opening coincides with the day of voting, the voters were also able to move to Lahaul to cast their votes.

This year, it has been a tough task as the snow clearance teams encountered 30-40 feet of snow at Beas and Rani nullahs and area around the Rohtang Pass, the official said.

The team also encountered a lot of avalanches, the official said.

Although it was snowing as latest till May 17 at the Rohtang Pass, in spite of that, the BRO was able to achieve the target, he added.