Dharam Prakash Gupta
Bowing to public demand and pressure from administration the Border Roads Organization (BRO) authorities manning Manali- Keylong strategic road link with Lahaul and Spiti district, have started clearing snow from the Rohtang Pass.
The BRO deployed snow cutters and their team started clearing the snow from Manali side today and are likely to clear the Pass for vehicular traffic in a few days.
The residents of the tribal Lahual and Spiti district have been demanding opening the Rohtang Pass for the vehicular traffic for past many days as early snowfall this year had stopped traffic on this route last week and early blockade of the Pass had left many residents stranded in the district.
Since a large tribal population from this district is settled at Manali and Kulu, many of them desirous of going back to their places were stuck on other side of the Rohtang Pass.
The residents of the district have been demanding clearing of snow from the Pass or allowing them to travel through 13 kms long underground tunnel, which is yet to be completed. Both of these demands were not conceded by the BRO.
The residents had started mobilizing funds to open the Rohtang Pass by deploying snow cutters at their own. Some locals had also tried to cross the tunnel forcibly, who were evacuated from the tunnel by the Army police and local administration. A few travelers were also taken ill due to cold and lack of oxygen in the tunnel. The BRO had been telling the locals the tunnel is still unsafe for allowing routine traffic through the tunnel as it is still to be completed.
Confirming this DC Lahual and Spiti, Ashwani Chaudhary said , “The BRO has started clearing of snow from the Rohtang Pass and vehicular traffic on this route is likely to be restored in a few days.”