Dharam Prakash Gupta
In view of forecast of heavy Snow and rain by meteorological I department on the higher reaches of Himachal Pradesh the Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) has suspended its bus service between Kullu and Keylong for the winter months with immediate effect.
The meteorological department is expecting heavy snowfall at Rohtang pass situated at 15000 ft, which experience heavy snowfall ranging over 20 feet during winter months blocking the traffic between Kullu and headquarter of Lahaul and Spiti district Keylong , during the winters.
Generally, HRTC suspends its bus service on this route from November 15 every year but this year due to forecast of early snowfall the HRTC has suspended it 3 days early. The HRTC had restored its service on this route a few days back only when the Boarder Roads Organization had cleared the snow from the Rohtang pass after a heavy snowfall.
Since the bus service to tribal district from Kullu is an important mode of transport the tribal people have resented the move of suspension of HRTC service on this route.
How- ever the locals have resented this move and told ,” “The weather is not that bad and bus service could have continued for some more time. Suspension of the bus service would force people to opt for taxis for rest of the winter season, which are quite expensive.”
Regional Manager HRTC Keylong, Mangal Chand Manepa said, “In view of forecast of heavy snowfall bus service crossing the Rohtang tunnel has been suspended.”
Meanwhile, the Lahaul and Spiti district administration with the help of Atal Bihari Mountaineering Institute Manali has set up rescue posts at Koksar and Marhi to help pedestrian crossing the Rohtang pass in emergencies, from November 12.
The district administration has issued an alert in view of meteorological department’s forecast of heavy snowfall in the next few days in the district.