BRO starts clearing snow from road across Rohtang Pass

By PTC News -- November 22, 2018 7:49 pm

The Border Road Organisation (BRO) has begun clearing snow from the road across Rohtang Pass after some Lahaul villagers tried to use an under-construction tunnel as an alternative earlier this week.

About 60 villagers heading towards Manali entered the tunnel "forcibly" on Monday and some of them fell unconscious in the middle due to lack of oxygen, officials said.

The Leh-Manali road usually closes for winter around February 15, but this year early snowfall forced authorities to stop traffic from November 15 onwards.

Chandigarh-based BRO Additional Director General (ADG) Mohan Lal made it clear that this would be the last time the snow was being cleared this season. He said it would be the last opportunity this season for those wanting to cross the Rohtang Pass by road.

The Himachal Pradesh government had aggressively taken up the matter with the BRO to restore the road for vehicular traffic, said Additional Chief Secretary, PWD, Revenue and Disaster Management Manisha Nanda.

Talking about an under-construction 8.8-km Rohtang tunnel, which will provide an alternative all-weather route across the pass, she said it is not safe for general movement as of now.

In September, over 350 people, who were stranded in Lahaul-Spiti district due to heavy snowfall, were rescued and brought to Manali through the tunnel.

Lahaul-Spiti DC Ashwani Kumar Chaudhary said people with a medical emergency would be sent across the tunnel but the strict legal action would be taken if somebody will enter the tunnel forcibly.

Meanwhile, Kullu Deputy Commissioner Yunus said if residents of Lahaul face any problem, they can contact Manali SDM.

Rescue posts have been set up on either side of the Rohtang Pass to monitor safe movement of vehicles after snow clearance, he said. PTI

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