Shimla, October 4
Clouds of uncertainty loom large over the sixth “ Raid de Himalaya”, India’s toughest, highest and longest motor sport rally, scheduled to be held from October 7 to 10 with heavy snow blocking all the high mountain passes falling on the route of the rally.
The annual event is being organised in the first fortnight of October since 1999 as the weather in the tribal Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh areas is ideal.
However, the current spell of freak weather has upset the plans this year. The high reaches of the tribal region have been experiencing heavy snow for the past two days as a result of which the Manali-Leh road which forms the major part of competitive stretch has been blocked at several places.
The 13,050 ft Rohtang Pass has recorded 50 cm of snow, while 16,500 ft Bara La Cha Pass is under 90 cm of snow. The 15,000 ft Kunzum Pass and the 16,600 ft La Cha La have also been closed due to heavy snow.
Officially the Kunzum Pass is closed from October 15 and the Rohtang pass from November 15, though traffic continues upto November 25 if there is no snow.
The weather cleared today in the Rohtang and Lahaul areas and work to clear the road was in progress from both sides of the pass.
However, the snow-cutter deployed from the Koksar side was stuck up in snow as a result of which not much progress could be made.