Pstt ! The Manali-Leh road status is ..

.. disputed , in a new , fascinating way . Until now , it´s been fairly easy to describe the status of the Rothang La crossing in four stages :

1. Really , really closed

2. A path being cut over the worst stuff , crossable on foot ( as from March 18th )

3. First clearing of the road , crossable with light vehicles ( as reports over the last week) . Still flagged as closed , until deemed worthy of supporting heavy vehicles.

4. Buses start to run , and the road is flagged as officially open.

This year brings a new twist , though : the BRO and the HRTC arguing over the status of the road , as the first buses start running to Keylong :

“Kullu, May 10
The HRTC has started its bus operation from Keylong to Manali yesterday on trial basis though a few points on the 13,050-feet high Rohtang Pass were not good. This was stated by Devender Narang, regional manager, HRTC, Kullu, who also looks after the Keylong region here yesterday. The bus brought passengers from Keylong and reached Manali, he added.

The Border Road Organisation (BRO), the defence body looking after the Manali-Leh road, however, denied official opening of the Rohtang Pass for heavy vehicles.”

(And yes , the official road marker is still flagged as “closed” )

Source : The Tribune