After being closed for more than three weeks , and bringing down fifteen dead ( last found on December 1st) , the Rothang La has opened again. BRO have had seventy people and and a number of bulldozers going arond the clock (partly from the concern that the engines would be unable to start again once they froze ) to clear five to ten feet of snow between Koksar and Marhi. A large number of vehicles ( Tribune says , unspecified , “hundreds”) mainly based in Manali , will first be allowed to cross over to Manali , after that transports to Lahaul on the Manali-Leh highway can resume.
In Kashmir the Indian Air Force has started to airlift people between Srinagar and Kargil with Antonov AN32 planes , taking among others patients to Srinagar hospital.
On another note the bus traffic in Ladakh has been secured for the next season : the three month long strike has been called off after what seems like a total victory for the SRTC drivers and conductors : all back wages ( more than six months !) will be paid and at the new terms agreed on earlier this year , and JKSRTC will be reorganised along the lines of the Himachal state bus line , that we all love and yearn for in our daily lives.