Rohtang pass opens ahead of schedule
By Baldev S. Chauhan, Indo-Asian News Service
Shimla, Apr 11 (IANS) One of the most treacherous passes in the western Himalayas has been cleared of heavy snow and opened for traffic ahead of schedule, an official of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) said.
“The 13,050-foot Rohtang pass, a popular tourist spot that connects the tribal Lahaul valley and landlocked Ladakh, was opened for light vehicles on Saturday,” said the official from BRO, which maintains the high mountain road.
Heavy vehicles are to be allowed on the pass later in the week.
The pass generally closes for traffic in late November and opens in early June.
Last year, the pass opened May 17. This year it has opened for the first time in April, bringing cheer to the tribal folk of Lahaul and Spiti.
Around 30 light vehicles passed in a convoy into the barren and snow covered Lahaul valley from the green Kullu valley Saturday.
Among other supplies, the vehicles carried fresh vegetables and fruit, which the local people were unable to procure for the past six months.
The pass has opened early due to negligible spring snowfall this year due to a prolonged dry spell and also due to advanced machinery engaged by the BRO, which maintains the 480-km Manali-Leh high-altitude road.