Heavy snowfall blocks Manali-Leh highway
MANALI: Manali-Rohtang-Leh highway has been blocked for
traffic following heavy snowfall in mid and high hills of Kullu and
Lahaul-Spiti districts of Himachal and a fresh wave of cold has gripped the
entire state on Thursday.
Tourists enjoy snowfall at Gulaba near Manali
Rohtang pass,
51km from here, is covered under 60cm of fresh snow while Baralacha pass in
Lahaul valley has received more than 75cm fresh snow. Manali-Spiti road has
also blocked after 45cm snowfall on Kunzum pass. Jalori pass on Kullu-Anni
highway has also received some snow. Given the safety of the tourists, Manali
police restricted movement of tourists to Kothi, 13km from here, till 12pm.
Later when snowfall stopped, tourists were allowed to go till Gulaba, 19km from
here.
Lahaul-Spiti deputy
commissioner Beer Singh Thakur said vehicular traffic on Keylong-Leh highway has
come to a complete halt after heavy snowfall. “The entire valley is getting
intermittent snowfall. We are able to handle all type of situations arising due
to heavy snowfall,” he said. While district headquarters Keylong received some
overnight snow, Koksar, Darcha, Sissu, Telangbe and dozens of villages of
valley are below more than 10cm thick blanket of snow. Bad weather condition
has left many villages without electricity since Tuesday.
Manali-Kothi
highway remained jammed with traffic till noon after hundreds of tourist
vehicles made a beeline on Manali-Rohtang highway. After ensuring safety of
tourists, vehicles were allowed only upto lower Gulaba where 5cm fresh snowfall
entertained them for the whole day. Till the last reports from Gulaba, tourists
were not being allowed to go beyond Kothi village as heavy snowfall had again
started in Gulaba area. A police official said that vehicles start slipping on
the snow and all necessary precautions were being taken for the safety of the
tourists.
Meanwhile,
Border Roads Organization has started its snow clearance operation to restore
traffic on Manali-Rohtang-Keylong road. If snowfall continues, Keylong-Leh highway will be blocked till next summer season. Local meteorological
department has forecast for more snowfall on Friday and residents are preparing
to face to coming harsh winters.

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