Manali-Leh highway officially closed till next summers, Admn to set up rescue posts from Nov 15
Himachal Vacation Travel
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MANALI: Given the possibilities of heavy snowfall along Manali-Leh highway, Border Roads Organization (BRO) has decided to officiallyclose the
highway from Sunday. Now the organization would not be responsible for safe
movement of the traffic on this route, an official said.
Rohtang pass on Saturday experienced fresh snowfall while there are strong
chances of more snowfall in coming days. As hundreds of people put their lives
in danger after driving in inclement weather of Rohtang every year, BRO has
announced to close the highway officially on Saturday.
Fresh snowfall on Rohtang mountain ranges near Manali
“Given the circumstances on Rohtang pass, the highway has been closed
officially,” BRO commander at 38BRTF Colonel Yogesh Nair said, adding that BRO
would continue the widening and metalling of the highway until snowfall would
block the highway permanently. Now the administration would be responsible for
all activities occurring on Manali-Rohtang highway.
Despite snowfall, Manali-Keylong highway remained operational all the day on
Saturday. Hundreds of residents of Lahaul crossed Rohtang pass safely. Fearing
early closure of highway, people of Lahaul are reaching their homes from all
parts of the state while students and those residing outside the Lahaul valley
are leaving the valley.
 
>>Rescue posts on both sides of Rohtang pass from November 15
Manali: After declaration of official closure of Rohtang pass, administration
has decided to set up rescue posts on both sides of the Rohtang pass from
November 15, an official said here on Saturday.
With weather conditions turning hostile on Rohtang pass, two rescue posts —
one at Marhi and another at Koksar — would be installed for the safe movement
of vehicles and pedestrians.
Manali based Atal Bihari Vajpayee institute of mountaineering and allied sports
(ABVIMAS) installs posts in two phases from November 15 to December 15 and then
March 15 to May 15 every year. Each post would include police, medical team,
rescue experts and wireless operator. After setting up of the posts, travellers
using this route would have to register themselves at both the posts to ensure
safe passage.
Manali sub-divisional magistrate Balbir Thakur said that administration is
keeping an eye on the activities of tourists and local residents on Rohtang
pass. “Rescue posts would be set up for the convenience of public on November
15,” he said. Officials at posts have been trained to work wisely according to
the situations. They may prevent any vehicle or person from crossing the pass for
safety purpose.
 
>>BRO to continue working on Rohtang pass
Manali: Despite snowfall and sub-zero temperatures on Rohtang pass, BRO has
decided to continue working on the Manali-Rohtang highway until heavy snowfall
blocks it permanently.
BRO official said that their men and machinery are engaged in metalling on
the highway with ultra modern technique so that it would have no effect of the
extreme weather conditions even at 13,000 feet height. BRO has a target to
widen the highway till 11 metres and are working between Marhi and Rohtang
pass. However the highway has been declared officially closed for civilian
vehicles, BRO would face the light snowfalls and cold weather here.
“Work has been completed at Baralacha-la (16,050 feet) and now we are working on
Rohtang pass. Hard work of the jawans in extreme weather would provide pleasant
journey to Rohtang to tourists and locals after winter season in over,” BRO
commander Colonel Yogesh Nair said.
The landslides on Manali-Rohtang highway had made the journey miserable in last
three years. The 51km journey between Manali and Rohtang was taking three to
five hours. But the condition of highway has been improved and the journey is
taking only one hour.
 
>>Snowfall brings down temperature, cheers tourists
Manali: The fresh snowfall in higher reaches of Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti has
brought down the temperature on Saturday.
Rohtang pass has received 10cm fresh snow. The adjoining peaks at height of
over 12,000 feet also experienced moderate snowfall in the evening. Hundreds of
tourists thronged Rohtang to witness the fresh snowfall on Saturday. Snowfall
has triggered cold waves in the lower regions.
The crystal clear sunny sky changed its colour suddenly Saturday afternoon. The
dark clouds hovering over the mountains started showering snowflakes but lower
hills didn’t experience the rain. Tourism industry of Manali is hoping for a
good time ahead due to abundance of snow at Rohtang.
The minimum temperature in Manali was recorded 2 degrees Celsius and it was
-2.1 degrees Celsius in Keylong, the district headquarter of Lahaul-Spiti.
Maximum temperature in Keylong was only 8.8 degrees Celsius in last 24 hours.
Local meteorological department has alerted of entering western disturbances in
western Himalayas after November 13.

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