Rohtang pass, which was closed since December following winter snowfall, will open for tourists from June 1 as Kullu administration on Wednesday decided to throw open pass after ensuring safety and all necessary arrangements for lakhs of visitors.
Lakhs of tourists from the country were waiting for the opening of Rohtang pass, the top tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh. Tourists will get a chance to have fun in 5 to 20ft of pure white snow. The peak summer tourist season in Himachal starts after the opening of Rohtang pass.
Kullu deputy commissioner Yunus said Tourists can now go to Rohtang pass from June 1. “The road to pass was opened on May 19 but it will open for tourists from June 1. Tourists will have to obtain permit for their vehicle to be able to go to Rohtang pass. Following National Green Tribunal order, permits to 1,300 vehicles are being issued for each day. However, the pass will remain closed every Tuesday for maintenance purpose,” he said.
Hoteliers, taxi operators, tourists and local residents were demanding to thrown open Rohtang pass as soon as possible. Opening of the road to Rohtang was delayed by about three weeks due to heavy snowfall this season.
Since Border Roads Organization (BRO) cleared snow from Manali-Rohtang road, vehicles are plying through a deep gallery with high walls of snow on both sides. The narrow road can accommodate only one vehicle at a time. Allowing tourists would have jammed the pass completely.
“We have deployed JCB to clear snow to make adequate parking space for tourist vehicles. This task is very difficult. Currently, tourists are being allowed till Marhi and Beas nullah where lakhs of tourists have already visited this season,” Yunus added.
The taxi drivers are being given garbage bags which they will keep inside the vehicle. The drivers are asked to educate the tourists not to throw garbage anywhere and give it to their driver. The drivers will then hand over the garbage bags to the concerned people in Manali.
Traffic management on Manali-Rohtang will be a challenge for police. To keep the traffic moving, heavy vehicles bound for Lahaul will be sent before 4am. The vehicles belonging to residents of Lahaul and Pangi including essential supplies and government vehicles will be sent towards Rohtang between 5am and 5:30am.
Tourist vehicles bound for places beyond Rohtang including Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh will be sent from 7:45am to 10am. Similarly, timing has been set for vehicles coming from Rohtang and places beyond Rohtang towards Manali.