After witnessing a lean time in peak summer season, Rohtang pass is now flooded with tourists but snowless mountains are disappointing them.
Lakhs of tourist could not reach Rohtang pass following landslides this year. Now the condition of highway has been improved and tourists are easily reaching the Rohtang top but snow is not available for their cool reception. Now tourists are trying to entertain themselves with frozen hard snow at Rahni and Sagu glaciers. Melting of snow has made thousands of locals unemployed.
Thousands of locals providing tourists with ski, snow scooters, sledge, and tube sliding have lost their jobs until the next spell of snowfall in winters. “This was the worst season we have ever faced,” said a snow scooter owner Roshan Lal, adding, “When Rohtang was covered with snow, tourists could not reach here but now when everyone is coming here, snow has disappeared completely. Now people who depend upon winter games are jobless. Tourists can enjoy only horse riding on Rohtang pass.”
Unable to find the soft snow elsewhere, tourists, too, are desperate of Rohtang pass. Misguided by some travel agents and taxi drivers, travellers were thronging Rohtang to witness the fresh soft snow but the pass was proving heart breaker for them. Tourists from Ahmadabad, Hiren Mehta and his family, who visited Rohtang on Monday said, “Our travel agent had promised that we shall be able to have fun in fresh snow on Rohtang but we cannot trace the snow here.” He said that finally they moved back to the Rahni glacier where snow was hard like ice and they enjoyed for few minutes.
Ashwani Patel and Sneha, honeymooners from Delhi said they were expecting fresh snowfall on Rohtang as temperature was very low with overcast. “We rushed towards Rohtang pass but cannot see snowfall. Even the entire mountain was dry. A dhaba owner said snow was melted away in mid July. We had to return back empty-handed,” they said.
Border roads organization has controlled the landslides at Rahni Nullah and highway has been well maintained up to Rohtang pass. But unavailability of snow is disappointing hundreds of tourists reaching here every day.