Sunday, 11 November 2012

Manali-Leh highway officially closed till next summers, Admn to set up rescue posts from Nov 15

Himachal Vacation Travel News
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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