Friday, 22 March 2013

Manali-Rohtang highway to be one-way this summer season

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Tourists shall have to keep patience to see snow at Rohtang pass this summer season as Manali has drafted strict regulations for vehicles plying Manali-Rohtang route. If everything goes right, tourists can enjoy the panoramic journey to Rohtang only between 6am and 12 noon as vehicles before or after this time limit will not be allowed to go towards Rohtang pass.
Traffic on Manali-Rohtang highway (file pic)
Police, administration, beopar mandal, hoteliers and taxi union of Manali have prepared a strict strategy to cope with the fierce traffic jam problem on this route. In peak summer season, vehicles take five to eight hours only to cover 51-km distance between Rohtang and Manali. The problem intensifies at evening when all vehicles from Rohtang leave for Manali and stuck in narrow road for hours. Now, the plan is that vehicles from Manali can go towards Rohtang between 6am and 12 noon and vehicles at Rohtang can come back to Manali only after 12pm.
“The time table for vehicles and making highway one way will definitely help reduce the jam problems. This will make journey more comfortable, fast and also reduce the accidents and save precious time of travelers,” Kullu police chief Ashok Kumar said adding that the restriction would be lifted for the ambulances and those vehicles in emergency.
Everybody welcomed this step but police warned that those who would not adhere to the rule will be penalized with seizing of their car. Also, 10pm to 6am will be the zero traffic hours when no vehicles will be allowed on the highway. If tourists reach Manali after noon and want to visit Rohtang on the same day, they shall have to postpone their plan to next day.
It was being witnessed in Manali that some taxi operators, to make multi-trips to Rohtang in same day, were taking tourists to Rohtang in early morning and even midnight. Many tourists were complaining that taxi driver didn’t allow them to enjoy much time at Rohtang pass with excuse that they will stuck in dead traffic jam. Now the fix timing for cabs and other cars will allow tourists much time to spend in snow.
Police, tourism department and administration are also planning to take effective steps to stop service providers from duping tourists. Instructions have been issued to adventure sports organizers and snow dress lenders to hang rate-list at their kiosks.

Rohtang opens for pedestrians
MARHI (MANALI): Rohtang pass has officially been opened for pedestrians from Wednesday after installing rescue posts on either side of the pass. The expert mountaineers in posts will monitor the movement and help people in emergency.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports director Randhir Singh Salhuria said rescue posts have been installed at Koksar in Lahaul and Marhi in Kullu. “We strongly recommend people to get themselves registered in both the posts before and after cross the pass so that we can ensure their safety,” he said.
Posts will be serving until the highway opens for traffic. Rohtang pass is still covered under 30 to 50 feet of snow and temperature is many notches below freezing point.

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