Friday, 8 November 2013

Heavy snowfall blocks Manali-Leh highway

Himachal Vacation Travel News
MANALI: Manali-Rohtang-Leh highway has been blocked for traffic following heavy snowfall in mid and high hills of Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts of Himachal and a fresh wave of cold has gripped the entire state on Thursday.
Tourists enjoy snowfall at Gulaba near Manali

Rohtang pass, 51km from here, is covered under 60cm of fresh snow while Baralacha pass in Lahaul valley has received more than 75cm fresh snow. Manali-Spiti road has also blocked after 45cm snowfall on Kunzum pass. Jalori pass on Kullu-Anni highway has also received some snow. Given the safety of the tourists, Manali police restricted movement of tourists to Kothi, 13km from here, till 12pm. Later when snowfall stopped, tourists were allowed to go till Gulaba, 19km from here.
Lahaul-Spiti deputy commissioner Beer Singh Thakur said vehicular traffic on Keylong-Leh highway has come to a complete halt after heavy snowfall. “The entire valley is getting intermittent snowfall. We are able to handle all type of situations arising due to heavy snowfall,” he said. While district headquarters Keylong received some overnight snow, Koksar, Darcha, Sissu, Telangbe and dozens of villages of valley are below more than 10cm thick blanket of snow. Bad weather condition has left many villages without electricity since Tuesday.
Manali-Kothi highway remained jammed with traffic till noon after hundreds of tourist vehicles made a beeline on Manali-Rohtang highway. After ensuring safety of tourists, vehicles were allowed only upto lower Gulaba where 5cm fresh snowfall entertained them for the whole day. Till the last reports from Gulaba, tourists were not being allowed to go beyond Kothi village as heavy snowfall had again started in Gulaba area. A police official said that vehicles start slipping on the snow and all necessary precautions were being taken for the safety of the tourists.
Meanwhile, Border Roads Organization has started its snow clearance operation to restore traffic on Manali-Rohtang-Keylong road. If snowfall continues, Keylong-Leh highway will be blocked till next summer season. Local meteorological department has forecast for more snowfall on Friday and residents are preparing to face to coming harsh winters.

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