Manali, Nov 15 (IANS) Anticipating heavy snowfall, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) Monday stopped operations on the Rohtang Pass till the onset of summer. The road connects this Himachal Pradesh town to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir.
‘From today (Monday) onwards, we will not be in a position to carry out any evacuation operation or snow clearing work on the entire 222-km Manali-Sarchu National Highway-21 via Rohtang Pass for the next few months due to possible snowfall,’ a BRO official told IANS.
BRO had earlier decided not to operate the highway from Oct 31. But on the request of the state government, it had extended the deadline by two weeks.
BRO starts withdrawing its men and machinery deployed at various locations along the highway with the onset of snowfall.
The pass, located at an altitude of 13,050 ft, experienced heavy snow Oct 22 that was cleared by the BRO.
Kullu Deputy Commissioner B.M. Nanta told IANS: ‘The BRO will not reopen Rohtang Pass and other areas on the highway in case of heavy snowfall. Motorists can travel, but at their own risk.’
The weather at Rohtang Pass, which is the gateway to the Lahaul Valley, is harsh. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions.