Manali:As Lahaul and Spiti remains snowbound from November to April, electronic voting machines, election material and staff for the Lok Sabha elections in state will be transported through the under-construction Rohtang Tunnel.
The Border Road Organisation (BRO ) has undertaken the task to clear snow on the road leading to the north portal of tunnel near Teling village in Lahaul Spiti’s Sissu disclosed Ashwani Chaudhry, DC Lahaul and Spiti at a press conference in Manali.
The north portal was closed in November by BRO after a group of people from Lahual and Spiti wanting access to the tunnel forcibly entered it.
“The Election Commission requested the defence ministry and border road organisation to help transport election material and staff through the 8.8 km Rohtang tunnel, which is at present, under construction,” said Chaudhry. “Some of the election material has already been airlifted to Keylong,” he added.
The road connecting the north portal of tunnel will be opened to traffic on Wednesday. At present, it is snowing in the region,” said Uma Shanker, Commander, 38 BRTF.
The construction of the Rohtang Tunnel, which at 3,000m above sea level, is one of the world’s most challenging projects, is about to complete. The tunnel is likely to open by November 2019. It will provide all-season connectivity to the landlocked Lahaul Valley.
The construction work, which started in 2010 was expected to be completed by 2017 but a rivulet spring in the tunnel in 2012, delaying the project.
The border road organisation has assured the government that it will open the Rohtang pass to traffic by the end of the month disclosed Chaudhry. He further said that the BRO has already restored the Stingri Darcha road.
There are 92 polling stations in Lahaul and Spiti district. Of the total 23,407 voters, 11,688 are male and 11,734 are female.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.