Rohtang Pass To Open For Tourists on June 1

Manali: Having cut through mounds of snow to carve a path into Lahaul Valley and very popular with tourists Rohtang Pass, still wrapped in a thick snow near will be opened for the tourists on June 01.

For conduct of the Lok Sabha poll, the 13,050 feet pass was temporarily opened on May 3 but was closed again due to snowfall. A sudden rise in temperature had increased the threat of landslides forcing the authorities to suspend movement of tourist vehicles beyond Marhi on the Manali-Rohtang road.

Snow clearing operations atop Rohtang Pass; Photo - Sanjay Dutta
File Photo: Snow clearing operations atop Rohtang Pass; Photo – Sanjay Dutta

“In compliance to orders passed by National Green Tribunal, the district administration has banned commercial activities like moving around in snow-scooters, tyre-tube game, dhabas and setting up tea-stall between Kothi-Rohtang. Instead environment friendly food stalls run by Himachal Tourism and those permitted by Supreme Court order would be allowed to run stalls,” Rakesh Kanwar, deputy commission of Kullu said..

He has asked the forest department to stop all activities that violate the National Green Tribunal orders. A special police force will ensure compliance, said Kanwar.

 He also disclosed no tourist vehicle would be allowed beyond Marhi from May 22 to May 31. Vehicles going to Lahaul-Spiti would need to obtain permit to cross Rohtang Pass from either the green tax barrier at Chauri-Bihal, Shuru, SDM office Manali, tourist information center at Manali and from HPTDC offices.

To control the number of vehicles headed for the pass, only 200 tourist vehicles would be permitted from Kothi to Marhi between 5 am and 7 am  and  after the return of first batch of 200, the second fleet would be sent at 1 PM with the condition that they return to Koti by 7 p.m.

The tourism department would be ply buses between Gulaba and Marhi for tourists. Heavy vehicles bound for Lahaul would need to cross Kothi before 6 am with valid permits, said Kanwar.

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.

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