Rohtang Tunnel Single Day Traffic Crosses 5,000 Vehicles

Manali: Cold swept winds dropping temperatures to below freezing point has not deterred motorists from moving in and out of Lahaul valley as traffic through Rohtang Tunnel touched 5,450 vehicles for the first time since it was thrown open to traffic in October.

Till last year, all vehicular traffic to Lahaul would normally stop by 20th November because of heavy snow on the 13,058 feet high Rohtang Pass would cut off the region for the winter months that could extend to May or June.

District police chief Gaurav Singh stated that 2,800 automobiles entered Rohtang Tunnel from the Manali side and 2,650 from the Lahaul side of the tunnel. “This was the very best variety of automobiles utilizing the road on a single day since its inauguration in October,” said Singh.

Every additional thousand vehicles at Manali Bailey Bridge were facing delays because of the Green Tax Barrier and to manage the slow pace in crossing at the Bailey Bridge connecting the left bank side. All vehicles going beyond Solang Nala towards the tunnel were compulsorily headed up to Atal Rohtang tunnel South Portal & then U-turns were facilitated there. No overtaking was permitted between Palchan & South Portal, he added.

Tourists in violation of regulations dancing inside Rohtang Tunnel

About traffic violations, Singh disclosed that 15 persons in 2 vehicles had been arrested for causing obstruction to traffic inside the tunnel and for violations of special Covid related regulations. The persons violating the traffic regulations had been fined Rs 40000/-under HP Police Act, said Singh. Since the opening of the tunnel, a total of 25 persons have been arrested for stopping inside the tunnel and obstructing traffic.

Prime minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 9.02 Km long Atal Tunnel (Rohtang Tunnel) in the first week of October that goes under the high Himalayan mountain range, connecting Lahaul valley with an all-weather road for the first time.

Opening of the tunnel has led to a tourist rush to this beautiful land that is crisscrossed by high ranges and the valleys sheltering some of the biggest glaciers, including the Bara Shri Glacier, in all of the mighty Himalayas.

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.

1 Comment

  • Beautifully explained the situation
    Rightly said good for business but bad for environment. will it be open through out the year?
    Sanjay l must complement you that your expression is wonderful
    All the best

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