On April 25, Border Road Organization opened the Rohtang Pass in 3 weeks advance, the gateway to Lahaul and Spiti district.
Rohtang Pass, the road connecting to Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti was thrown open to the traffic on April 25. BRO opened the road for three weeks in advance of the schedule.
Border Road Organisation (BRO) administered under Ministry of Defense, is in-charge of opening the road.
The 13,058ft high Rohtang Pass remains shut for around 6 months every year because of the heavy snowfall. Due to the ongoing crisis, BRO opened the pass to provide essential items and relief material to the residents of Lahaul-Spiti. It is located on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.
Although, the pass is segregated in mid-November last year it was allowed until December 12. During this time, the valley depends on air maintenance for the supply of deliveries.
However, a statement released by Army, said snow clearing off will help farmers to start cultivation. Furthermore, the first convoy with essential items and 150 farmers went through the pass bringing the relief to the locals. The convoy was led by the Agriculture Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Dr. Ram Lal Markanda. The pass officially remains open for summer traffic, the Army said.
In the wake of lockdown, on April 11 the Himachal government requested BRO director general to open the stretch early. Since around 5,000 farmers are looking to return to their home back. Considering this hi-tech machinery was engaged from both ends of the pass.
Continuous whiteout in the region which triggered a snowstorm at Rahala Nullah, Beas Nullah, and Rani Nullah kept the Army road construction wing working relentlessly. Despite the challenges faced by BRO, the snow clearance operation is accomplished in 10 days.
Statement from Army anonymous source, precaution, and protective measures was taken against the COVID19.
Connected to Ladakh
Moreover, the opening pass means the elite Indian Army can now stock up rations at the base of Siachen. Besides, transferring items of use to the civilian population of Union Territory of Ladakh.
Additionally one can access Ladakh via Srinagar-Leh road over Zoji La, a 475km long stretch. Last week roads were opened across Zoji La (11,570 feet high).
During the winter months, men and ration are airlifted onboard military planes from Chandigarh. Whereas all types of equipment are transferred during the summer months.
Also, the agricultural activities the backbone of Lahaul Spiti district can recommence now. As a result, opening of pass brought cheer among the Lahaul and Spiti local population.
Meanwhile, the ongoing work at 8.8km at Atal Tunnel below Rohtang pass came to stall amid coronavirus. Now the work is resumed.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur applauded the efforts of BRO.