Rohtang Pass to reopen for tourists from Wednesday

Manali, May 20 - The majestic Rohtang Pass, which is still wrapped in a thick blanket of snow near this picturesque tourist resort of Himachal Pradesh, will be reopened for the tourists from Wednesday, an official said.

"The tourists bound for Rohtang Pass from Manali will be allowed to travel Wednesday onwards," district tourism officer Vinay Dhiman told IANS here on Monday.

At present, the tourists are not allowed to travel beyond Marhi, some 35 km from here, as road maintenance after snow-clearing operation is on.

Rohtang Pass, the gateway to adventure tourism destinations of Lahaul Valley, was cleared of winter snows April 25 but only the locals and government functionaries were allowed to cross the pass.

However, the ban on travelling in a vehicle that does not bear Himachal Pradesh registration number will remain in force.

Dhiman said the tourists would have to hire a local taxi from Kothi, 15 km from Manali, if they want to travel upto Rohtang.

"The local drivers are familiar with the local topography and weather conditions. This helps checking roads blockades and accidents," he added.

He said three police check posts would be set up at Kothi, Marhi and Rohtang to regulate the tourist traffic.

Located 52 km from here, the Rohtang Pass connects Manali with Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. It also plays an important role in the movement of the armed forces to the forward areas in Ladakh.

The weather at the Rohtang Pass is harsh. A sudden drop in the temperature, even in summer, can trigger winter-like conditions. (IANS)

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