By: ML Verma
Manali (May 24): Snow-bound Keylong town of Lahaul-Spiti district is likely to open up for tourists as the snow clearing operation on the Manali-Keylong road was completed as machines deployed on the work successfully crossed to Keylong this afternoon.
Kullu deputy commissioner BM Nanta said that today seven ice cutters deployed by Border Road Organisation completed snow clearing work on the 13,051 ft (3,978 m)) high Rohtang Pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. Rohtang pass is 51 km (32 mi) from Manali and gateway to tribal Keylong town. He said that the entire stretch between Manali-Keylong road (115km distance) was thrown open today, completing one-and-half-month old snow clearing operation.
He said that more than 200 officials of Border Roads Organisation under project GRIEF were deployed to remove winter snow from the road. However, he said that minor repair work was left at some points, which would be completed by tomorrow.
Replying to query about official declaration of the road being open, he said that it would be declared open from tomorrow itself as repair work would not take much time. The road had become unfit for vehicular traffic after snowfall of December 10, 2010. After opening this road from tomorrow onward tourists who are arriving
in massive number at Manali would be able to take a trip up to Rohtang Pass, which has a thick layer of snow to enthrall them. The district administration has a police post at Merdi to keep movement of people and tourists on the snowy mountain track under control.