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Posted at: Mar 13, 2018, 1:02 AM; last updated: Mar 13, 2018, 1:02 AM (IST)

Op to clear snow on Manali-Leh highway begins

MC Thakur

BEAS NULLAH (MANALI), MARCH 12

Equipped with modern machinery and technically skilled officers and jawans, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) today started snow-clearance operation on the Manali-Leh highway after organizing a puja near Beas Nullah, about 32 km from here.

Colonel Arvind Kumar Awasthi, Commander, 38 Border Road Task Force (BRTF), said massive efforts were being made to open the Rohtang Pass, the gateway to Lahaul-Spiti, as early as possible provided the weather conditions remain favourable. Efforts were also being made to open the Manali- Leh highway from the other side of Rohtang Pass in the Lahaul valley, he added.

He further said the early opening of the 13,050-ft-high Rohtang Pass for vehicular traffic will also bring great relief to the Lahaul-Spiti valley inhabitants. He said three snow-clearing teams had been deployed for opening of the 222-km Manali- Sarchu road. Snow cutters and other modern machines were being used besides the services of dedicated and well organized team work of officers and jawans.

Awasthi said they had to cut through 10ft to 15ft of snow near Beas Nullah. Thickness of snow near Rohtang could be 30ft.

The Commander said the first team from Manali was clearing snow near Beas Nullah towards Rohtang Pass, while the second team is clearing snow between Koksar and Rohtang Pass. The third team is moving from Darcha towards Baralacha Pass. Five snow cutters, six excavators, eight dozers and other machines have been deployed to execute the task.

The Colonel said the work started after organizing a puja near Beas Nullah where all officers, jawans and machine operators prayed for their safety and favourable conditions. He has directed jawans to take their safety on priority. He further added that his prime goal was to open Manali-Rohtang-Keylong highway to bring relief to thousands of people of Lahaul valley.

Meanwhile, SDM, Manali, Raman Gharsangi said two rescue posts had been established on either side of Rohtang Pass for the convenience of the people of Lahaul. He requested pedestrians to register themselves at both the posts before and after crossing the mighty Rohtang Pass. He also said that pedestrians should not risk their lives and should cross Rohtang only after ensuring that the weather was clear.

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