Manali – Leh Highway to reopen on 25th May

April 29, 2017 at 7:22 am

Despite higher than normal snow accumulation this year, efforts are in full swing to reopen the Manali – Leh Highway on time. And now BRO believes, they will be able to reopen the Manali – Leh Highway by the 25th of May 2017.

Last year the Manali – Leh Highway had reopened on the 22nd of May.

BRO team is currently working on clearing the road to Baralacha La from Manali side and has managed to reach the army base of Patseo. Even though distance between Patseo and Baralacha La is mere 30 km, it will likely take 3 weeks for the BRO to clear the road and widen it enough for vehicular traffic.

Baralacha La is the last pass to reopen on the Manali – Leh Highway and is also the toughest pass to reopen for BRO thanks to the heavy blanket of snow that covers it during winter.

baralacha-la

Just like in the case of the Rohtang Pass, two BRO teams work on clearing the Baralacha La, one working from Manali side and another from Sarchu side.

There is no word yet on the progress of the BRO team, which sets up its base in Sarchu, after clearing Lachulung La and Nakee La.

Apart from Baralacha La and the road connecting it to Sarchu, 17,480 ft Tanglang La remain the primary challenge for the BRO to reopen Manali – Leh highway for vehicular traffic.

Rohtang cleared of snow

April 24, 2017 at 9:04 am

BRO teams from Manali and Kokhsar have managed to clear the road till Rohtang Pass and have met at the top of the pass.

If the weather remains favorable and the road is stable, BRO is hopeful of reopening the Rohtang Pass for local vehicular traffic in a couple of days.

This would be great news for the locals, who at the moment are forced to cross the pass on foot, risking life and limb while doing so.

However, reopening of Rohtang Pass for tourist traffic till Rohtang and beyond would take a lot longer. Since BRO not only has to widen the road and make it stable enough. It also has to clear enough snow at the top of the pass to make a parking lot for the vehicles traveling from Manali to Rohtang.

All this work is expected to take a week or two, and in the meanwhile, BRO could reopen Marhi for tourist traffic.

Work is also on to clear Baralacha La of snow and it is expected to be cleared of snow by the third or last week of May.

Baralacha La is generally the last pass to open on the Manali – Leh Highway and once it is open, the route is reopened for vehicular traffic.

BRO to clear Rohtang of snow on 21st April 2017

April 20, 2017 at 9:06 am

BRO is hopeful of clearing the road to Rohtang Pass by tomorrow (21st April 2017).

Having cleared the Rani Nallah glacier point, BRO team from Manali side is just a couple of kilometers before the pass and is hopeful of reaching there tomorrow.

Even though this is a welcome news for everyone involved and BRO deserves a pat on the back for doing this arduous task.

The reality is, it will still take more than a week or two for the vehicular traffic and in particular, tourist traffic to be allowed to reach Rohtang Pass. Until then, BRO would not only be working to ensure the road remains open, but also to widen the road sufficiently and check for the stability of the road, before allowing tourists through.

BRO also needs to clear enough snow to make a parking lot for tourist vehicles visiting the high altitude pass.

Locals though will be allowed through much before that. Since they desperately need to access medical and other facilities on this side of Rohtang Pass.

Manali – Leh Highway is expected to reopen by May end or in the first week of June and work to clear Baralacha La has only just recently begun.

Rohtang Pass to reopen in April last week 2017

April 17, 2017 at 7:57 pm

BRO is working hard to reopen the Manali – Leh Highway this year (2017) as soon as possible and is hopeful that it would be able to reopen Rohtang Pass by last week of April and Manali – Leh Highway by end of May.

The first crucial step of reopening Manali – Leh Highway is to reopen Rohtang Pass for vehicular traffic. Since Rohtang Pass is not only a crucial pass for people heading to Leh, but also for those traveling to Lahaul, Spiti and Pangi Valleys.

Two BRO teams are currently working to reopen the Rohtang Jot (known in the local language as a heap of dead bodies).

Manali team has managed to reach Rani Nallah glacier point, which is one of the hardest stretches to open due to the amount of snow and presence of the glacier. Once the team is able to clear this point, clearing rest of the highway till Rohtang Pass would be comparatively easy.

BRO team from Keylong has managed to reach Gramphu, where the road bifurcates into two highways, one leading to Leh and another to Kunzum Pass and Kaza. Clearance of the stretch between Gramphu and Rohtang Pass is difficult as well due to bad terrain and high accumulation of snow.

While the weather over the next month is going to be the most crucial factor in determining whether or not BRO is able to clear the highway on time. A lot of variables are at play at the moment and for those planning a trip to Ladakh, it is best to plan one in June.

Permit for Rohtang Pass to be available online

April 14, 2017 at 9:42 am

As per the order issued by National Green Tribunal, driving to or beyond Rohtang Pass requires a permit from the SDM Office in Manali.

Until last year, if you wanted to travel to Rohtang Pass for sightseeing, you could apply for the permit online. However, if you wanted to travel beyond Rohtang and explore Ladakh, Lahaul, Spiti or Pangi, you had to procure the permit from the SDM Office in Manali.

This was a regressive policy, since the permit for up to Rohtang Pass were issued only to Himachal Vehicles (mostly Manali taxis) and was limited to certain amount of vehicles per day (400 diesel and 800 petrol vehicles this year).

rohtang-pass

Travelers heading to Ladakh and other places beyond Rohtang had to either get the permit made in advance through a travel agent or spend precious time getting the permit made in Manali.

This year though, this would no longer be the case.

With the ease of getting the permit made online, travelers can plan their trips without having to allocate time for permit procurement process in Manali and can start off early in the morning to reach their destination comfortably and without getting stuck in traffic snarls.

A word of caution for those who own a vehicle which is 10 years or older, you won’t be allowed to cross Rohtang from the Manali side, due to NGT guidelines. You can however, cross from the other side i.e. you can cross Rohtang when you’re coming back from Leh.