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.

Ladakh digitally reconnected after 2 months!

March 31, 2017 at 1:13 pm

On the 25th of January, Ladakh became digitally disconnected to rest of India, due to optical fiber cable getting severed at Zoji La. Since the high altitude pass is currently buried under heaps of snow, it was next to impossible for BSNL officials to restore connectivity.

Accepting this unique and treacherous challenge, Indian Army’s team, consisting of army aviators, signals and avalanche panthers team took on the task to restore Ladakh’s connectivity with rest of India.

After detailed reconnaissance and planning, this team was put to task on the 20th of March and began its operation to restore civilian and defense communication.

After 9 days of numerous helicopter sorties and working in several feet of snow and temperature far below freezing, Indian Army team managed to restore communication link between Ladakh and Sonamarg on 29th of March.

While the digital connectivity between Ladakh and rest of India has finally been restored, this incidence has only heightened the need for better connectivity through multiple routes to Ladakh. So that this remote and sensitive region of India, no longer becomes digitally disconnected from rest of India for such a long time.

4 tunnels to improve road connectivity to Ladakh

March 2, 2017 at 11:54 am

Soon 4 new tunnels will be under construction in Ladakh to improve its road connectivity to rest of India. At the moment, Ladakh is completely cut off from rest of India by road for 5 months every year!

This poses a security risk for India since Ladakh is the only place where Indian Army faces off Pakistani and Chinese Armies.

Three of these new proposed tunnels are to come up on the Manali – Leh Highway.

1. 14.78 km long tunnel under Lachung La.
2. 11.25 km long tunnel under Baralacha La.
3. 7.32 km long tunnel under Tanglang La.

inspection route for Tanglang La tunnel

inspection route for Tanglang La tunnel

These tunnels will not only help BRO keep the Manali – Leh Highway open during the dead of winter, these tunnels will also significantly reduce the distance.

The fourth tunnel is to come up under Shingo La, the only pass on the Manali – Darcha – Padum – Nimmu – Leh all-weather highway, which is currently under construction.

Work for Zoji La tunnel, which is supposed to help keep Srinagar – Leh Highway open is supposed to begin soon. However, the project has run into multiple controversies, due to lack of interest shown by the bidders and is likely going to be constructed by Government of India.

These 4 new tunnels will be constructed by the same consortium, which is currently working on the Rohtang Tunnel and feasibility studies for them will be done soon.

Ladakh digitally disconnected from India

February 3, 2017 at 11:55 am

Since 25th of January, Ladakh is digitally disconnected from rest of India, due to a fault with BSNL Optical Fiber Cable near Zoji La.

With some of the heaviest snowfall seen in Ladakh and Kashmir in recent years, Drass has been cut off from Kargil. And while the army team has confirmed technical issue with OFC at Shaitan Nallah near Zoji La. BSNL’s team from Kargil is unable to travel to Drass, in order to further investigate the issue.

Broadband, WiMAX, WLL, mobile, STD/ISD and even army telecommunication has been affected due to this OFC fault.

As per the BSNL TDM, Phunchok Dorjay, if there is any technical fault, it will be restored within 2-3 days, once BSNL technical team is able to travel to Drass. However, if there is a major damage to the cables, then it can only be repaired, once the road is clear.

We hope, it isn’t a major fault with the OFC and it can be repaired within the next few days. Otherwise, Ladakh will continue to remain cut off both digitally and by land from rest of India for the next couple of months or more!

For travelers visiting Ladakh in the upcoming days, it is best to inform your loved ones in advance, that it would be difficult to call them during your trip, so that they do not worry unnecessarily.

And for the sake of travelers and locals alike, we really hope BSNL and other private operators lay OFC through Manali as well, in order to provide some redundancy to their network.

Delhi – Leh Bus Service restarts for 2013

June 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Himachal Road Transport Corporation has begun its Delhi – Leh Bus Service for 2013 from Monday. Ticket for the HRTC Bus from Delhi to Leh is priced at a fairly affordable Rs. 1,203 per person and is about as cheap as it gets.

HRTC Delhi – Leh Bus starts its journey from Delhi in the evening and reaches Manali in the morning and after an hour long pit stop, it begins its journey to Leh and stops at Keylong for the night. From where it restarts its journey to Leh, next day at 5am.

Unlike the HPTDC Bus from Manali to Leh, accommodation and food aren’t included in the price of bus ticket and passengers are responsible for arranging their own accommodation at Keylong (there are plenty of guest houses in Keylong).

While the 33 hour journey from Delhi to Leh is going to be tiring for most, the attractive price of the ticket and the short duration of the journey and hassle-free nature of traveling directly from Delhi to Leh makes this HRTC Bus an attractive option for many travelers.

For more details you can contact HRTC’s Delhi Inquiry Desk at 011-23868694.