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.

Srinagar – Sonamarg road reopens

April 4, 2017 at 9:28 am

BRO has officially reopened the road from Srinagar to Sonamarg for light vehicles, with the clearance of last 10 km of snow filled stretch from Gagangeer to Sonamarg.

Snow clearance operation is in full swing to reopen the Srinagar – Leh Highway for 2017 as soon as possible and the team has managed to reach Bajri Nallah en route to Zoji La pass.

However, due to heavy snowfall and avalanches, the road to Zoji La is buried under 30 to 35 feet of snow. And is posing a severe challenge to the BRO.

Even though BRO is making all efforts to restore the road connectivity between Srinagar and Leh as soon as possible, with a target to clear snow from Zoji La by 15th of April. Due to heavy snow, there is a chance that the Srinagar – Leh Highway might take a longer time to reopen than last year.

Last year it was officially reopened for light vehicles on the 1st of May.

BRO to clear Srinagar-Leh Highway by 15th April

March 31, 2017 at 2:53 pm

In a welcome news for travelers and locals alike, BRO has announced that they will be able to clear the Srinagar – Leh Highway of snow by the 15th of April 2017.

This news came as the Chairman and Chief Executive Counselor of Kargil (LAHDC), Mr. Kacho Ahmed Ali Khan surveyed the ongoing snow clearance work en route to Zoji La.

All those planning to pack their bags and head to Ladakh via Srinagar, after hearing this news. Hold your horses, this is just a tentative date for road clearance and it can change if there is heavy snowfall or avalanche.

Add to that, after the road is cleared of snow, initially, an Indian Army convoy is dispatched from Sonamarg to Kargil to check the feasibility of allowing vehicular traffic on the road. Only after the BRO is satisfied with the road condition (this generally takes a week or so), it declares the highway open for light vehicles and a couple of weeks after that, for heavy vehicles.

Everything is dependent on prevailing weather condition, hence can change as swiftly as the weather changes in the mountains.

Last year, Srinagar – Leh Highway was reopened on the 1st of May.

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.

BRO begins work to clear Manali – Leh for 2017

March 21, 2017 at 9:40 am

BRO has started work to clear the snowbound Manali – Leh Highway of snow, in order to reopen it for 2017.

Thanks to heavier than usual snowfall in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh, work to clear the Manali – Leh Highway of snow had been delayed by 20 days. Normally this snow clearing operation begins by 1st of March.

So far, BRO has managed to clear the road from Manali to Gulaba and from Sissu to Darcha.

In the next phase, BRO would be attempting to clear the road from Gulaba to Marhi and from Koksar to Sissu. While work to clear Baralacha La from Leh side would begin a little later on.

This year, Manali – Leh Highway s expected to open a little late, though hopefully, it should reopen by the first week of June, if the weather remains clear.